Rookie Rashod Bateman will help Lamar Jackson
By: Chandler Hyler
With the 27th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, the Baltimore Ravens selected Rashod Bateman, a wide receiver from Minnesota.
During his brief career, Lamar Jackson has never had that elite receiver that every quarterback would love to have. Attempts to secure that weapon for Jackson have been made, as recent as selecting Marquise “Hollywood” Brown 25th overall in the 2019 NFL Draft. They also selected Miles Boykin with the 93rd overall selection in the same class.
Even after selecting multiple receivers and having an elite red-zone threat in tight-end Mark Andrews, the Ravens’ passing attack seems to be lackluster at times. Is this related to Jackson’s ability to distribute the football accurately, or is it a lack of weapons?
Drafting Rashod Bateman may be the missing link for the 2019 NFL MVP. Bateman is a polished receiver coming out of college. He also is a deep threat extradorniare, but he also possesses the ability to turn a slant route into a 75-yard touchdown.
What stuck out to me was his ability to make the tough receptions. Whether it was due to a bit of inaccuracy, or a 50-50 ball, Bateman has the prowess to turn those in his favor. This certainly could provide Jackson with a bit more comfortability when making decisions about where to throw the football.
Addressing the need at wide receiver will help Jackson, but will it help him get back to being the league’s MVP?
In today’s NFL, the old-fashioned quarterback is not required anymore. Players like Jackson now have coaches that are willing to form an offense around that special niche a special player like Jackson has.
At the end of the day though quarterbacks have to make big-time throws to be successful, and there are questions concerning Jackson’s ability to do so.
Many NFL quarterbacks have seen first hand, defensive coordinators are quick to adjust and exploit an opposing player’s weakness. If you watched Lamar Jackson throw during the 2019 Pro Bowl, did that not make you worry a little?
In what was a somewhat difficult set-up, Jackson like the other Pro-Bowlers had the task of hitting moving targets for points. In 60 seconds, Jackson scored just a mere two points. To put that in comparison, Jarvis Landry scored six points, and is a wide receiver.
Sure, it may not have been a game setting. Some players play better when the lights are on, but this has to be slightly alarming. Lamar Jackson might just throw better when he is moving, and in today’s league, that is certainly plausible.
All things considered, I do not see Lamar Jackson being a front-runner for the MVP in 2021. Players like Josh Allen, Russell Wilson, Aaron Rodgers, and maybe Dak Prescott comes back from injury and lights the league on fire.
Drafting Rashod Bateman will help Lamar Jackson, but I do not think it vaults him back to MVP supremacy in 2021.