Ravens could bring in Rashod Bateman competition after latest NFL Draft visit

Bateman's hold on WR2 isn't set in stone
Baltimore Ravens v San Francisco 49ers
Baltimore Ravens v San Francisco 49ers / Robin Alam/ISI Photos/GettyImages

The Baltimore Ravens are ending yet another pre-draft process in which they are continuing their eternal search for wide receiver talent, which could put former first-round pick Rashod Bateman back in the spotlight. Expect Baltimore to add more competition for him.

Between Bateman's own iffy performance, Ravens executive Eric DeCosta acknowledging the depth and quality of this wide receiver class, and the depth that is frightening exactly no one, Baltimore will need reinforcements. Ideally, Baltimore will try to target receivers with a history of making big plays down the field.

While his overall stock is varying wildly depending on who you talk to, UCF wide receiver Javon Baker has been a hot name of late. With a ridiculous 21.9 yards per catch during his final season with the Knights, Baker appears to be firmly in Baltimore's radar.

The Ravens brought Baker in for a visit just a few days before the 2024 NFL Draft, which could be a very strong indication of their interest in the deep threat. While he has one of the more unusual player profiles in this class, Baker has all the tools needed to become a star in short order if everything clicks.

Baltimore Ravens host UCF WR Javon Baker for visit

Baker's style of play is more similar to a 6-4 jump ball threat. While he lacks speed, as his workout times were much faster than his play speed, he makes up for it with tremendous hands, sharp route-running, and excellent verticality down the sideline. Baker had at least one catch of 35 or more yards in eight games last season.

Baker is one of the best receivers in this class at making contested catches. When he gets the ball underneath, however, he shows a mean streak as a ball carrier. That ability to make plays happen as a runner will help him escape the dreaded label of one-dimensional.

Bateman got open quite regularly last year, but he didn't see a great volume of targets from Jackson. While Bateman can separate at the line of scrimmage better than Baker, the promise of the UCF star streaking down the field might be too appealing for them to pass up.

The Ravens may believe in their own draft picks, but they can't afford to give Lamar Jackson anything less than the best during the 2024 season. Baker's skills will make him very enticing for a coordinator like Todd Monken, which could be bad news for Bateman.