The Ravens selected Minnesota WR Rashod Bateman with the 27th overall pick of the 2021 NFL Draft. Bateman has as strong a production profile as any WR in this year’s class. He turned in a rare true freshman breakout season in 2018, ranking 2nd to only then-junior Tyler Johnson in all major receiving categories (51-704-6). Then he exploded for 1,219 yards and 11 scores on 60 catches as a sophomore alongside Johnson. Bateman was named First-Team All-Big 10 and Big Ten receiver of the year. He contracted COVID last summer and originally decided to opt out of the 2020 season. He eventually changed his mind and played in 5 games before electing to sit out the remainder of the season. Bateman was as dominant as ever, though, averaging 7.2 catches and 94.4 yards per game. He surprised with a 4.43-second 40 time at his Pro Day -- although he came in much smaller than expected at 6’0 and 190 pounds. Bateman looks and plays bigger on tape. And he has an impressive combination of releases and route running. We see shades of Keenan Allen and Davante Adams in his game. A final note: Bateman brings positional versatility after playing 87% of his snaps on the outside in 2019 and then 61% in the slot this past season. This isn’t an ideal landing spot with the Ravens, who have ranked dead last in passing attempts in each of the last 2 seasons.
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