Ravens officially sign WR Rashod Bateman to his rookie contract

Ravens, Rashod Bateman Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
Ravens, Rashod Bateman Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports /

The Baltimore Ravens have officially signed the first member of their 2021 NFL Draft class. And it’s a pretty notable name in first-round pick Rashod Bateman.

The Ravens announced the signing via their Twitter account on Wednesday, mere hours before the official release of the team’s 2021 schedule.

Bateman is the first member of the Ravens’ draft class and only the second first-round pick in the 2021 class to have signed his rookie contract, after Kwity Paye of the Indianapolis Colts.

The deal is a standard four-year, $12.6 million contract that includes a $6.5 million signing bonus. Bateman, the Ravens’ top pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, is officially signed to the team.

The Baltimore Ravens have high hopes for Rashod Bateman in 2021

Bateman was widely considered to be one of the best receivers in a very deep 2021 draft class. After a standout career at Minnesota, Bateman was selected with the 27th overall pick in this year’s draft by Baltimore.

The 21-year-old was named first-team All-Big Ten in 2019 following a spectacular sophomore season that saw him finish with 60 catches for 1,219 yards and 11 touchdowns. He was voted team MVP and set school records in both receiving yards and touchdowns.

The 2020 season was a little more tumultuous for Bateman as he only played in five games, due primarily to COVID-19 scheduling complications. But he still managed to haul in 36 catches for 472 yards and two touchdowns.

The Ravens will expect Bateman to contribute from day one and be a key part of the team’s revamped wide receiver corps.

Baltimore did plenty of renovating at the wide receiver position in the offseason. Sammy Watkins was signed in free agency and the additions of Rashod Bateman and fourth-round pick Tylan Wallace should give the team plenty of options in the passing game.

Of the projected starting trio of Watkins, Bateman, and Marquise Brown, you could easily argue that Bateman has the highest ceiling.

He’s a natural route-runner with soft hands and quick feet. While not the most explosive athlete, Bateman has a well-rounded skill set that should allow him to see plenty of playing time early in his NFL career.

And that’s exactly what the Ravens are hoping for.

Next. Ravens Schedule: 3 takeaways from Week 1 matchup against Raiders. dark

The Ravens have begun the process of signing their draft picks. And they’ve started with arguably their most important one.