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Strong Nate Wiggins quote shows Rashod Bateman is ready to break out for the Ravens

Strong Nate Wiggins quote shows Rashod Bateman is ready to break out for the Ravens

The Baltimore Ravens drafted Rashod Bateman to find a true No. 1 receiver for Lamar Jackson, but injuries and his own generally ineffective performance prevented him from fulfilling that promise. Fans were rightly ready to cut bait with him after getting stuck at neutral.

The Ravens decided to invest in Bateman rather than scrap him, extending him through the 2025 season and effectively declaring him the No. 2 lock-down wide receiver on the depth chart. Unlike most of the starters on this Baltimore team, Bateman will have to prove that his spot atop the depth chart is justified.

According to some strong reports from highly touted draft pick Nate Wiggins, Bateman is ready to torch the rest of the league. Wiggins paid extra respect to Bateman, who gave the No. 30 overall pick a hard time in coverage.

Wiggins declared Bateman the toughest player to cover during Ravens OTAs, even giving him that honor over his old college nemesis in Zay Flowers. Bateman’s stock is skyrocketing now that he’s healthy and comfortable in Baltimore’s new offensive system.

Bateman was healthy for 16 games last season, but it didn’t seem like this newfound durability did him much good from a statistical standpoint. Bateman caught just 32 passes for 367 yards and a touchdown, losing production to Odell Beckham Jr. in his only season with the team.

Still, Bateman showed the ability to separate at the line of scrimmage and more than passable speed for the pro level. Baltimore is counting on him, as they avoided spending money on a replacement and waited for Devontez Walker in the fourth round to pick another wideout.

Bateman will enter the season with a ton of confidence in the building behind him, as he is the unquestioned No. 2 wide receiver. Offensive coordinator Todd Monken appears ready and willing to release Bateman, while wide receivers coach Greg Lewis said the ball not finding Bateman in key situations is not an indictment on his abilities as a player.

The Ravens are giving Bateman several years to prove himself, which is more than can be said for most first-round picks who have stumbled to the same degree. This could lay the foundation for a very strong performance in 2024 that would allow him to rehabilitate his status as one of the best No. 2 receivers in the AFC.