The Baltimore Ravens filled a huge need with the selection of wideout Rashod Bateman with the 27th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, and it’s safe to say that the internet was impressed with the move.
Bateman fills an immediate need for the team considering the struggles the franchise has had at wideout, and that makes him a slam-dunk fit in the minds of many after the selection was revealed.
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After the selection was made, the internet let loose with some major reaction to the move. It’s clear that most are high on what Bateman can do for the Baltimore offense.
A big reason for that might be because Bateman did some things in the Big Ten that were very impressive for a wide receiver. Consider this intriguing stat:
With their first of two first-round picks, the Ravens give Lamar Jackson a weapon on the outside.
Rashod Bateman averaged 20.3 yards per reception in 2019, the best by a Big Ten player since 2001 (minimum 50 receptions).
— Jamison Hensley (@jamisonhensley) April 30, 2021
Lots of elite wideouts have passed through the Big Ten since 2001, but few as statistically decorated as Bateman was during his time in the league.
That has led others to call the move a home run for the team as well as a “perfect” receiver for the Ravens and what they want to do on offense.
Rashod Bateman is the perfect receiver for Baltimore to marry their passing strategies when they target TEs vs WRs. Can truly blend the whole passing offense. This is a home run pick.
— Trevor Sikkema (@TampaBayTre) April 30, 2021
As picks go, this could be a good one for the Ravens and the fit will be natural.
Absolutely love the Rashod Bateman pick by the #Ravens. He’s going to fit in perfect with that offense.
— Jason Lewis (@JasonLewis_TV) April 30, 2021
Obviously, Bateman will get off to a great start with the Ravens when he heads to Charm City.
Bateman Hyped by Pro Football Focus
It’s clear Bateman was a target for the team for a while. Recently, Pro Football Focus took a closer look at naming some perfect fits for teams in the draft. The Ravens made the cut on the list for a wideout, and writer Zach Tantillo believes that he could be the type of immediate difference maker that the Ravens and their struggling offense need.
“Comped to Los Angeles Chargers receiver Keenan Allen in PFF’s NFL Draft Guide, Bateman is one of the most complete receivers in this deep draft class. He has an NFL-ready build at 6-foot-2, 210 pounds that can hang with the physicality of NFL corners. Bateman hauled in 63.2% of his contested targets as a sophomore, seventh among Power 5 wide receivers.
Despite his success, contested catches are not his bread and butter. His specialty is his ability to create separation thanks to a plethora of release packages at the line of scrimmage. Bateman was tied for second with five touchdown receptions coming with a step or more of separation in his last full season.
The Ravens rank 31st league-wide in yards after the catch from receivers since 2019, but that also happens to be one of Bateman’s strengths. The Minnesota wide receiver has forced 36 missed tackles and recorded 905 yards after the catch in his career, eighth and 16th among Power 5 receivers, respectively.
The rumored knock on Bateman’s game is his lack of top-tier speed, but that did not stop him from creating big plays down the field. Since 2019, no other receiver has more catches on 10-plus-yard throws than Bateman (46). If that sustained success down the field did not shut down those claims, then his reported 4.39 40-yard-dash time might do the trick.
Bateman’s ability to offer a complete package at the receiver position is what should be most alluring to Baltimore. His ability to play outside and in the slot should add a much-needed facet to a Ravens passing game that has been somewhat one-dimensional since Jackson took over under center. Since 2019, Marquise Brown and Mark Andrews have more targets (345) combined than the next seven most-targeted Ravens pass-catchers combined (336).
Bateman is mostly mocking in the Pick 22-23 range, so there’s always a chance that he falls to the Ravens at 27, as he does in Mike Renner’s most recent NFL mock draft. But if the Ravens want Jackson to take a Josh Allen-like leap, they might need to do what it takes and go and get their guy.”
Last season, Baltimore made a lot of moves in the NFL Draft for wideouts, but they were further down the board and the players took time to adjust. This time around, the Ravens might have to find a way to get more players into the mix earlier like Bateman.
Bateman’s Stats and Highlights
It’s true what is being said about Bateman and he is a player who could be a major difference maker for a team that takes a chance on him in the draft. While at Minnesota, Bateman put up solid numbers, with 2,395 yards and 19 touchdowns. As a result of this work in college, Bateman is seen as a potential stud in the making for teams in the draft, and could be a good alternative further down the board in the first round where the Ravens are slated to pick this season.
Bateman has proven himself the biggest weapon in Minnesota the last few seasons with plays like this:
Now, he will be turning those plays in for the Ravens, something that it’s hard not to see being a home run for the team in the end.
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