Rashod Bateman - WR - Minnesota
Welcome into the rookie profile for Rashod Bateman. Bateman started off his college career with a textbook breakout year, playing alongside current NFL receiver, Tyler Johnson. Like many players in 2020, he decided to opt-out when the landscape of the season was uncertain due to COVID. Bateman would end up appearing in 5 games his junior season with the Minnesota Gophers before opting out again for the rest of 2020. Although at first, Bateman was a prospect that presented next to no red flags, his pro day has cast some doubt.
Team: Baltimore Ravens
Height: 6′ 0″
Weight: 190 lbs
40-yard dash: 4.48
3-cone drill: 4.35
20-yard shuttle: 6.95
Vertical Jump: 36″
Broad Jump: 10’3″
Bench Press: DNP
|College DOM||College YPR||College Target %||Breakout Age|
Rashod Bateman boasts a sub-19-year-old (18.8) breakout age, accomplishing this in his true freshman season playing alongside current NFL wide receiver Tyler Johnson. Bateman was able to accumulate 94 targets as a true freshman, good enough for a 27% target share. Going into his sophomore season, it was still Bateman and Johnson as the 1a and 1b facilitating the Minnesota offense. Even though Bateman received one less target in 2019 compared to 2018, he made the most of it, boasting an impressive 20.3 yards per catch on 60 receptions. Once the 2019 season wrapped up, Tyler Johnson declared for the NFL draft and it appeared to be Bateman’s time to shine as the true alpha wide receiver for the Gophers. But, like many players in 2020, Rashod Bateman decides to opt-out for the entire 2020 season. Interestingly, Bateman does make a return for 5/7 games played before declaring for the draft at the conclusion of his Junior season. In those five games, Bateman led the team in receiving with 472 yards and accounting for over 30% of the team’s target share (per playerprofiler).
When it comes to what Bateman does well, route running immediately comes to mind. Bateman is a top-tier route runner in this loaded wide receiver class. He shows an ability to set defenders up and gain inside or outside separation with a plethora of moves in his arsenal. Additionally, he shows extremely fluid hips, getting in and out of his breaks and a quick release to gain separation. On top of being a really good route runner, Bateman demonstrated versatility in the offense lining up on the outside or in the slot. Despite his strange pro-day results, Bateman still shows good enough size to play on the outside with minimal concern. He shows decent game speed to be effective in the open field and create solid yards after the catch. Analytically, Bateman shows minimal red flags or cause for concern.
Bateman’s pro-day measurements were surprising, to say the least. Starting back as a high school recruit, Bateman is listed at 6’3” 180lbs per Rivals, then the Minnesota Gophers listed him at 6’2” 210lbs during his college career, and finally at his pro-day he measures in at 6’0” 190lbs. Despite the surprise measurables at the pro-day, on film size was never a cause for concern. Even though he showed the ability to make any catch on the field, he did struggle with the occasional drop or two that he should have reeled in. Bateman also rarely showed his ability to get vertical when making a catch. He was solid in contested catch situations, but not a player you will see get up and over a defender very often.
Expected Draft Capital:
Late Round 1 into Round 2. It’s hard to tell when the second tier of wide receivers will go in the NFL draft. The class is loaded with wide receiver talent, it might push some of these quality wide receivers further down in the draft.
Best Draft Fits:
Bateman’s skillset is not landing spot-dependent, especially with his versatility to line up all over the field. He can land anywhere and give an immediate boost to a wide receiver room whether that is in a complementary role or as the focal point of the offense. Bateman could become a legitimate wide receiver one for a team, but as with most rookie prospects, will need time to develop his skillset a bit more before that. Landing spots that would be good fits for Bateman’s skillset are the Washington Football Team, Chicago Bears, Buffalo Bills, Kansas City Chiefs, Detroit Lions, New England Patriots, Cleveland Browns, and the Green Bay Packers. These teams could all use a potential future wide receiver one or a stud wide receiver two to compliment the rest of their weapons.
Baltimore Ravens: Rounds 1, Pick 27
The Baltimore Ravens traded away left tackle Orlando Brown this offseason for a second first round pick. With that trade, everyone was under the impression that the Ravens would be adding a wide receiver in the first round to bolster their underwhelming pass catchers. With the first of their two first round picks, they selected Rashod Bateman at pick 27 in the first round. All offseason, Baltimore has looked like the worst landing spot for a wide receiver. While there is next to no competition for targets, Mark Andrews being the only consistent receiving weapon, there is also next to no targets to compete for. The Ravens were dead last in pass attempts per game and passing yards per game.
Not all is bad because Bateman does walk into a fairly open depth chart. Marquise Brown is an established presence on the outside and the Ravens brought in Sammy Watkins this offseason as well. Although Sammy has been on the decline in his career for some time now and has battled injuries, he will be the main competition for playing time with Bateman. Other wide receivers on the depth chart will be vying for the wide receiver three position for the team. Bateman has plenty of opportunity to get on the field early and often, and he is definitely the most talented wide receiver on that roster. Fans will be able to find out now whether Lamar’s lack of passing volume is on the pass catchers, or the pass catcher’s lack of production is on Lamar.
Bateman has the opportunity to get on the field early, but there is some competition there that he will have to work through this offseason and potentially early in the year. While it is hard to trust a pass catcher not named Mark Andrews in the Raven’s offense, Bateman will be the most talented and all around wide receiver they’ve had. As for redraft, fantasy managers should stay away from the situation. Monitor how things play out this year and take your shot next season when the offense is more clear. For dynasty, you don’t have the luxury to wait and see. Bateman is very talented and regardless of the situation can provide a solid wide receiver two floor for the coming years. His situation isn’t ideal, but talent has a way of rising to the top. He is a solid target at the top of the second round in superflex leagues, as there is a clear tier gap after Bateman and the players after him have a lot more question marks surrounding them.