Ravens: 4 rookies who could earn starting jobs in 2021

Ravens news, Rashod Bateman Mandatory Credit: Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports
Ravens news, Rashod Bateman Mandatory Credit: Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports /
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Ravens Mandatory Credit: Mitchell Layton-USA TODAY Sports /

1. Rashod Bateman, WR, Baltimore Ravens

Of the four players on this list, the only one who is virtually guaranteed a starting role come Week 1 is the first player the Ravens took in the 2021 NFL Draft, wide receiver Rashod Bateman.

The Ravens selected Bateman with the 27th overall pick with the expectation that he would provide an immediate boost to what was a league-worst passing attack a year ago.

The former Minnesota standout was named Big Ten Wide Receiver of the Year and voted team MVP in 2019 after setting numerous school records.

His 2020 season was disrupted by COVID-19, but he still found himself as one of the best wide receivers in a stacked 2021 draft class. The Ravens were, quite frankly, stunned that he was still available at 27.

Bateman is expected to slot in as a day one starter alongside the returning Marquise Brown and offseason signing Sammy Watkins to, hopefully, create a much more adept trio of receivers for quarterback Lamar Jackson.

The team also added Oklahoma State’s Tylan Wallace in the fourth round and will return 2020 draft picks Devin Duvernay and James Proche.

The Ravens’ wide receiver room is stocked with young talent, but none are more promising than Bateman.

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If his performance this spring is anything to go off of, 2021 could be a huge year for Rashod Bateman.