OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Ravens were able to fill two areas of need on the first day of the NFL draft by adding wide receiver Rashod Bateman with the 27th overall pick and Jayson Oweh at No. 31
Both players are expected to make an immediate impact and the selections earned solid grades from Draft Kings.
No. 27 Baltimore Ravens: Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota
Bateman fills a need at wide receiver for the Ravens, who have had inconsistency there for the last couple years. He’s not going to take over the league from the get-go, but he has good hands and plenty of speed. He is more potential than day one production, but I think he gets there.
No. 31 Baltimore Ravens: Jayson Oweh, EDGE, Penn State
Oweh is poised to develop into a great edge rusher, but his talent is still raw. The Ravens are taking a bit of a risk here, but they see the bigger picture, which is a long and productive career for Oweh. They’ll need patience, but they know that.
The Ravens had one of the NFL’s worst passing attacks last season. They ranked last in passing yards and Marquise Brown led Baltimore with 769 receiving yards and eight scores. No other wideout eclipsed 450 receiving yards, so there was a clear need for depth. Mark Andrews will likely continue to be Lamar Jackson’s go-to guy, Bateman could give Brown a run for his money. The rookie isn’t as fast as Brown but is bigger and has a sub-4.4 second 40-yard dash. Bateman’s releases are much more refined than Brown’s and his size makes him better suited for making contested catches. Jackson led the NFL in passing touchdowns just two seasons ago, and a bounce-back year could make Bateman one of 2021’s better rookies.
Bateman has a few traits that could make him a star. He has the speed to get in behind defenses, an array of releases, strong hands, and the ability to improvise on off-schedule plays. Getting better at beating press coverage would raise his ceiling, but he probably won’t be elite with a run-first team like Baltimore.