After trading wide receiver Marquise “Hollywood” Brown to the Arizona Cardinals during the draft, the Ravens signaled a passing of the torch to sophomore wideout Rashod Bateman. Though the baton pass was forced by Hollywood’s request to play elsewhere, it was passed nonetheless, and the Ravens are confident in Bateman becoming the next receiving star on offense.
“We took ‘Bate’ [Rashod Bateman] last year; he was our first-round guy, and I think he’s going to show you why,” Ravens General Manager Eric DeCosta said after Day 3 of the NFL draft.
DeCosta isn’t the only one expecting big things out of Bateman, as NFL.com’s Bucky Brooks ranked him No. 3 in his Top 10 list of second-year breakout candidates.
“Although Bateman is more of a chain-mover than a home run hitter, he is a natural WR1 with sticky hands and crafty route-running skills,” Brooks wrote. “He should excel as the complementary playmaker opposite Mark Andrews and the Ravens’ rookie tight ends (Charlie Kolar and Isaiah Likely).”
The Ravens have had a pair of sophomore breakout candidates as of late. Most notably, Lamar Jackson, whose second season earned him league MVP and an single season rushing record for a quarterback. Tight end Mark Andrews also dominated in his second season, where he added 300 yards and seven touchdowns from his first season to the second.
All signs lead to Bateman seeing, at minimum, an increased role with the offense. However, Bateman’s been working hard this offseason in preparing for the role. Last month, he posted a video on his YouTube channel of him working out with his quarterback.