Former Ravens 1st Rounder Expected to Get the Ball A Lot More in 2024

baltimore ravens rashod bateman

Getty The Baltimore Ravens are expecting to give Rashod Bateman the ball more in 2024

When the Baltimore Ravens made Rashod Bateman the 27th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, there were big expectations for the three-headed monster they were creating with him, Hollywood Brown, and Mark Andrews.

Unfortunately, Bateman hasn’t really lived up to expectations in the three seasons since.

The team even ended up going back to the draft for another first-round receiver in 2023 and spent big money on Odell Beckham Jr.

Now Bateman is heading into the final year of his rookie contract and it looks like he’s going to get one more chance to be the receiver they were hoping for back in 2021.

While speaking to the media at the NFL Combine, head coach John Harbaugh revealed that he’s expecting Bateman to get a lot more of the ball during the 2024 season.

“Rashod is going to get opportunities this year,” Harbaugh said. “He ran routes really well. He worked super hard. He was healthy for the first time – even as the year went on, he got healthier, and you could see it in his play.

“The ball got to him, [and] when it did, he made some great plays. The ball is going to get to him a lot more next year. He’s going to be ready to go.”

A Tough Three Years for Bateman

Bateman’s first three years in the NFL have been disappointing for the Ravens.

One big reason is injuries.

He was placed on injured reserve before he ever took a snap in Baltimore and ended up missing the first five games of his rookie season.

When he returned he game some reasons for fans to be hopeful about his future, making 46 catches for 515 yards.

That created hope that he could continue making strides in year two, but then injuries became an issue again. He missed 11 games during his second year in the league and ended the season with 15 catches.

He was finally able to stay healthy in 2023. Bateman played in 16 games for the Ravens, but had fallen way down the pecking order among pass catchers.

He made just 32 catches for 367 yards in his third year in the NFL.

Now it looks like the Ravens will be hoping they can finally get more out of him as room potentially opens up for him to make a move up the depth chart.

The Ravens’ WR Room

There are a few things that are certainties for the Ravens’ wide receiver room in 2024.

Zay Flowers is going to hold down the WR1 job after a strong showing in his rookie year.

Nelson Agholor will remain a factor for the Ravens after they signed him to a one-year extension on February 18.

Bateman will continue to have a role for the team in the last year of his rookie deal.

The big uncertainty is who the team’s WR2 will be.

In 2023, it was Beckham Jr. The Ravens paid big money for him and didn’t get a big return and now it seems unlikely that he’ll be re-signed for the 2024 season.

There are some big names in free agency that have been seen as potential targets for the Ravens, including Mike Evans and Michael Pittman Jr.

They could also turn to the draft once again to add at receiver, which is something they’ll likely do even if they don’t take a receiver early. The team needs depth and taking a receiver late would be a cheap way to find it.

Bateman could also be seen as that guy for Baltimore.

It remains to be seen just how much bigger the role is that the Ravens are envisioning for Bateman, but he seems to at least have a chance of being the team’s WR2 in 2024.

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