Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota
W: 209 lbs
Bateman is a good route runner, especially with double moves. He makes sharp cuts and hard breaks, while being very fluid. Bateman has incredible hands. First off, they are very strong, clamping down on the ball as soon as it touches them. He shows great concentration on the ball and sees it into his hands. Bateman’s best trait, though, may be what he can do after the catch. He is quick and agile in tight spaces. He has great strength and balance to stay on his feet despite contact.
Bateman’s biggest weakness his his speed. He has plenty to run routes effectively, but he won’t win many races down the field. He lacks the size and physicality to compete against press coverage or to be a true possession receiver, despite his ability to make great catches. If Bateman gets rerouted early in his route, he struggles to get back on track.
Bateman was the second big name to skip the upcoming season and declare for the 2021 NFL Draft. He has phenomenal catching abilities, not only featuring a lack of drops, but a great ability to catch the ball in traffic and win jump balls. Bateman is excellent after the catch, quickly gaining separation and being hard to tackle due to his great balance. He lacks the top end speed to really separate from defenders, though. He also doesn’t have the physicality or strength to go against press coverage or more physical corners. This creates a little niche for Bateman, but he absolutely excels in it. If he can bulk up, he can be a receiver similar to Michael Thomas (not a comp). It will be interesting to see what he looks like in March leading up to the draft, but I expect he’ll remain a first round prospect.