Strong Nate Wiggins quote shows Rashod Bateman is ready to break out for Ravens

Bateman could finally put it all together.
AFC Championship - Kansas City Chiefs v Baltimore Ravens
AFC Championship - Kansas City Chiefs v Baltimore Ravens / Perry Knotts/GettyImages

The Baltimore Ravens drafted Rashod Bateman to find a true No. 1 receiver for Lamar Jackson, but injuries and his own generally ineffective performance made it tough for him to fulfill that promise. Fans were deservedly ready to cut bait with him after remaining stuck in neutral.

The Ravens decided to invest in Bateman rather than tear him down, extending him through the 2025 season and effectively declaring him the locked-in No. 2 wide receiver on the depth chart. Unlike most starters on this Baltimore team, Bateman will need to prove his spot atop the depth chart is justified.

According to some strong testimonials from highly-touted draft pick Nate Wiggins, Bateman is ready to torch the rest of the league. Wiggins paid some extra respect to Bateman, who gave the No. 30 overall pick some trouble in coverage.

Wiggins declared Bateman as the toughest player to cover at Ravens OTAs, even giving him that honor over his old college foe in Zay Flowers. Bateman's stock is soaring now that he is healthy and comfortable in Baltimore's new offensive system.

Nate Wiggins hypes up Ravens WR Rashod Bateman

Bateman was healthy for 16 games last season, but it didn't seem like that newfound durability did him much good from a statistical point of view. Bateman caught just 32 passes for 367 yards and one touchdown, losing production to Odell Beckham Jr. in his lone season with the team.

Still, Bateman has shown the ability to separate at the line of scrimmage and more than passable speed for the professional level. Baltimore is banking on him, as they eschewed spending money on a replacement and waited until Devontez Walker in the fourth round to pick another wideout.

Bateman will head into the season with a ton of belief in the building behind him, as he is the unquestioned No. 2 wide receiver. Offensive coordinator Todd Monken seems ready and willing to unleash Bateman, while wide receivers coach Greg Lewis said the ball not finding Bateman in key situations isn't an indictment on his ability as a player.

The Ravens are giving Bateman multiple years to prove himself, which is more than can be said for most first-round picks who have stumbled to the degree he has. This could lay the foundation for a very strong showing in 2024 that gets his status as one of the AFC's better No. 2 receivers back in shape.