The 2021 NFL Draft will be a great event for teams to start building for their future. Here is the Rashod Bateman 2021 NFL Draft profile.
Position: Wide Receiver
Size: 6-foot-2, 210 pounds
2019 stats: 60 receptions, 1,219 receiving yards, 11 touchdown catches, 20.3 yards per catch
Like other star players, Bateman originally decided to sit out the 2020 college football season. Once the Big Ten reinstated the season he decided to come back for the team before declaring for the 2021 NFL Draft.
P.J. Fleck was able to lure Bateman, a four-star prospect out of Georgia, to Minnesota. As a freshman, Bateman had 51 receptions for 704 yards and six touchdowns. His play helped Minnesota win seven games, including the Quick Lane Bowl. He improved his production as a sophomore, hauling in 60 passes for 1,219 yards and 11 touchdowns. Minnesota had a great season that resulted in 11 wins and a win over Auburn in the Outback Bowl. In five games for the 2020 season, Bateman had 36 catches for 472 yards and two touchdowns. Minnesota won three games during a disappointing season.
Bateman’s team may have struggled in 2020, but he played well. He is currently projected to be drafted in the first or second round of the 2021 NFL Draft.
His size and strength will create matchup problems in the NFL. He stands at 6-foot-2 and 210 pounds, which is bigger than the average size of a cornerback. Bateman has the strength to beat press coverage and sustain blocks in the running game.
Bateman has great hands. He is able to make contested catches at a really good rate because of his strong hands and physicality. With his ability to high-point the football, he has a huge advantage over defensive backs. From catch-radius to strong hands, Bateman is a pretty reliable target.
He is an excellent route-runner, who ran a decent amount of routes at Minnesota. It all starts with his releases at the line of scrimmage. His initial moves, put defensive backs on their heels, which gives him the advantage for the rest of the play. Once he needs to make his cut, he gets in and out of his breaks quickly, which can help him create separation.
While his speed isn’t bad, Bateman won’t be the fastest receiver out there. He will likely run a 4.5-second 40-yard dash, which is actually good for his size. He has speed to separate when running routes and produce some big plays, but he likely won’t be the fastest player on the field at any point.
His change of direction skills aren’t the best in the open field. He has tight hips, which limits his ability to be shifty. With his speed and strength he is still able to run with the ball in his hands, but juking defenders out of their shoes will not be something he does with regularity.
Minnesota’s offense features a lot of run-pass options, which gave him a lot of open space to work with. With defenders biting on the run fakes, Bateman was open a lot early in his routes. They use run-pass options in the pros, but they don’t heavily rely on it like the Minnesota offense.
Projected Draft Range: First Round Pick-Second Round Pick
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