Home » NFL Rookies » Rashod Bateman 2021 NFL Draft profile: 40-yard dash, pro day, scouting report, Fantasy Football, dynasty, more

Rashod Bateman 2021 NFL Draft profile: 40-yard dash, pro day, scouting report, Fantasy Football, dynasty, more


It’s not often you see four-star recruits out of Georgia head out to Minnesota to play for the Gophers in the Big Ten, but that’s exactly what Rashod Bateman decided to. In the process, Bateman, a two-sport athlete, decided to pass up scholarship offers from Virginia Tech and Penn State to play basketball. The basketball background is easy to see when watching Bateman, who plays much bigger than his size would indicate and displays nuanced footwork when it comes to his releases off the line of scrimmage. Ultimately, after receiving 20 football scholarship offers, Bateman decided to join P.J. Fleck at Minnesota.

Bateman set single-season high school records in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns before leading the NCAA in yards per route run (from an outside alignment, per Pro Football Focus) as a sophomore. He even added experience as a slot receiver in 2020 to his arsenal. While Bateman isn’t the flashiest prospect, he separates from coverage with ease and has consistently proven himself a deep threat. This makes him one of the most exciting prospects for Fantasy both in redraft and Dynasty formats.

We’re breaking down everything you need to know about Bateman from a Fantasy manager perspective, including best fits, Dynasty outlook, measurables, scouting report, key stats and an NFL comparison.

Fantasy fits

Los Angeles Chargers

One of the most common NFL comparisons we’ve seen for Bateman is Chargers receiver Keenan Allen. Both receivers do an excellent job creating immediate separation off the line of scrimmage with football and lateral agility. We already saw in 2020 what this kind of receiver could do with Justin Herbert when Allen dominated on a per-game basis. Herbert might be the perfect QB fit for Bateman, and there is plenty of passing game volume to go around with Hunter Henry moving on to New England and given former first-round pick Mike Williams‘ inability to avoid the injury bug.

Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens are still looking for a receiver who can mesh well with Lamar Jackson’s skill set as a passer. They previously used a first-round pick on speedster Marquise Brown, and while Jackson has displayed excellent touch at times as a vertical passer, the consistency is not always there. However, in the RPO and quick-hitting game — an area of the passing game he mastered at Louisville — Jackson would benefit from a receiver like Bateman, whose calling card is getting open quickly off the line of scrimmage. Bateman also adds a vertical element here and would likely benefit from constant single coverage as opposing safeties are forced to account for both Jackson and the Ravens’ backs in the run game.

Bateman didn’t quite make the cut as the top receiver prospect class and here’s your chance to find out why. We break down top receiver prospects Ja’Marr Chase, Jaylen Waddle and DeVonta Smith on the Fantasy Football Today in 5 podcast. Listen below and follow at Apple, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts:

Dynasty outlook

Bateman is no secret in Dynasty leagues and is consistently selected in the first round of one-QB rookie drafts. Regardless of Bateman’s landing spot, he’s likely to be a first-round rookie pick. However, if he lands with the right team, and any of the big-three receiver land on a crowded depth chart, Bateman could be a landing-spot-based riser in rookie drafts. In our recent rookie only-PPR mock draft, I grabbed Bateman with the 10th pick in the first round. In the rookie-only Superflex mock draft, Heath Cummings grabbed Bateman with the first pick in the second round (13th overall).

Scouting report

Strengths

  • Seamless ability to create separation with his footwork immediately off the line of scrimmage — this is his calling card trait and it should translate immediately at the next level.
  • Elusiveness after the catch, consistently forcing missed tackles in the open field (more on that below in advanced stats).
  • Nuanced route running.
  • Lower-body agility that allows him to transition in and out of cuts.
  • Better-than-expected straight-line speed (4.39 40-yard dash) and consistently wins on vertical routes.
  • Shows the ability to come back to the football and doesn’t let passes get into his body.
  • Versatility: won consistently against both man and zone coverage both as an outside X receiver in 2019 and when kicked inside to the slot in 2020.
  • Plus body control that shows up when Bateman is in the air and asked to adjust to the football.
  • Dominated against top-25 competition in 2019.

Concerns

  • Smaller than advertised on the team’s official site and than expected at just 6-foot and 190 pounds. 
  • Not the most physical or tough receiver when asked to make plays that could often result in taking big hits over the middle and in most contested-catch situations.
  • Struggles with concentration-based drops (more on that below in advanced stats). Important to not be mistaken for hands-based drop issues — he is not a body catcher.
  • Doesn’t possess a large catch radius, which could make him a subpar option for any team inside the red zone.
  • Didn’t show much as a blocker on run plays. 

Stats breakdown

2019 5 36 472 2 13.8 0
2020 v top 25 1 8 111 1 13.9 0
2019 v top 25 3 19 448 2 23.6 0
Career 31 147 2395 19 16.3 0

Advanced stats to know

  • 43.7% College Dominator rating puts him in the 88th percentile among all WRs, per Player Profiler.
  • 18.8 Breakout Age puts him in the 94th percentile among all WRs, per Player Profiler.
  • 36 forced broken tackles on just 147 career catches, per PFF.
  • 19 dropped passes on 166 career catchable targets, per PFF.
  • 46 catches on passes thrown 10-plus yards downfield in 2019 — most in all of CFB.

NFL comparison

Bateman’s ability to win so immediately off the line of scrimmage is what makes him sneaky as a prospect. Similar to players like Keenan Allen and Michael Gallup before him, Bateman doesn’t have the flashy traits and so it’s possible he could slip into Day 2 of the draft like they did. I don’t fully see Allen or Gallup when watching Bateman, but he reminds me most of a smaller but quicker version of Cooper Kupp. Ultimately, when translating to the NFL, I think his best fit could come in the slot. 



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