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2021 NFL mock draft: Baltimore Ravens select Rashod Bateman

Lamar Jackson gets a much-needed weapons with a nice value pick here.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 07 Minnesota at Illinois Photo by James Black/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Lamar Jackson era in Baltimore is off to quite the promising start. In two-and-a-half seasons played, Jackson has amassed a 30-7 record as the Ravens quarterback, plus he has one of those MVP Awards people like to talk about so much. Not too shabby of a start.

But like many good teams in this league, the Ravens haven’t quite been able to reach the pinnacle of the league with the likes of the Chiefs and Patriots and Packers. As consistently good as the Ravens have been, they haven’t made a conference championship game since their Super Bowl title in 2012.

To give this team that extra oomph they need, OnlyTheLions will betray his own username and act as the Baltimore Ravens general manager in our Pride of Detroit Community Mock Draft.

Before we get into the selection, see how the board has fallen thus far by checking out our POD Community Mock Draft tracker here.

With the 27th pick in the POD Community Mock, the Ravens have selected Minnesota wide receiver Rashod Bateman.

Here’s OnlyTheLions with the pick:

Lamar Jackson needs weapons! Lamar, like any other QB not named Tom Brady, needs multiple weapons at a time. This is the main reason why Cam Newton never realized his true potential. When he entered the league, he looked to have it all, but the Panthers’ refusal to get him more weapons was his downfall. Cam usually only had one quality option at a time, and that’s just not a good recipe for sustained success in the NFL.

Bateman is a natural pass catcher and makes it look easy. He’s got the height, weight, and speed to succeed in the NFL. He’s got great hands and can make the difficult catches. I love the way he fights for the 50/50 balls, and he uses his positioning to box out opposing defenders. This is a stark contrast from the majority of receivers that are already on the Ravens right now. This should bring a solid balance to this offense in the coming years.

He does have to work on a few things to truly reach his full potential at the next level. He will need to work on his focus catching passes. While I noted he makes the difficult highlight reel catches, it’s the really easy ones I see him dropping at times. This seems to be a focus problem rather than a skill problem. He will also need to work on route running. He doesn’t run bad routes, but working on this and some of the nuances should help him create more separation on his routes.

If the Ravens want Lamar for the long term, then they must surround him with an arsenal of pass catchers. Rashod Bateman is the answer for Lamar. He has everything you could want from a true No. 1 receiver and should work well with Sammy Watkins and Hollywood Brown!

Erik Schlitt’s thoughts:

I don’t buy some of the recent hype that Bateman is the top receiver in this class, but coming off the board in the 20s as the fourth or fifth receiver selected seems very realistic. OnlyTheLions does a nice job of explaining why Bateman and the Ravens make a solid match, and I completely agree that there is value in bringing in a receiver that is stylistically different that what is currently on the roster.

One other option I would have heavily considered here is adding an EDGE player. Last year the Ravens mainly used a five man rotation on the edge and four of them entered free agency last month. They managed to bring back Pernell McPhee and Tyus Bowser, but lost Matt Judon and Yannick Ngakoue. My top edge player remaining is Azeez Ojulari (Georgia), and he would be a fantastic replacement for Judon, immediately helping them soften a potentially big loss.

Poll

What grade do you give this pick?

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  • 52%
    A
    (118 votes)
  • 29%
    B
    (67 votes)
  • 12%
    C
    (27 votes)
  • 1%
    D
    (4 votes)
  • 3%
    F
    (8 votes)
224 votes total Vote Now