Let’s take a look at the Ravens rookies and how they can do statistically in the 2021 season:
Rashod Bateman: 45 receptions, 600 yards, and five touchdowns
It’s not fair to put huge expectations on Rashod Bateman. Bateman will probably be the best receive the Ravens ever have. He’s not going to walk in with that mantle on day one. That’s not how this works.
Bateman was a first-round pick so the expectations can’t be too low. It is however a good idea to remember he’s not catching 100 passes for 1,400 yards as a rookie. That’s just not happening.
Bateman doesn’t need to win offensive rookie of the year to have a successful season. He needs to catch the ball when his number is called and look the part of a budding young receiver. That’s the job description in year one. That’s what the Ravens need from him.
Marquise Brown had 46 receptions in his rookie year. Going back to 2011, Torrey Smith had 50 receptions in his rookie season. Using those two players from Ravens history as a point of reference isn’t a horrible way to guestimate what Bateman will do.
Bateman isn’t going to a pass-happy offense. The caps on receiver production are always going to be put in place just by the system the Ravens have. If Bateman was going to be drafted by the Green Bay Packers, Aaron Rodgers may have him light it up as a rookie. In Baltimore, the expectations for a rookie receiver have to be in a reasonable ballpark.
45 receptions isn’t a knock on Batemen. This is a prediction of confidence. Brown’s rookie season was 46 receptions in an offense that needed him to be the guy right away. Bateman is walking into an offense that has two established veterans in Brown and Sammy Watkins. Bateman will have more competition for receptions, for snaps on the field for that matter. He will still be on par with Brown’s rookie season. That’s a prediction of confidence in realistic terms.