The Baltimore Ravens came into the first round with the 27th and 31st overall picks, thanks to the Orlando Brown trade. They have been one of the most consistent franchises in the league for a long time but faced a tall task in having to replace six starters from 2020.
The first step in replacing these starters was selecting WR Rashod Bateman from Minnesota. Bateman stands at 6-foot-0, weighing 190 pounds with very good arm length (33 inches). Gopher fans will remember his breakout 2019 campaign fondly, as he picked up 1,219 receiving yards on just 60 catches with 11 of those being touchdowns.
His breakout game in 2019 came against Penn State in a crucial game for both teams with high playoff implications. Bateman kicked off the game with a 66-yard touchdown grab and finished with 203 yards on the day.
Playing big in big moments is a fantastic trait to have when you are arriving in the league. He will have to play more of those big games, as the Ravens are still a legitimate contender in the AFC and will be for years to come.
Had this been the Ravens only first-round selection, there may have been a different grade. This is due to what I believe are more pressing needs at the tackle and linebacking positions. However, their wide receiver room has come up short in years past.
So this was definitely a position that needed to be addressed at some point.
Bateman adds more speed to an offensive unit that has all the speed in the world. He gives the Ravens an even more explosive dynamic in the passing game. Sammy Watkins, Marquise Brown, and now Bateman look like the most promising wide receiver room that Lamar Jackson has worked with in his three years in Baltimore.