OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Ravens wide receiver Sammy Watkins is impressed by rookie Rashod Bateman.
Watkins expects Bateman to make a vital impact in his first year.
“I just feel like he’s already prepared; he’s already a pro. I wouldn’t tell him that," Watkins said. "He’s just already … He runs routes, he’s doing the right things, he’s taking coaching; he’s out there busting his behind.
"And honestly, it’s rare to have a receiver come in prepared in this league, and I can say he’s definitely prepared with everything that they’ve been throwing at him, and I just feel like he’s going to have a successful career and year, this year.”
Baltimore selected Bateman in the first round of the draft and the coaches expect him to fight for a starting job.
He is already smooth with his route running and ability to catch the ball in traffic. Bateman also has the speed to get behind an NFL secondary.
"I think one of the things that really stood out about Rashod is his safety awareness," Ravens director of college scouting Joe Hortiz said. "That’s really critical, I think, for receivers to find success early is just overall awareness of the defense and what the defense is doing to him pre-snap, during the play, post-snap when everything is moving, when bodies are moving – to be able to process that, and I think he can do that pretty well with his instincts and his feel."
Bateman is one of the most productive wide receivers in the history of the University of Minnesota. He caught at least one pass in all 31 games he appeared and had 147 receptions for 2,395 yards and 19 touchdowns — fifth in school history.
He also recorded ten 100‐yard receiving games — fourth in school history.