Posted in Hot Take of the Week

Baltimore Ravens 2021 1st round is looking like a smash hit right now

By Chris Schisler

Can we stop for a second and just gush over the Baltimore Ravens’ first-round selections of the 2021 NFL Draft? Rashod Bateman and Odafe Oweh both look the part of a first-round pick.

Baltimore Ravens loving what Rashod Bateman brings:

Rashod Bateman was the 27th overall pick. Ravens fans had to wait for Bateman to make his mark as a groin injury prevented him from suiting up until the game against the Los Angeles Chargers. The rookie from Minnesota has had at least three catches each week. He has 25 receptions for 301 yards and averages 12 yards per catch.

Bateman has been a consistent first-down provider for the offense. While he’s still waiting for his first touchdown, he’s shown off. Unfortunately, Bateman has had his biggest statistical production in bad games for Baltimore. In the loss to the Cinncinatti Bengals Bateman reached 80 yards on just three catches. Bateman got to the 80-yard mark against the Dolphins on six receptions.

Bateman has shown off great hands. Other than a pass being intercepted off his hands in the game against the Chargers, there’s been nothing to complain about with his catching ability. He’s been staging the football out of the air like his life depends on it. Bateman has shown impressive speed and his quickness coming out of breaks has surprised more than one of the opposing cornerbacks tasked with staying on top of him.

The Baltimore Ravens have just six games remaining. If Bateman appears in each game he’ll have a 12 game rookie season. If Bateman simply doubles his production from his first six games he’ll have 50 receptions for 602 yards. That would put him just over the marks set by Marquise Brown in his rookie campaign. In 2019 Brown had 46 grabs for 584 yards, though he did score seven touchdowns.

When you think of it with that perspective, you have to be pleased with Bateman. You couldn’t have realistically asked for much more of an impact out of a rookie receiver who missed the first five games of the season.

Odafe Oweh is putting on a show:

Odafe Oweh has played well this season. He’s getting off the edge quickly and is strong in run defense. Oweh has played a lot of snaps as a rookie edge rusher. Five sacks and three forced fumbles is a nice start. He’s literally responsible for the two takeaways that allowed the Ravens to beat the Kansas City Chiefs in the second week of the season.

When the Ravens spent the 31st overall pick on Oweh there was a lot of skepticism about the move. Picking him in the first round essentially meant that the Ravens needed him to be a starter at outside linebacker. They needed this pick to work out for their defensive offseason plan to really come into fruition. It worked.

When you consider that Oweh has been the difference between a win and a loss already, and he’s a consistent key figure of the defense, you have to be impressed. What Eric DeCosta pulled off here was finding a difference-maker near the end of the first round. Oweh probably won’t win the Defensive Rookie of the Year award (His Penn State teammate Micah Parsons, is probably the front runner). Still, Oweh is easily the steal of the NFL Draft, at least when it comes to the defensive players.

Baltimore Ravens bottom line:

When you consider what the Ravens did in the 2021 NFL Draft, Eric DeCosta has to come out favorably. His grade for this draft class needs to be near an A at the minimum. When you add in the fact that third-round pick, Brandon Stephens is having an impact in the secondary, it has to help the grade of this draft class.

NEXT POST: Baltimore Ravens: Top concerns against Pittsburgh Steelers



I am Chris Schisler. I am the owner and lead writer here at the Nest! Football is my passion and I'm very happy to share it with the Flock!

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