BALTIMORE (WJZ) — With the first of their two selections in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft on Thursday, the Baltimore Ravens bolstered their receiving corps when they selected Rashod Bateman from the University of Minnesota. The junior receiver was a three-year starter for the Golden Gophers and now adds another weapon for Lamar Jackson to work with in the passing game.

In the shortened 2020 season, Bateman pulled down 36 receptions for 472 yards and two touchdowns in just five games. His breakout season came as a sophomore in 2019 when he hauled in 60 passes for 1,219 yards and 11 touchdowns finishing as a finalist for the Biletnikoff award as the best wide receiver in college football. He was first team All-Big Ten in 2019 and earned the conference’s receiver of the year award. He caught at least one pass in all 31 games that he played for the Golden Gophers.

At 6’0″ 190 pounds, Bateman ran a 4.39 40-yard dash at his pro day flashing strong speed. Lance Zierlein of NFL.com compared him to Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Michael Gallup. Zierlein points to his “pro ready” hands and ability to adjust in the air to make difficult catches as strong points of Bateman’s game.

Several of his new Ravens teammates welcomed him to the organization immediately after the pick was announced including his new running mate at wide receiver, Marquise “Hollywood” Brown.

Former Ravens receiver Torrey Smith weighed in as well saying that Bateman will be a good one.

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CBS Baltimore Staff