The Biggest Winner On Draft Day? Baltimore Ravens Quarterback Lamar Jackson

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KANSAS CITY — Lamar Jackson had a great day Thursday.

Start with his new five-year contract extension that is expected to be worth $260 million. The deal makes Jackson the highest-paid quarterback in the NFL on its annual $52 million average. And he did it without the help of an agent.

So he saved himself $7.8 million in agent fees.


Then Jackson’s day turned into an exciting night because the Baltimore Ravens drafted Boston College wide receiver Zay Flowers with the 22nd overall selection. And Flowers is perhaps the most dynamic receiver in the draft.

And the Ravens have been challenged getting Jackson legitimate receiver threats in recent years but this seems to change that, particular on the back of the team signing Odell Beckham Jr. as a free agent a couple of weeks ago.

So Jackson loved the pick.

CHESTNUT HILL, MA – NOVEMBER 04: Zay Flowers #4 of the Boston College Eagles scores a touchdown during the first half of a game against the Duke Blue Devils at Alumni Stadium on November 4, 2022 in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Malhotra/Getty Images)

And he told the team.

“To hear how excited Lamar was on the phone about it when we talked about it, that was really a great moment,” coach John Harbaugh said. “That just made it all come together.”

Flowers has been compared to former Carolina Panthers receiver Steve Smith. That’s obviously a comp Flowers hopes he lives up to in Baltimore.

“[Baltimore] was probably my best visit,” Flowers said. “That was probably my favorite visit and I knew if I reached 22 I had a feeling they were going to pick me. It worked out perfect.

“Ready to go to work. Ready to go get some wins. Ready to go play with Lamar, ready to go play with O, ready to go build this receiving corps all the way up.”

The Ravens have boosted the number of playmakers they have for their newly minted quarterback in that Rashod Bateman should return healthy for 2023, Nelson Agholor. And, of course, the club has tight end Mark Andrews.

Jackson will have more playmakers around him

Adding Flowers add all sorts of versatility in that he can play outside or the slot. And it adds a player the Ravens seem confident will contribute almost immediately.

“This was a player I’ve seen a lot,” Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta said. “I’m partial to Massachusetts. I’ve always liked his game and we spent a lot of time watching him.”

The Ravens interviewed Flowers privately in Baltimore. They interviewed him at the NFL Combine. There was a time Flowers went for a random stroll at the Boston College campus and the entire Ravens scouting department asked questions as he went.

Yeah, kidding on that last one.

“He’s passed every single test,” DeCosta said. “He’s an explosive, competitive, tough guy who can play outside, can play inside. We’re very happy for him and the Ravens.”

The Ravens assigned eight prospects to all their scouts to do a full grading process for all the players last week. Consider it a re-check of sorts on what people were already thinking.

“Zay was by far the No. 1 prospect of those eight players we assigned,” DeCosta said. “It was a great day.”

Flowers has something of an edge to him. Of course he does, he grew up in South Florida where football prospects are preparing for a pro career by the time they’re toddlers. That edge was on display Thursday night.

“I knew if I got to 22, that I was going to be a Raven,” Flowers said. “And we just going to make every team that didn’t pick [me] pay for it.”

Follow on Twitter: @ArmandoSalguero

Written by Armando Salguero

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