Late for Work 5/26: Time to Hop on the Rashod Bateman Bandwagon

052622-LFW
WR Rashod Bateman

Time to Hop on the Rashod Bateman Bandwagon

The Rashod Bateman bandwagon is growing and NFL.com's Adam Schein understands why. Schein named the young wide receiver as one of nine bandwagons to hop on in 2022.

"I love everything I'm hearing from the Ravens' second-year receiver these days," Schein wrote. "In the wake of Baltimore trading Marquise Brown to Arizona, Bateman is suddenly the Ravens' de facto WR1. And he's champing at the bit to play the role."

Bateman is poised to make a jump this season after showing flashes of what he's capable of during his injury-hampered rookie year.

"It's easy to forget that Bateman was hurt early in his rookie year, especially given the crazy rash of injuries that rocked Baltimore's season," Schein wrote. "This stunted the first-round pick's early growth, and while he still logged three games with 80-plus receiving yards, Bateman didn't come close to fulfilling his potential. I think we get that in 2022. Bateman has the size, speed, hands and attitude you want from someone to be the go-to guy for Lamar Jackson."

"Good Morning Football's" Adam Rank has taken his seat on the Bateman bandwagon. He expressed confidence in Bateman stepping up and taking on a bigger role.

"Baltimore has had a history of not developing wide receivers that they have drafted," Rank said. "They're looking for somebody to really take that next step … and I think Bateman's got the ability to do that."

Analytics Indicate Chuck Clark Is Ravens' Most Underappreciated Player

Safety Chuck Clark is certainly appreciated by his coaches and teammates, but his contributions probably don't get as much attention on a national level as they should.

NFL Network analytics expert Cynthia Frelund identified one player from each team who is underappreciated based on her context-based models, and Clark was her pick for the Ravens.

For her model, Frelund calculated and ranked each player's season-long contribution metric by team (win share). She then factored in each player's salary by position to add some context around who was being "underappreciated."

"The 2017 sixth-rounder was sort of an honorable mention entrant for the Raven on this list last year, so I think I have to include him here this year, after he got even better in 2021, finishing with two picks and 12 passes defensed, both career highs," Frelund wrote. "Since 2020, Clark has generated 18 pressures on 127 pass-rush snaps for a 14.2 percent rate, per Next Gen Stats. As far as defensive backs go, he's tied for third in that span with the recently retired Malcolm Jenkins in pressures; only the Seahawks' Jamal Adams (35) and the Dolphins' Brandon Jones (21) have more."

The Ravens added two high-profile safeties this offseason in free agent Marcus Williams and first-round pick Kyle Hamilton, but the versatile Clark, who was on the field for Tuesday's OTA, can still be a key cog in the defense.

Returning Brent Urban: 'It's Great to Be Embraced by Baltimore'

Veteran defensive lineman Brent Urban was pleasantly surprised by the outpouring of positive comments on social media after it was announced earlier this week that he was returning to the Ravens, the team he spent the first five years of his career with.

"After looking at social media and all that kind of stuff after I signed, I definitely was surprised with how much positive cheering and all the great messages," Urban said on Glenn Clark Radio on Tuesday. "I'm a low-key guy, so it was nice to see, obviously. I'm a run-stopper and don't get much of the glory, so I wasn't expecting that a whole lot. But it's great to be embraced by Baltimore. It's a place I love, tons of memories. It was great."

Urban, who adds more experience and depth to the defensive line, was a 2014 fourth-round pick. Since leaving Baltimore after the 2018 season, he has played with the Chicago Bears, Tennessee Titans and Dallas Cowboys.

He believes the Ravens have what it takes to make a deep playoff run.

"I think it's a team that has a ton of talent. They're young, and it's a team that's poised to make a run," Urban said. "I think I've lost in the first round every time I've made the playoffs — that goes the last three times I've made the playoffs, so definitely looking to make a run here as my career kind of winds down. That's definitely a very important thing, and I think we've got a great shot here."

On a side note, Urban, who wore No. 96 during his previous stint in Baltimore but is wearing No. 68 at OTAs, took to Twitter to ask if he swagged out in his new jersey. Some of his former teammates responded by busting his chops.

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