Ravens: Rashod Bateman will be Baltimore’s X-factor in 2021

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

The Baltimore Ravens looked to bolster their wide receiver corps this offseason both in free agency and the 2021 NFL Draft. And perhaps no addition will be more impactful than that of Rashod Bateman.

After signing Sammy Watkins in free agency, the Ravens returned and selected the former Minnesota star, Bateman, with the 27th overall pick in this year’s draft.

The Ravens saw Bateman as one of the best wide receivers in an absolutely stacked draft class and a player who could contribute on offense in a significant way early in his career.

For that reason, it’s no surprise that Bateman was recently identified as the team’s X-factor going into the 2021 season.

Rashod Bateman will be the Ravens’ X-factor in 2021.

ESPN’s Ben Linsey called Bateman’s the Ravens’ X-factor citing his success in college and how heavily he will be involved in Baltimore’s passing attack — a passing attack that ranked dead last in the NFL a year ago.

Bateman will join Watkins and the incumbent Marquise Brown to create a new-look starting trio of receivers for the Ravens. And if he’s as good as the team thinks he is, they could have a star receiver on their hands.

That’s something they’ve been searching for, well, since the inception of their franchise, in all honesty.

Bateman has a chance to be special and is expected to be used all over the field by offensive coordinator Greg Roman.

Whether lining up outside or in the slot, Bateman should be able to take full advantage of his exceptional route-running abilities. Many even saw Bateman as the most NFL-ready receiver in his class.

That’s high praise given that his draft class featured the likes of Ja’Marr Chase, Jaylen Waddle, and Devonta Smith. Bateman may not have received the same pre-draft hype as those three, but he’s already made waves this spring.

The 21-year-old was likely the team’s most impressive rookie during OTAs and minicamp and looked the part of a future star at his position.

It’s still early, but Rashod Bateman’s promising performance this spring is definitely encouraging.

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If Bateman succeeds, the Ravens’ passing game should succeed. That’s why it certainly makes sense to label him as the team’s “X-factor.”