It looks like the Baltimore Ravens might have found a gem in landing wide receiver Zay Flowers with a first-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.
Judging by those attending and reporting from the Ravens training camp opener at Owings Mills on Wednesday, July 26, Flowers has hit the ground running and in no time, earned the praise of all teammates and a very juicy nickname.
You heard it above, courtesy of Kevin Oestreicher's handy skills at editing video clips. "Zay, his new name is 'Joystick' because he be moving out there so swift," said Lamar Jackson.
Jonas Shaffer of The Baltimore Banner, writing a comprehensive report of the Ravens' Day 1 of practice, had a lot of saucy and exciting stuff to write about Flowers' first day with the Baltimore veterans at camp.
According to Shaffer, Flowers caught "all six of his targets from Jackson, including three in a row." The rookie also "grabbed a pass in the flat and then beat cornerback Marlon Humphrey on an out route," which is no joke considering Humphrey is one of the absolute best corners in the NFL and Flowers is getting his first pro reps this summer.
Most of Flowers’ work came on "short and intermediate routes," wrote Shaffer, adding that the freshman "wasn’t targeted" downfield with those passes and plays most probably delayed for further into training camp when everybody is more in sync.
As you can see in the video above (s/o Kevin Oestreicher), Flowers didn't need to complete catches to wow fans and reporters in attendance. His mere route running was sublime and broke some ankles and that was just his first day of veteran practice.
Talking in a post-practice mini-press conference and speaking about Flowers, HC John Harbaugh told reporters "Just (been) nothing but impressed with everything he’s done."
Added Harbaugh: "You get the feel he’s not a rookie. You get the feel he’s a veteran. He just seems really mature."
Veteran cornerback Marlon Humphrey, who covered Flowers at times yesterday, also shared his thoughts on the Ravens' latest addition to their offense following the team's first practice of training camp.
"He's pretty polished, he definitely has that South Florida route running--breaking, cutting," Humphrey started. "He has that X-factor that a lot of those South Florida guys have… I think the sky is the limit for our receiver core.”