The Baltimore Ravens have some major needs for the future, and quite possibly the biggest remains a wideout for their offense.
This offseason, the team hasn’t added much to the position save for Sammy Watkins, who can be a solid player for the group coming in providing he is healthy and engaged. That could leave the Ravens hunting for an addition on the draft front, and that’s just where many are hypothesizing a move may come.
The latest Ravens news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Ravens newsletter here!
Recently, Pro Football Focus was pondering what the Baltimore offense could look like in 2021. As they said, Rashod Bateman is the ideal player to help solve this need and could make for a very interesting addition for the Ravens next season.
The Ravens could be in prime position to nab Bateman late in the first-round of the 2021 NFL Draft, and if they did, he could add an interesting element to their team. Bateman recently had his pro day where he ran an impressive 4.3 40 yard-dash and is making a case for early selection.
Bateman Hyped by Pro Football Focus
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:
Getting a player like this in the mix for the Ravens would be very huge news for Lamar Jackson and for the team’s offense. It could be something for the Ravens to ponder in a big way, indeed.
READ NEXT: Ravens Bring Back Fan Favorite Linebacker