Welcome to .... don't say the car's topless Tuesdays.
Real ones know what I'm talking about.
Because we're exposing everything here. No one is safe.
By that I mean we're going to expose one rookie each Tuesday, that's going far, far too low in rookie drafts. Call em sleepers, call em value picks, call them whatever you want, just don't say the cars topless, say the titties is out.
I know what you're thinking.
This year's Justin Jefferson. That's easy.
How about the dude that out-produced Justin Jefferson while playing on the same field, on the same team at the same time as Justin Jefferson:
Let's think about what Justin Jefferson does well. Um... everything. Does he do anything at an elite level, besides produce, I would say no.
But does he do anything at less than an 8.7/10? Also, no.
I'm looking for a guy that's not going to blow you away with any one thing. Those are the guys that typically get the buzz. 2000 yards in college. We have someone for that. 4.3 speed, yeah that guy is rising up the board. Can out-jump a fucking kangaroo when the balls in the air? Those things are more buzzy than they are practical. We want someone who won't get the recognition out the gate because of his lack of flashiness, but whose profile is unblemished.
Look no further than Minnesota's Rashod, Ragawd, Bateman.
Let's get the buzz words out of the way -- Bateman has a blend of savvy route running, elite hands, YAC ability, complex releases sets, and a high contested catch win rate.
Now bateman is a bit thiccer than Jefferson, so most people are going to comp him to Allen Robinson,
Broke out as a true freshman. So the breakout was followed by the ball out in 2019. 2020, midway through the year he opts out of the remaining schedule for Minnesota.
But do not let the small raw numbers deter you from just how good he was relative to his play time and this Minnesota passing offense.
Going back to his younger years:
Bateman broke out at 18 (94th percentile BO age), while sharing the field with Tampa Bay Bucs Tyler Johnson.
You know who tied for the NFL lead in receptions of 20+ yards in 2020? Justin Jefferson (23 - Kelce, Ridley).
Bateman is a prototypical outside 1. He's not a slot guy, but we weren't really sure what Justin Jefferson was either. In 2018 he played on the outside at LSU, in 2019 he was full-time slot. So, Bateman, again not a slot guy ran about 20% of his routes in the slot in 2019. Among 150 POWER 5 WRs that ran at least 50 snaps from the slot, his YPRR (3.03) ranked 14th/150, better than Jefferson's that final year at LSU (2.64).
Bateman is that guy on anything 10-20 yards on the field. An outside comeback route. A 12 yard slant. That's the same with Justin Jefferson.
Like this play right here: ***INSERT VIDEO OF SLANT CORNER ROUTE***
reminds me so much of Justin Jefferson, just living in that 15 yardish range, eating up chunks of the field.
Would be absolutely shocked if he fell out of the first round of the NFL Draft. He could make sense as early as 15 to NE though I think if they went WR they might look for more speed, a real field stretcher like Waddle. He could make sense at 18 to Miami, if they decide not to take Devonta Smith at 3.
Washington at 19, Chicago at 20 if A-Rob is gone, he'd obviously be a perfect replacement and TEN if Davis is gone he would be a perfect, upgraded replacement. Baltimore at 27, doubt he lasts that long.
For rookie rankings, he's in the same tier as Chase and Smith for me. He is absolutely right there, I would be okay with someone taking him as high as 3 overall - behind Njaee and Etienne.