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Player Profile: Rashod Bateman

Rashod Bateman enters the NFL as one of the most complete WR prospects in the 2021 NFL Draft

Height: 6’1”
Weight: 210 lbs
School: Minnesota

Why you’re drafting him…

The mix of pretty much everything you look for when drafting a wide receiver. Bateman has ideal size (6’1″, 210 lbs), runs crisp routes, has reliable hands, comes down with contested catches, works well lined up both outside and in the slot; it’s all there. His ability to create after the catch is also fairly impressive, and while he’s not a straight-line burner when it comes to speed, he’s fast enough to compete and succeed at the next level. If you watch the film on Bateman, you’ll see him constantly making catches over the middle of the field. This is due in large part to his ability to find holes in zone coverage, and also because of the way he’s able to use his frame and position his body (almost like a box out) when the defender is in man coverage. Natural hands catcher as he rarely waits for the ball to get to him, which will take him a long way at the next level as he works back towards passes

Needs to improve…

Bateman is one of the more complete receivers in this draft class as he does a little bit of everything, and he does it all pretty well. There’s plenty of room for him to grow at the next level, but some of his most glaring “weaknesses” are things that are somewhat out of his control. He’s likely not going to get any faster (even though I wouldn’t consider him slow to begin with), he’s already pretty solid as a route runner and he does pretty well when put into contested-catch situations. One of the first skills Bateman can work on once he lands on an NFL roster would be improving his ability to release from press coverage at the line of scrimmage. He struggled a bit throughout his collegiate career when corners press him at the line and knock him off his route, and it’s not going to get any easier against more physical corners at the next level

Prediction for 2021 NFL Draft…

I’m currently projecting Bateman as a second or third-round draft pick. There are quite a few options for teams at the receiver position in this year’s draft, and I think several landing spots will be determined based on what type of receiver each team is looking for. Bateman could be elevated by the fact that he’s already a well-rounded receiver, but there may be teams that opt for the players that possess more speed or flash another unique trait, which sets themselves apart from Bateman

Dynasty fantasy football spin…

Expect Bateman to be anywhere between the fourth and eighth receiver selected in your 2021 rookie drafts. The reason for the large gap is due to the unknown landing spot. Bateman could find himself in a situation where he’ll be called upon early in his rookie season, which would elevate his draft stock; or he may be selected by a team that is planning on him to produce more so in the future, which would likely drop him a bit come rookie-draft day. This analysis could be said about several players, but Bateman isn’t in the same class as DeVonta Smith or Ja’Marr Chase who will be selected very high regardless of which NFL team drafts them

Check out Zack Patraw of NFL Draft Bible on Sports Illustrated break down Rashod Bateman with the guys on the Loaded Box Podcast (Bateman discussion starts at the 25:58 mark of the episode)

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