The 2021 NFL Draft class was one for books in terms of wide receiver talent. Many are expecting this class to be the next big wave of pass-catching talent as three wideouts were taken in the top 10, and five total were drafted in the first round. Of the rookie field, Hawkins took wide receiver Rashod Bateman as his rookie wideout to make the biggest impact in 2021, calling him a “godsend” for Lamar Jackson and that he is more pro-ready than Ja’Marr Chase, Jaylen Waddle and DeVonta Smith.
“[Bateman] is fast, he is big, he is physical,” Hawkins said. “Honestly, he’s probably further along in his development as an NFL wide receiver than most of the young guys because he can run routes, he can get out of breaks, he has body positioning. I expect him to have a huge season and what he is going to bring to the Baltimore Ravens is definitely going to be a Godsend for Lamar Jackson.”
Bateman has looked the part of being pro ready by competing against and winning reps versus All-Pro cornerback Marlon Humphrey.
Teammate and veteran wide receiver Sammy Watkins also believes in Bateman, saying he’s “already a pro.”