When people watch you on tape, you can see that you play very big as a receiver, but there's been this confusion lately about actually how tall you are? (laughter) How tall are you? I know that you were listed – I think at Minnesota – at 6-[foot], 2-[inches]. Can you kind of clarify how tall you are? (Jamison Hensley)
Bateman: "I'm not 6-[foot], 2[inches] and I'm not 210 pounds. I've never weighed that ever in my life. At the [NFL] Combine, I was 6-foot and I weighed in at 190 [pounds]. But I'm probably like 195 [pounds] now."
Obviously, last night probably was a blur with everything that went on, and that you've probably had the chance now to kind of think about everything. What's the coolest thing that's happened over the last 10 hours or so since you found out you were going to the Ravens? Was it a phone call? Something your family said? What do you remember about these last 10 hours that stands out? (Jeff Zrebiec)
Bateman: "Definitely the phone call for sure is what stands out the most. But the other part that stands out the most is being here in the facility right now. You get drafted, and it feels good. But actually being here, seeing the logos around, seeing the coaches and things like that, it definitely starts to hit you."
I don't know how much you've gotten to talk to your fellow Ravens' first-rounder [Odafe Oweh], but it seems like you guys have a good bit in common as guys who kind of came on later in high school. And just from talking to people from your background, neither one of you are going to be satisfied with where you are now. I was wondering do you kind of identify with each other in that way? (Childs Walker)
Bateman: "Yes, definitely getting to know him a little bit, but I'm excited to get to meet him so I can learn a little bit more of his story. But yes, I can tell that we definitely both have similar backgrounds. I definitely think that's why we're both the way that we are – we're hungry, and we always want more. I'm excited to meet him, be teammates with him and get to work with him."
Just wondering how much buzz you heard pre-draft about the Ravens [and] their history at wide receiver? Fans have been looking for a player like you for a long time. Is that something that you were aware of before the Draft? (Ryan Mink)
Bateman: "No, I was not aware of any of that, to be honest. I was just focused on my name being called – and whenever that was, it was called. And luckily, it was Baltimore. So, I'm just happy to be here."
Have you had a chance to speak with WRs Marquise Brown or Miles Boykin, or other of the Ravens receivers? Have they reached out to you? And if so, what have they told you? (Bo Smolka)
Bateman: "No, I haven't been in contact with anyone yet. Hopefully soon though."
What's that one thing, more than anything else, that you're going to bring to QB Lamar Jackson's offense? (Bobby Trosset)
Bateman: "Everything he needs. I feel like I'm an all-around receiver. I proved that I can play in the inside, I can play in the slot. At the same time, I just want to be what's best for him [and] what's best for the team. So, whatever position that may be, I'm just happy to fill that role."
I'm just wondering how much you are aware of the Ravens offensive scheme, how much you've seen of QB Lamar Jackson, and whether you're excited about the prospect of playing with him? Because we hear, supposedly, there's a bunch of receivers that don't want to play with Lamar. (Stan Charles)
Bateman: "I'm looking forward to playing with Lamar [Jackson]. I've seen the offense over the past years. I'm excited what this offense can do. I'm just happy to be a part of this offense. I feel like it's very explosive. I just feel like we can continue to go to higher heights."
Coach Roman, can you talk a little bit about WR Rashod Bateman, what he brings to the table and how excited you are to get a player like that? (Jeff Zrebiec)
Roman: "Of course. I just told him I was surprised that he was there when we were able to pick. It was a great pick by [executive vice president and general manager] Eric [DeCosta] and his staff. I think the thing that hits my brain is right place, right time when I think about Rashod Bateman here with the Ravens, because I think he brings a style that's really going to complement the guys that are here right now. I think to categorize him as an X, or a Z, or an inside receiver, or an outside receiver is a bit shortsighted. So, we're going to teach the system. He's going to be able to play inside and out for us. I think his productivity since he got to college has been, and really, in high school as well … He's been productive every single year he's played. He's been reliable, available, healthy and pretty vibrant when you really look at the production he's had. He does really a lot of things well, and that's hard to find. We're really excited about getting him here and going from there. But I really think he's going to really complement the guys we have, and I think we'll be able to use him in a lot of different ways."
