Instant Analysis: Ravens Select Rashod Bateman with 27th Overall Pick

Apr 29, 2021; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Rashod Bateman (Minnesota) with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell over video call after being selected by the Baltimore Ravens as the number 27 overall pick in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft at First Energy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

With the 27th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, the Baltimore Ravens select Rashod Bateman, wide receiver, Minnesota.

Yes, yes, yes, yes! The Ravens did exactly what everyone was expecting. In fact, many, including myself, predicted Bateman to the Ravens in mock drafts.

Bateman, being the fifth wide receiver off the board, could be a Justin Jefferson-like steal. Slept on in the draft process, then immediately make teams regret passing on him.

As for his scouting report that can be seen below via TDN:

Rashod Bateman projects as a starting NFL wide receiver after spending the last three seasons in the Minnesota Golden Gophers’ program. Bateman offers an impressive blend of route running, ball skills, and competitive toughness into a frame that should alleviate any concerns about his projection to working on the boundary. Bateman’s collegiate offense utilized him on a lot of in-breaking patterns and finding first and second throwing windows via run/pass option concepts at Minnesota, but he shouldn’t be pegged as only a zone beater or “slot” target. Bateman’s ability to track the football and win at the catch point flash just as much as his smooth breaks and easy acceleration off the line of scrimmage. While he’s not a true burner, there should be no concerns regarding separation ability thanks to a diverse release package and effectiveness at the top of route stems in a number of ways. Bateman does a lot of the little things well, which should theoretically set him up for an early impact at the pro level. Bateman has multiple-Pro Bowl potential with effective quarterback play in the NFL.

His route running and ball skills should bode well for the development of Lamar Jackson as a passer. Whether it’s by winning his routes or making contested catches, Jackson should find no trouble getting Bateman the ball.

The expectation is for Bateman to come in and compete for the WR1 position right away. Long-term, there is no doubt the Ravens view Bateman as the bonafide WR1. Joining a group that consists of Sammy Watkins and Hollywood Brown, Bateman could see a lot of different looks. Whether it be on the outside or in the slot, there should be ample opportunities for Bateman.

Just as TDN, now it comes down to effective play from Lamar Jackson in order for Bateman to unlock his full potential.

As for the Ravens as a whole, they’re off to a hot start. Finding their WR1 early gives them flexibility in later rounds, especially considering the Ravens failed to do so in free agency. Keep in mind that the Ravens also own the 31st overall pick thanks to a trade with Chiefs for Orlando Brown Jr. The Ravens could look to find their Brown’s replacement or add depth at the defensive line.

Grade: A