Ravens reveal draft plans with out-of-nowhere Rashod Bateman extension

Well, that was a surprise.
Baltimore Ravens, Rashod Bateman
Baltimore Ravens, Rashod Bateman / Katelyn Mulcahy/GettyImages

As the Baltimore Ravens were preparing for the 2024 NFL Draft, most fans would have expected one of two things to happen in the first round.

First, the Ravens could go with an offensive tackle. But second, Baltimore could have opted to draft a wide receiver early on.

With just a day before draft night, though, the Ravens may have clued us in on what they really want to do in Round 1.

It was announced on Wednesday that Baltimore had reached an agreement on an extension with wide receiver Rashod Bateman. The deal keeps him with the Ravens through the 2026 season, ensuring the team's faith in the former first-round pick back in 2021.

With Rashod Bateman extended, the Ravens will likely look at drafting an offensive lineman in the first round

Bateman isn't a new addition, obviously, so there is still a need to add another wide receiver. But, the extension proves that Baltimore has faith in Bateman to be a key cog in the offense going forward. It might signal that they don't view this team as needing a true "alpha" wide receiver, as Bateman could still blossom into that type.

Granted, the Ravens haven't necessarily been able to see all of what Bateman can do thus far, due to injuries here and there and also the former offensive staff focusing so much on the run game.

If Bateman is expected to take a step and truly become a major part of this passing attack, then the Ravens can officially shift 100 percent of their focus to landing a top offensive tackle in the first round.

Owning the no. 30 pick overall, Baltimore could have options like Georgia's Amarius Mims or Arizona's Jordan Morgan. The latter might be a bit of a reach, but Mims would be the perfect value. Additionally, Baltimore might be able to trade up a few spots if someone like Penn State's Olu Fashanu or Washington's Troy Fautanu were to fall outside the top 20-25 picks.

This is a top-heavy offensive tackle class. That's a fortunate situation to be in if you're Baltimore. They coould go one of several routes, now, with their plan coming into focus. The moral of the story is, though, that the Ravens can indeed come away with a top offensive tackle.

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