With the Baltimore Ravens signing Odell Beckham and Zay Flowers, you can make an easy case that the team has their best wide receiver room since they drafted Lamar Jackson. Now, the question becomes how will they be deployed.
Will Baltimore Ravens play Zay Flowers in the slot?
Some fans are already annoyed with Rashod Bateman, but he was on pace for an improvement before his foot injury, and he is still in his third season, so there is still a lot of hope and promise with him. So, with three legitimate wide receiver options, and all of them have serious investments in them, how will they be deployed? The main question is which one will be in the slot?
Rashod Bateman has run 97 snaps out of the slot, and that is 17.4% of the snaps in his career. Meanwhile, Beckham is in the slot 21.4% of the time in his career, and over the last two years, he was in there 19.5% of the time and 14.8%.
Meanwhile, Zay Flowers was in the slot on 33.9% of his snaps. Last season he was in the slot 32.8% of the time. Last season he run 166 routes from the slot. It is not much, and it is interesting because Flowers was statistically better from the outside at Boston College, but it does seem clear that he is going to be the slot for the team. he did play there most of the three.
Beyond that, how much of his stats can you put on the quarterback play? He could have been more open from the slot but was not hit.
Zay Flowers is a first-round pick, but still a rookie, and the best way to get him involved may be to move him around. Also, getting him in the slot gets him a free release off of the line of scrimmage and allows him to run the whip routes that get him separation and allow him to run into space with the football.
With Odell Beckham and Rashod Bateman, they have more the deep ball players. Mark Andrews can take the deep middle and this attention will free up the quick passes for Zay Flowers underneath. It is a smart way to get the rookie involved.
The Baltimore Ravens will always mix up their personnel and looks. However, their best group may be an 11-personnel with Odell Beckham and Rashod Bateman out wide, and then Zay Flowers in the slot.