I’ve been pretty high on Rashod Bateman as a prospect, but his landing spot isn’t ideal… for now.
He’s still a great 1st round grab in rookie drafts, and has the skillset to become an alpha WR1 in the NFL.
The not-so-great landing spot has less to do with Lamar Jackson, though, and more to do with the organization and OC Greg Roman.
Roman has been a run-heavy coach for his entire play-calling career, and the organization has backed this approach.
GM Eric DeCosta reiterated in January that this is a “running team.”
The additions of Bateman and Tylan Wallace fill a huge need, but are we convinced that they will start to become more balanced?
When asked about it, Roman replied: “It’s important to remember that as we are a, quote-unquote, running offense, we still throw the ball more than we run it. There are more passing plays per year than running plays, and we want to be great at both, and we’re going to work very hard at being great at both… That’s where we really want to take a big step this year, and I think that’s really going to be key to us taking a big step offensively.”
There’s no guarantee Roman continues to be the OC for this team, but Jackson is there to stay, hoping to get a long-term deal shortly.
If that happens, I’d be looking for guys like Bateman and Hollywood Brown as his complement to shine on a more balanced offense.
Unfortunately for now, the offense doesn’t put up enough passing volume for Bateman to reach his upside, but that can change very soon.