Ravens’ biggest ‘X-factor’ will turn heads in 2022

Ravens, Rashod Bateman (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
Ravens, Rashod Bateman (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /

There’s a lot of young talent to be excited about in the Baltimore Ravens’ 2022 roster, but one player — aptly named the team’s ‘X-factor’ — stands above the rest.

Rashod Bateman faces a potential breakout year this season as the top wideout on the team and will get his opportunity to gel with Lamar Jackson all year long.

Bateman’s teammates — Devin Duvernay and James Proche, to name a few — don’t carry nearly as much upside as he does, and the 2021 first-rounder will want to put together his first healthy season in the league after a tough rookie year.

It may be a simplified overstatement to say the Ravens’ success hinges on Bateman this season, but he does stand out as the most talented wide receiver and must carve out a significant role for himself in the passing offense.

Bleacher Report’s Gary Davenport listed every NFL team’s biggest X-factor in 2022 and selected Bateman for Baltimore:

"“Veteran receiver Sammy Watkins left Baltimore for Green Bay in free agency, and the Ravens shipped fellow wideout Marquise Brown to the Arizona Cardinals for the No. 23 pick. That leaves Bateman as the team’s top receiver after an injury-marred rookie year in which he caught 46 passes for 515 yards and one touchdown in 12 games.”"

The Ravens are putting tremendous pressure on Rashod Bateman to succeed in 2022

With roughly $9 million left in cap space, the Ravens could still sign a veteran wideout but also have other roster needs to address like the pass-rush. Expect a few more players to be signed by late July, but even if Baltimore do bring a vet into the receiver room, that doesn’t change Bateman’s role too much.

Bateman joins many Ravens looking to make a comeback in 2022 including Jackson, J.K. Dobbins, Gus Edwards, Marlon Humphrey, Ronnie Stanley, and more.

The Ravens could enter 2022 as the most underrated squad in the league, yet the team could just as well flame out by mid-season due to players’ recovery setbacks or more injuries.

The burning question for the Baltimore Ravens this season, as in many seasons prior, has been whether the team can produce a humming passing offense to seriously compete in the postseason.

Jackson’s talents will be put to the test, and Bateman is right up there with a high ceiling in 2022 as he has the chance to lead the team in receiving yards and touchdowns, vying for looks against the ever-consistent Mark Andrews.

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Will Bateman rise above the skepticism or will he break from the pressure?