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Daniel Jeremiah: Minnesota WR Rashod Bateman could be the next Michael Thomas

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https://www.nfl.com/news/scouting-rashod-bateman-wr-similar-to-michael-thomas

Scouting Rashod Bateman: WR similar to Michael Thomas

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Daniel Jeremiah

NFL MEDIA ANALYST

 

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NFL.com analyst and former NFL scout Daniel Jeremiah takes a "first look" at some of college football's top players for 2020. This is the 14th in a series of scouting reports that will run throughout the offseason.

The 2020 NFL Draft's wide receiver class was the deepest I'd seen at the position since I began scouting in 2003, and it looks like I'm going to be singing the praises of the next crop of receivers that enter the league, too. I was extremely impressed with the two wideouts we've already covered in this series -- LSU's Ja'Marr Chase and Alabama's DeVonta Smith -- and I feel the same way after studying Minnesota's Rashod Bateman. This has the makings of a golden era at the position. Here's my scouting report.

Height, weight: 6-foot-2, 210 pounds (school measurements).

2019 statistics: 60 catches for 1,219 yards (20.3 average), 11 touchdowns.

Game tape watched: All of his targets during the 2019 season.

What I liked: Bateman has experience playing outside and in the slot. He uses a variety of releases to beat press coverage and is a very precise/clean route runner. He doesn't drift at the top of his route and generates tremendous separation on double moves. His instincts are on display when the play breaks down, showing a knack for adjusting and uncovering to provide an outlet when the quarterback scrambles.

Bateman also has strong hands and attacks the ball in the air. He rarely lets the ball get into his chest. You can see how much confidence he has in his hands when he's working in the middle of the field. He does not slow down and gather before the catch. Instead, he accelerates through the catch point. He's very physical and aggressive after the catch. He routinely breaks tackles and generates big yards on underneath and intermediate throws.

Where he needs to improve: Bateman builds his speed down the field. He doesn't have elite explosiveness or burst in his release or out of the break point. He's very refined and strong, but you don't feel his speed as much as some of the other top wide receiver prospects in college football.

I love his overall physicality, but he will need to dial it back a little bit at the next level. He initiates a lot of contact down the field with defensive backs and that will draw a flag at the next level. There are subtle techniques he can adopt to utilize his strength advantage without committing penalties.

Biggest takeaway: On the Move The Sticks podcast, we always talk about trying to build a basketball team of wide receivers. You want guys with different sizes and skill sets at the position. With that in mind, Bateman would be the power forward. He uses his size and physicality to overwhelm defenders. He's going to be an outstanding red-zone target at the next level.

He reminds me of: I see some similarities to Michael Thomas when he was coming out of Ohio State. Both guys have an ideal blend of size and strength. They have the versatility to play outside or in the slot. Thomas has emerged as one of the premier players at his position. He's a high-volume pass catcher and his win rate on third downs is outstanding. If Bateman can land with the right quarterback, he could make a similar impact.

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Bateman looks especially slow to me. I really liked Thomas coming out - granted that was more when I looked for what WR's *should* be instead of trying to figure out who the speed hungry Jets would draft. But I think Bateman looks slower than Thomas to the point of not necessarily being able to translate to the NFL level. Will need to check him out again at some point.

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Well Bateman has certainly become the darling of the online draftniks.   I kinda get the Michael Thomas comp, but I feel it’s being thrown around a lot lately at guys who are bigger and lack sub 4.5 speed.   Anyway, Bateman is certainly a better, cleaner prospect than his teammate from last year, Tyler Johnson.   Where he falls within this WR class remains to be seen, ultimately it comes down to what type of receiver you are looking for.  Hopefully we will get to see some games this year.  

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35 minutes ago, derp said:

Bateman looks especially slow to me. I really liked Thomas coming out - granted that was more when I looked for what WR's *should* be instead of trying to figure out who the speed hungry Jets would draft. But I think Bateman looks slower than Thomas to the point of not necessarily being able to translate to the NFL level. Will need to check him out again at some point.

 

29 minutes ago, sec101row23 said:

Well Bateman has certainly become the darling of the online draftniks.   I kinda get the Michael Thomas comp, but I feel it’s being thrown around a lot lately at guys who are bigger and lack sub 4.5 speed.   Anyway, Bateman is certainly a better, cleaner prospect than his teammate from last year, Tyler Johnson.   Where he falls within this WR class remains to be seen, ultimately it comes down to what type of receiver you are looking for.  Hopefully we will get to see some games this year.  

Agreed on both accounts.  Bateman doesnt have that sudden explosiveness that Thomas has to go along with the frame.  That's what makes Thomas so effective when he puts his foot in the ground to cut, it's quick and fast and he's moving a lot with him in an instant.  I dont see that in Bateman.

 

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Thomas was an unusually good hands catcher outside of his frame coming out which he combined with not only good size but enough wiggle and an ability to separate at the catch point. Too many big guys with hands are going to get compared to him. It's a way more unique skill set than people give it credit for.

He's also not fast but kind of on the fringe of just fast enough. Going to be a classic big possession receiver comparison but he's elite because he's more and he's also in the perfect role.

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I really like Bateman, although I would really like to see him measure at the combine.  

I think route running translates the best from college to the NFL and he's already good at it (Not Juedy level) and seems to have good hands, and body control.  

I'm on the draft a receiver in the 2nd round train, always seem to have good ones fall.  I love Terry as well.  

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The 2021 Wr draft class is loaded.  We can double dip in the 2nd round. Receivers will fall since so many were drafted this year.   I don't see them bringing back Crowder at 10 million. 

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2 hours ago, Marshmello said:

The 2021 Wr draft class is loaded.  We can double dip in the 2nd round. Receivers will fall since so many were drafted this year.   I don't see them bringing back Crowder at 10 million. 

Nor I.  If they do bring him back, a restructure/extension will be needed.

Crowder only just turned 27, so I'd have no problem keeping him around as our slot receiver thru 2022 or so.  He's in the top half of the league among slot guys.

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I think they may cut Crowder if they sign JuJu, who does his best work in the slot. They can grab a WR in the 2nd (like Terry).


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Next can’t  miss WR coming out Is the following year.  George Pickens from University of Georgia..... father is Carl Pickens pretty decent NFL Wr 

He will be a great one.

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what a mess this year is going to be, for football, and probably most sports. And life

I'll try to care by January I guess. Somewhere deep down, part of me died when Jalen Hurd got picked 1 spot before us to a team he's not even in the plans for. I don't know if i ever recovered from that - sad as it is. 

 

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6 hours ago, Paradis said:

what a mess this year is going to be, for football, and probably most sports. And life

I'll try to care by January I guess. Somewhere deep down, part of me died when Jalen Hurd got picked 1 spot before us to a team he's not even in the plans for. I don't know if i ever recovered from that - sad as it is. 

If it's any consolation, Macc was never going to take him in a million years anyways.

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