With the No. 27 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, the Ravens select Minnesota wide receiver Rashod Bateman….
Rashod Bateman Career Statistics
A former four-star recruit, Bateman has outside and inside experience. As a true freshman in 2018, Bateman immediately made noise with 51 receptions and 704 yards playing alongside Tyler Johnson.
In 2019, Bateman racked up 37.0% of the receiving yards and 28.3% of the receptions playing alongside Johnson while playing outside (just a 12.7% slot rate).
In 2020, he accounted for 47.4% of the Minnesota receptions and 45.7% of the yardage in his games played while playing 61.2% of his snaps in the slot. In just five games played due to COVID, Bateman cleared 100 yards in three of them.
His 3.69 yards per team pass attempt this past season are third in this class, while his 3.77 yards per attempt in 2019 would have been second among prospects a year ago.
At 6’0″ and 190 pounds at his Pro Day, Bateman checked in smaller than his listed size to give off strong future WR1 vibes and likely profiles as a high-floor player, but is one of the most decorated producers at his position in this draft class.
No team used and got less out their wide receiving unit in 2020 than the Ravens. Baltimore wide receivers collectively tallied 8.6 receptions for 108.1 yards on 13.8 targets per game, all league lows for a wide receiver corps.
Part offensive philosophy and part lack of talent at the position, the Ravens have targeted their wide receivers just 55% (31st) of the time in 2020 and 44% (32nd) in 2019.
The Ravens only had one semi-reliable option at the position in second-year wideout Marquise Brown. Brown accounted for 45.3% of the wide receiver targets, which was the second-highest wideout target behind Davante Adams at 51.2%. After Brown’s 100 targets, the next targeted wide receiver was Willie Snead with just 48 looks in the passing game.
Baltimore did add Sammy Watkins to this group, but we are obviously far from sold on his role. Watkins will only be 28 years old for the 2021 season, but has been in a continuous decline over the course of his career in terms of production and staying on the field. Watkins has not played a full season since rookie year in 2014 while he is coming off 42.1 receiving yards per game, the second-lowest mark of his career.
Early 2021 Rashod Bateman Projection: 81 targets, 49 receptions, 602 yards, 4 TD