Eric DeCosta
General manager Eric DeCosta of the Baltimore Ravens looks on from the sidelines against the Cleveland Browns at M&T Bank Stadium on September 29, 2019 in Baltimore, Maryland. Rob Carr/Getty Images


  • The Baltimore Ravens re-signed Lamar Jackson to a five-year deal ahead of the draft
  • Selecting wide receiver Zay Flowers drew rave reactions from observers
  • Flowers will be joining Rashod Bateman and Odell Beckham Jr. in the receiving group

The Baltimore Ravens entered the 2023 NFL draft with a ton of uncertainty but came out looking like Super Bowl contenders.

Hours before the Ravens turned in their first pick, the franchise made sure to lock in 2019 unanimous NFL MVP Lamar Jackson as their quarterback for at least five more years by handing him a five-year deal worth $260 million ($180 million guaranteed). He will be paid an average of average $52 million per year.

That deal would set up how they approached the draft as they selected Boston College wide receiver Zay Flowers with their 22nd overall pick and followed it up by strengthening their linebacker group with the selections of Trenton Simpson and Tavius Robinson in the third and fourth rounds.

With a need at cornerback, since Marcus Peters is unlikely to return to the team, Baltimore selected Stanford's Kyu Blu Kelly in the fifth round and rounded out their selections with offensive tackle Malaesala Aumavae-Laulu from Oregon.

However, they were not done just yet as they traded back into the draft by sending their 2024 sixth-rounder to the Cleveland Browns for the 229th overall pick in the seventh round and used it to select Southern California guard Andrew Vorhees.

It is worth noting that Vorhees was projected to be a mid-round pick, but an ACL tear during the scouting combine had him falling through the draft and the Ravens opting to invest in the future.

The Ravens hit on all their draft needs despite losing a second-round pick to the Chicago Bears to acquire Roquan Smith, and it earned them strong grades across the board in the NFL media.

The Athletic's Scott Dochterman handed them an A- for selecting Flowers and an A for nabbing an "impressive size-speed athlete" in Simpson.

Baltimore's front office, led by general manager Eric DeCosta, earned an A from DraftKings Nation's Grace McDermott, who said that they "knew what they needed coming in, and they went out and got it where they could." But McDermott also noted that they still need a veteran cornerback.

ESPN's Mel Kiper gave the Ravens a B+ for extending Jackson to a long-term deal and particularly for getting Jackson help in Flowers.

Flowers figures to play a big role in Baltimore this season as he joins a suddenly stacked group that already includes Rashod Bateman, Devin Duvernay and Odell Beckham Jr.

With new offensive coordinator Todd Monken in tow, their draft selections point toward a successful season, and the first few weeks of the season will likely dictate how far they go.

Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens
Lamar Jackson #8 of the Baltimore Ravens looks on from the sidelines during the second half against the Tennessee Titans at M&T Bank Stadium on August 11, 2022 in Baltimore, Maryland. Scott Taetsch/Getty Images