Another day and another well-deserved hype piece for former University of Minnesota wide receiver, Rashod Bateman. Yes, I said former as he has opted out of any 2020-21 season to train for the NFL Draft. Nonetheless, ESPN’s Todd McShay has released his Top-50 prospects for the 2021 NFL Draft and he has ranked Bateman in the Top-10. Seventh to be exact.
7. Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota*
HT: 6-2 | WT: 213 | Grade: 92
With 60 catches, 1,219 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns in 2019, Bateman produces. And if you want an example of what he can do on the big stage, look no further than a ridiculous 203-yard performance in the midseason upset of No. 4 Penn State. Bateman will work the middle of the field, uncovers quickly and then has the soft hands to haul in the pass. He is a crafty route runner, and while his speed isn’t game-breaking, he will make an impact thanks to his versatility, ability to gain separation and terrific ball skills.Todd McShay – ESPN
Bateman is a MONSTER
LSU’s Ja’Marr Chase was the only wide receiver to rank ahead of Bateman. That’s been the theme throughout most of these preseason player rankings. It’s too bad we won’t be able to see them both play this fall.
Whether he’s the first WR taken or not, Bateman is a stud in the making. He racked up 60 catches for 1,219 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2019, including a massive coming out party against No. 4 Penn State, where he caught seven passes for 203 yards and a score.
Bateman has a unique skill set too. McShay mentions his ability to work the middle of the field, uncover quickly, and catch with soft hands. His speed likely won’t make NFL defensive backs nauseated, but his craftiness when running routes could. He’s a versatile receiver that any NFL signal caller would love to have.
This ranking is just the latest in a slew of hype surrounding Bateman. From preseason watch lists to All-American, he has the goods. We have all of this hype surrounding Bateman right now. Remember, he opted out of playing in 2020 even before the Big Ten season was cancelled.
While Ja’Mar Chase and other top receivers around out of the SEC, ACC and Big 12 are playing, does a stagnant Bateman start falling down draft boards? It’s certainly something to watch for…
It is too bad the Bateman and the Big Ten punted on fall football… There was so much more history to make in 2020 and beyond.
Jack Kewitsch | Minnesota Sports Fan