(WJZ)- When the Ravens selected wide receiver Rashod Bateman out of the University of Minnesota with the 27th overall pick in this April’s draft, the hope is that he would pair with Marquise “Hollywood” Brown and Sammy Watkins to create a new, more reliable passing offense. Through the first few weeks of organized team activities, it looks like the Ravens rookie is ready to do just that.
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The rookie’s route running, among other skills has drawn the attention of Watkins who told reporters this week that the 21-year-old has “special” ability.
“I think he’s a very special wide receiver; he just has to put it together, take coaching and be able to maximize opportunities and go out there and play when all 11 are out there on the field,” Watkins said in media availability this week. “I think if he can do that, he can definitely have a bigger role in this offense, if ‘G-Ro’ [offensive coordinator Greg Roman] dials him up.”
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Watkins wasn’t the only member of the organization impressed by the rookie’s performance thus far. Wide receivers coach Tee Martin was asked for his impression and he said that he’s been pushing the young player wanting to see all that he can do.
“We’re pushing the envelope with him. I’m not letting him get comfortable, really allowing him to play all the different positions and really pushing the depth of where he can go before we start playing this season,” Martin said. “But I really like where he’s at mentally, I like where he’s at physically. He’s a very talented young man, and I look forward to continuing to work with him.”
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Bateman was a reliable target for the Gophers over his three seasons in Minnesota and the Ravens are hoping that the early returns prove he will be similarly reliable for Lamar Jackson.