The Baltimore Ravens, in the first round, with the 27th overall pick they took Rashod Bateman, the wide receiver out of Minnesota. He's six feet tall and 190 pounds. He has NFL size and top end speed for what you're looking for in an outside wide receiver, and that's what Baltimore certainly needs. He's got awesome hands and he rarely drops a ball He can make the highlight level grab look really easy. I also like that he runs nice, clean, crisp routes, and is a very polished route runner coming out of college. Bateman is quick and agile, and he's elusive in after the catch situations. He has great instincts, as far as off script plays when his quarterback scrambles he really knows how to find his quarterback and come back to the ball and make big plays. He did beat up on lesser competition, and he was average to below average versus better competition, and that's a little bit of a red flag. Bateman has just an average burst off the line, and is not a super explosive player. Too often when I watch his tape he lets cornerbacks bully him and for a guy his size that's really unacceptable because he's got to play with a bigger, tougher demeanor. He's not much of a run blocker, but what I really like about him is he excels in RPO concepts, which really fits with the Ravens like to do. Bateman's size, skill set, hands and route running, make him a high level prospect and there's definitely a lot of boxes that this guy checks for an outside wide receiver at the next level. He's great off script for a scrambling quarterback and an RPO system. This pick makes a ton of sense because I think he's a great fit for what the Baltimore Ravens do offensively.
Just a few picks later in the 1st round the Ravens with the 31st overall pick took Odafe Oweh, the outside linebacker from Penn State. He's six foot five and 257 pounds. This is a guy with huge, huge upside! This is an athlete on the edge with eye popping speed. I'm talking crazy, athletic, because he ran a 4.39 40 yard dash and for a guy 6'5" and almost 260 pounds, that is crazy, crazy speed. A 4.3 type of 40 yard dash is usually someone who plays wide receiver or cornerback, not an edge rusher. You cannot teach this kind of athleticism. It's a rare combination of size, speed, and natural athletic ability. Oweh is extremely explosive and he has great bend around the edge. He's agile, and he converts speed to power and that's something that scouts and coaches are always looking for in defensive ends or outside linebackers who are pass rushers. On tape he just destroys tight ends, and this is a guy who's gonna demand an offensive tackle to block him at the next level. He has awesome agility, with very fluid hips. He's twitchy quick, and with super, super fast reaction speed. The knocks on his game are that he only had 20 games under his belt at Penn State, so he's a very raw prospect. He has a lot to learn about reading offenses, because he tends to bite hard on play action and ball fakes. His production doesn't quite match his ability that we've seen from him. And I think a big part of it is because he is slow at diagnosing run plays versus pass plays, and he's not sure what he sees out there and that's going to come with experience and that's part of being a very raw player. Oweh has absolutely incredible athleticism, with an unreal combination of size and speed, that is so rare to see a guy with these type of traits. Oweh has sky high potential, and is a guy that by year two or three could become an elite pass rusher.
The Ravens wide receivers had the fewest catches and the fewest yards in the entire NFL last season, so getting Rashod Bateman was a no brainer. This pick made absolute sense. He's not a perfect prospect, but he should be an instant impact player who fits nicely into that Ravens offense. Odafe Oweh is probably going to be a rotational guy year one, but if he develops in the next few years, watch out! His physical ability is absolutely off the charts.
I also like the fourth round pick Tylan Wallace the wide receiver from Oklahoma State. This was an absolute steal and I was shocked that he fell into the fourth round. Wallace was just a great value pick by the Ravens, who had a very solid draft class and I'm going to give them a "B+"