2021 NFL Draft Profile: WR Rashod Bateman
It’s not every day that you see freshmen wide receivers step onto the college football field and produce the way that Rashod Bateman did. 704 yards and six touchdowns at 19 years old is no small feat, and he only got better as his college career progressed.
Bateman was competing for targets with his productive teammate, Tyler Johnson, in 2019, and he put up 1,219 yards and 11 touchdowns on 60 receptions. The talent level is off the charts, and he has the potential to make a tremendous impact in the NFL.
While Bateman’s 2020 NFL season was a bit bumpy due to opting out, opting back in, and then opting back out again, this shouldn’t deter NFL GMs from spending a high pick on a promising young player. Bateman seems destined to have significant draft capital behind him, and the talent level is there. Can he make an immediate impact at the next level, though? How should he be valued for fantasy football, particularly in Dynasty leagues?
These questions are answered here in our scouting profile on Rashod Bateman:
Weight: 190 lbs.
Hands: 9 1/2
40-Yard Dash: 4.39
Vertical Jump: 36
Broad Jump: 123
Skills Breakdown (out of 100)
Route Running (77): A smooth, big-bodied wide receiver that wins in a variety of ways. A fluid route-runner that understands leverage and how to set up defenders with his routes. Silky smooth in and out of his breaks for his size and can line up anywhere. Runs a very diverse route tree.
Athleticism/Agility (77): Agile and athletic for his size. Able to win with burst in short areas and then pick up yards after the catch with his quickness.
Hands (82): Phenomenal hands. Able to reel in anything within his radius and suffers very few concentration drops. Soft hands and the ball seems to just absorb into his mitts on tape.
Contested Catch Ability (80): Excels in contested situations at every level of the field. Able to box out smaller defenders in the short passing game and reel in the pass in a tight window. Also able to go up and over a defender deep downfield for a jaw-dropping reception.
Run After Catch Ability (77): Good RAC ability. Won’t make his mark in the NFL with it, but more than serviceable for a player that can threaten NFL defenses in a multitude of ways.
Release (77): Good release off the line of scrimmage. Utilized all over the formation at Minnesota, so there aren’t many instances of him being pressed at the line of scrimmage, but great burst off the line. Understands leverage and how to get defenders in positions that he can exploit throughout his route.
Deep Ball Tracking (78): Phenomenal deep ball tracking ability, and he’s able to slow down and/or speed up to put himself in the best position to track the ball while it’s in the air.
Speed (79): Won’t blow people away with his speed at his Pro Day but will be more than fast enough to keep himself in the conversation as a top-five prospect at his position in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Rashod Bateman is in the conversation for the best WR in the 2021 NFL Draft.
– Kyle Yates (@KyleYNFL) January 6, 2021
– Ray G ???? (@RayGQue) February 8, 2021
They Said It
Projected Draft Range
Depending on team needs heading into the 2021 NFL Draft, there’s a very real possibility that Bateman is off the board in the first 20 picks.
Ideal Fantasy Landing Spot
Based on Bateman’s projected draft range and the teams drafting within those picks, the Los Angeles Chargers would be the ideal fantasy landing spot for Bateman. While this might not align completely with their team needs, they still need to do everything they can to surround Justin Herbert with a good supporting cast. Bateman being tied to Herbert long-term is a dream come true scenario for fantasy football.
Bateman doesn’t have one elite trait that he can hang his hat on, but he’s simply good at everything. Keenan Allen can be viewed in that same light. At essentially the same size, Bateman and Allen will win in the NFL with the same type of skills. Bateman might play outside more than Allen does, depending on what offense he lands in, but they’ll both win with route-running savvy and excellent hands.