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Ravens 2021 Draft: First Round Instant Reactions Roundtable

Indiana v Penn State Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

Our instant reactions to the Baltimore Ravens selection of Rashod Bateman with pick No. 27 in the 2021 NFL Draft...


Despite Baltimore team brass’ comments that indicated an organizational devaluation of the receiver position, they elected to spend their first pick on a wideout. Bateman is an elite route technician with excellent hands and alignment versatility. A natural playmaker, he will push for starter snaps immediately and help give the Ravens the offensive weaponry Lamar Jackson desperately needs to defeat the top contenders when the stakes are highest in the postseason.

- Vasilis Lericos


Excellent pick. The pick many of us hoped for months ago has come to fruition. After all the commotion from the fanbase and the retort from general manager Eric DeCosta regarding the wide receiver room, he takes a wide receiver with his first selection for the second time. Now, the Ravens boast three first-round receivers as their starting unit for the first time ever. This offense is shaping up to be incredible with Bateman, Sammy Watkins, Hollywood, Andrews and a tandem of talented running backs. I’m very happy with this selection and I bet the fanbase is, too.

- Kyle P. Barber


Eric DeCosta gives Lamar Jackson one of the best wide receivers in the draft in Rashod Bateman. Bateman is a very good route-runner with good hands. Baltimore’s receiving corps has the chance to be much better this season with the additions of Bateman and veteran Sammy Watkins to go with Marquise “Hollywood” Brown and tight end Mark Andrews.

- Dustin Cox


After missing out on Juju Smith-Schuster and Kenny Golladay in free agency, the Ravens finally found the wide receiver they were looking for in Bateman. He was extremely productive at Minnesota in 2019; he had 60 receptions for 1,219 yards and 11 touchdowns. He has all the physical tools to be an elite wide receiver. He ran 4.39-second 40-yard dash time and is 6’0”. Bateman, Marquise Brown, Sammy Watkins, Devin Duvernay, and James Proche now make up a intriguing wide receiver group with a lot of upside.

- Jakob Ashlin


Rashod Bateman was the ideal wide receiver prospect for the Ravens, and it’s a godsend that he fell into their lap at No. 27. He checks off all the boxes as an ‘X’ wideout with pure route-running skills, sure hands and strong separation ability. Good on DeCosta and the front office for making the right call. There’s a reason Ravens fans have been clamoring for him for weeks on end. We can all breath a collective sigh of relief and joy.

- Frank Platko


Thank the merciful heavens that my prediction came to fruition and the Ravens provided Lamar Jackson with another weapon on the passing game at wide receiver. Bateman can make plays on the boundary as well over the middle of the field with his inside/outside versatility and dynamic playmaking ability after the catch. He is more than the prototypical ‘X’ wide receiver, he’s the complete package with the size, hands and crisp route running prowess to dominate at the next level. General Manager Eric DeCosta’s patience was richly rewarded because he didn’t have to trade up to land his man.

- Joshua Reed


I had prepared myself for him to not be available and once the top three receivers went in the first ten picks, I was convinced he would be gone. Great pick; investing in Lamar Jackson’s success is necessary to the future of this franchise as far as I’m concerned. I’m elated.

- Cassidy Higdon


The Ravens did what needed to be done, and I could not be happier. Bateman fell into DeCosta’s lap and he pulled the trigger on one of the best route runners in this entire draft class. Bateman instantly makes the passing threat a whole lot better, adding onto a receiving group that looks pretty scary all of the sudden. Great pick that made the offense better, as soon as Goodell read his name. Lamar gets his help.

- Jonas Evans


The Rashod Bateman pick makes so much sense for the Ravens. Finally, Lamar Jackson has plenty of weapons to throw to with Bateman, Watkins, Hollywood Brown, and Mark Andrews. The Ravens can now offensively compete with other high-powered AFC offenses.

- Adrian Charchalis


Our instant reactions to the Baltimore Ravens selection of Jayson Oweh with pick No. 31 in the 2021 NFL Draft...


Eric DeCosta fills a pressing positional need with perhaps the best pure athlete in the entire draft class. Oweh did not generate much production during his time at Penn State but he is a disruptive edge rusher with a lightening quick first step, coupled with the length and strength to set a sturdy edge. While not a classic Ravens selection based on collegiate production, his high ceiling could be exactly what elevates the defense to new highs in the ‘ball-out-quick’ era.

- Vasilis Lericos


One of the most dynamic players in the NFL draft falls to the Baltimore Ravens at No. 31. This pick expertly fits both BPA with need. Yes, you can argue for a couple names at this spot, but Baltimore lost an overwhelming amount of talent at edge this offseason. Matt Judon signed with the New England Patriots and Yannick Ngakoue joined the Las Vegas Raiders. Now, the Ravens pair a violent speed rusher with the most dominant secondary in the NFL.

- Kyle P. Barber


I am content with the selection of Jayson Oweh, albeit not ecstatic. I’m surprised the Ravens picked him given his lack of college production, but his upside is undeniable. He’s one of the best pure athletes in this class and has all the tools to develop into a high-level edge rusher. I think I would have preferred drafting another player with this pick, though, like Teven Jenkins, Joe Tyron, or Trevon Moerhig. Trading back also would have been a suitable option. I’m always on board for drafting back-to-back players from the Big Ten, though.

- Frank Platko


With their second pick, the Ravens go with raw talent in edge rusher Jayson Oweh. Everyone will point out the lack of a sack in his 2020 season, which is definitely a question mark, but the man can absolutely fly. He’s freaky fast, athletic, and explosive. Oweh has a high ceiling and a great coaching staff to bring out the best in him. That being said, there were definitely some guys I would have rather had, and it stings to spend a first-round draft pick on a player who really lacked any kind of production last season.

- Jonas Evans


I would have preferred Teven Jenkins with the 31st pick, but I understand the appeal of Jayson Oweh. Oweh did not have any sacks in 2020 but he has freakish athleticism and traits for an edge rusher. Oweh needs to develop more moves as a pass rusher to reach his potential. Oweh improved as a run defender in his final season, which will be pivotal in how much playing time he will see early on as a rookie.

- Dustin Cox


I find the Jason Oweh pick very interesting because of his rawness yet physical attributes. The 6’5, 260 lb linebacker ran a 4.39 at his pro day. Oweh may not necessarily start right away, but with coaching and reps, he could become a dangerous player off of the edge. Baltimore has enough depth at the moment to allow for Oweh to develop.

- Adrian Charchalis


Contrary to the organizational philosophy that they have historically followed throughout the first quarter century the existence of the franchise, the Ravens are betting on potential over production by taking Oweh. A little over 24 hours before making the pick, General Manager Eric DeCosta appeared in a video on the teams website where he took fans into their draft war room and he pointed to a plaque on the wall with a Nick Saban quote that stated “The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior”. Based on the their past behavior, Oweh was the last edge rusher I would’ve predicted to the Ravens in the first round. However, despite being very raw and unrefined, I trust that their staff and particularly Defensive Coordinator Don ‘Wink’ Martindale will help him reach his full potential.

- Joshua Reed