Rashod, I'm just wondering how you view yourself in terms of … As offensive coordinator Greg Roman said, you're going to play all over the formation. But do you look at yourself as a wide receiver and say, "Hey, I'm a No. 1 guy. I'm that kind of receiver. I can be the go-to guy. I can be that guy who puts up 10 catches a game. I can be a 'No. 1' wide receiver?" (Ryan Mink)
Bateman:"I know I can be a No. 1 wide receiver. That's everybody's job, is to be the No. 1 wide receiver. But I'm not here to do that. I'm here to be the best teammate that I could possibly be with this team. So, I'm just excited to get to work with these guys and help these guys out in any way possible. The goal is to chase a Super Bowl. Whatever that may fit, and whatever my role is, that's what I'm excited to do."
You stated earlier that you're pretty familiar with this Ravens offense. You've watched it in years prior and such. What about this Ravens offense are you excited to be a part of? (Kyle Barber)
Bateman:"All of it. The run game, the pass game, the Lamar [Jackson] running game, just watching Lamar go out and do his thing. I'm excited for that, because I know he's going to open up a lot for the outside, and receivers are going to open up a lot for him. So, I'm just excited to see what this offense can do."
Rashod, just wondering, you were asked about your height earlier. It seems like watching film, you have always played bigger than you are. One, what about your style do you think allows you to play big? Two, how much are you looking forward to going against some of the corners that the Ravens have in practice every day like CB Marlon Humphrey and CB Marcus Peters and what that might do for your game? (Cliff Brown)
Bateman: "One, I just think it comes with a lot of hard work and the mindset that you have. I know I've never been that big, but you always have to have the mindset of play big. My coaches taught me that when I got to college, so I took that, and I ran with it. I'm looking forward to going against those guys. I know they're going to make me a better receiver. Hopefully, I can do the same with them and make them some better DBs. I'm excited. Like I said, I just know they're going to make me better, so I'm just ready to get to work with them."
Coach Roman, having weapons like WR Rashod Bateman and WR Sammy Watkins, how does that change your approach as offensive coordinator? (Kevin Richardson)
Roman: "I don't want to call it an embarrassment of riches, but it definitely … You talk about 'Hollywood' [Marquise Brown], Devin [Duvernay] and Miles [Boykin], I really feel good about the guys we have. This offense is really one that runs through Lamar [Jackson], and we're always going to do what gives us the best chance to win. When you add talent like that, it's really, I think, going to kind of expand our profile quite a bit, actually, to play with the kind of balance that we really want to play with. I really think it will probably take some pressure off some of the guys that have been here, like Marquise, and free him up a bit as well. The field is about 53 yards wide, and I think people are going to have to defend all 53 yards of it."
Rashod, you've talked about your confidence, and you clearly have confidence. Can you just talk about how important that is as a receiver? (Garrett Downing)
Bateman:"I feel like it's definitely one of the No. 1 things that you need to have in yourself when it comes to playing a sport. Not even just a receiver, just anything in life, having that confidence in yourself ... But at the end of the day, that comes from your work ethic. When you go to work every day, you put your head down – that's how you earn that confidence. I'm happy to say that I know I put my head down and I go to work. So, I do have a lot of confidence in myself, and I'm excited to put it on show."
