Ryan Mink: The Ravens showed their devotion to upgrading Lamar Jackson's weapons, bringing in a route technician who excels at making tough catches and has the burst to make big plays. At 6-foot-1, 193 pounds, Bateman is the big-bodied target the Ravens have been looking for, and he can line up outside or inside. Bateman put up 1,219 yards and 11 touchdowns as a sophomore. This is a polished wide receiver with a lot of production on his resume and high ceiling for the NFL. He'll pair perfectly with Marquise "Hollywood" Brown and the other young receivers in the room. Jackson has to be smiling.
Clifton Brown: I love the decision to draft Batemen, a wide receiver with the ability to make big plays in the passing game. Baltimore needs more offensive splash plays through the air to realize its championship aspirations.
The Ravens have now drafted five wide receivers over the last three years, a concerted effort to bring talent to the position. All of these young receivers – Marquise Brown, Miles Boykin, Devin Duvernay, James Proche II and now Bateman can grow with Lamar Jackson, and the offseason signing of Sammy Watkins will only add to the competition and depth among the receiver group.
The first round broke nicely for the Ravens, giving them an assortment of options to choose from with the No 27 pick. They could have gone with an edge defender or a tackle, but they couldn't pass up adding a versatile, big-bodied receiver who can line up inside or outside, get downfield and make plays. Bateman's presence should electrify the passing game and give the Ravens more offensive balance. And they still might add that tackle or edge defender with their second pick in the first round.