Coach Roman, could you speak to your role, or maybe even your influence, in last night's 27th overall selection? (Bobby Trosset)
Roman:"I don't think there's much to speak about there. I mean, I think [executive vice president and general manager] Eric [DeCosta], his staff and [director of player personnel] Joe Hortiz, they have a great process. This is a great process here at the Ravens. I've been on a lot of different teams, and the process and how they do what they do here is, quite frankly, better than anything I've seen. So, we all have our input. I think last Saturday, we pretty much got done as coaches with our role in it. After that, Eric and his staff really take that and kind of titrate down to the different scenarios and whatnot. A week and a half ago, I had my say. (laughter) I gave Rashod [Bateman] a grade, and it was pretty high. Rashod is a kind of guy that when you turn on the tape, it really doesn't take you long. I don't need to see stats. I don't need to see this, that and the other one. When you see certain players, you just watch the tape and go, 'Wow. This guy is a good football player. Who is this guy? I need to learn more about this guy.' He's definitely one of those guys that kind of struck me this year as I started to dive into this Draft where it really didn't take you long to figure out [that] this guy was a football player. He can do a lot of things really, really well. So, we're looking forward to working with him [and] getting him into the mix. It's an exciting time. This team [and] this organization runs through our veins, and now, it's running through Rashod's veins. We're excited to get him here and get working."
To follow up on an earlier question, you guys have six playmakers in the wide receivers room that are going to want the ball and that can make plays. Is there going to be a big change to the playbook this year to get more balance, or is there infrastructure in there already to kind of get that balance you're looking for? (Todd Karpovich)
Roman: "Quite frankly, some of that balance, we've been there, we've touched that – 2019, for example. I don't think there's a lot that we have to do from an infrastructure standpoint. There are definitely some things that we're doing, right now to evolve, and there are definitely some things people are going to see from us that they haven't seen before. Our staff is working really hard and diligently on that for this upcoming season. When you really look at who you have to beat in the AFC these days, you've got to have talent everywhere. There are some really good teams out there, and I really feel great about what we're building here. Schematically-wise, though, we're always going to change a little bit, and I'd probably say more so this year than we did last year."
In January, executive vice president & general manager Eric DeCosta basically reiterated that this is a running team and a running offense. I know, as you just mentioned, it helps to have talent everywhere, but with WR Rashod Bateman coming in and maybe some more guys you get today and tomorrow, does that change what this offense could be by the end of December? (Jonas Shaffer)
Roman: "It's important to remember that as we are a, quote-unquote, running offense, we still throw the ball more than we run it. There are more passing plays per year than running plays, and we want to be great at both, and we're going to work very hard at being great at both. There are times when people, from a numerical standpoint, are just going to dare you to throw it and just commit more to defend the run than you can possibly hope to have sustained success against. That's where we really want to take a big step this year, and I think that's really going to be key to us taking a big step offensively. But we're happy that Rashod [Bateman] is a part of us now, and I can't wait to get out on the grass and watch him get to work and really improve his craft."
How do you see WR Rashod Bateman's game being a really good mesh for what QB Lamar Jackson likes? (Ryan Mink)
Roman: "Rashod [Bateman], Number One, is just an all-around really good football player, a really good receiver. He's got good size, and as alluded to earlier, he plays bigger than it might be in the program. [He has] a good catch radius, adjusts really well to contested catches, can really kind of contort and change his body position at the last second to make plays on contested catches, and you see savvy, and you see instincts. I don't think there are going to be a lot of times when it's like, 'Rashod, why didn't you break in? You should have broken out here.' From what I've seen on tape, and what we've all seen, he really shows a really good feel for leverage and the passing game and how he can get open and using all those tools. So, I really think he's going to develop into a guy Lamar [Jackson] is going to be able to just feel really good about throwing the ball to, and he's going to make a play."
Whenever we see somebody like you who is getting drafted, we see a highlight reel of incredible catches and yards after the catch. How do you rate yourself as a blocker? (Stan Charles)
Bateman: "Blocking is definitely something that I've studied and continue to work on with my game. I know that as a player, all I can do is put my head down and go to work. I know that I'll be better for this organization, so that's what I'm going to focus on doing."
Who are some players that you've modeled your game after throughout the course of your career? (Kyle Barber)
Bateman: "I definitely study Keenan Allen and Davante Adams a lot. I think those guys are some of the two best route runners in the NFL, so I definitely study them a lot [and] try to see what they do to put in my game."