Much like last year the theme of this offseason for the Philadelphia Eagles will be wide receiver. With this year’s free agent class being loaded at that position, it is a possibility they could very well sign a starting caliber wide out such as Allen Robinson, Kenny Golladay or the speedster in Will Fuller but with free agency yet to hit, it is still unknown who will get extended or even hit with the franchise tag so right now we have assume the Eagle’s look toward the draft for receiver help. With Alshon Jeffrey presumably out the door as he continues to age, Jalen Reagor’s spotty rookie season and the emergence of Travis Fulgham who seemed to fade down the stretch, the Eagles still need to look for that number one receiver to line up on the outside and Minnesota’s Rashod Bateman is exactly the player who can be that guy.
With the Eagles sitting at six in the upcoming draft the popular choice would be to grab whoever is there for them whether it’s Ja’Marr Chase or Devonta Smith, but with this roster depleted and continuing to age, the best move might in fact be trading down, acquiring more picks, and still grabbing a stud receiver in Bateman to be their number one. Rashod Bateman stands 6’2 at about 210 pounds and really jumped onto the draft radar after his very strong 2019 campaign where he hauled in 60 receptions for 1,219 yards, 12 touchdowns and averaged 20 yards per catch. Bateman only played in 5 games this year before opting out to start preparing for the upcoming draft. In those 5 games in 2020 he caught 36 passes for 472 yards, 2 touchdowns and averaged 13 yards per catch.
Standing 6’2 Bateman possesses the ideal size for a prototypical number one receiver. He possesses the best route running in this upcoming draft, as he does a great job changing levels at the top of his routes to create separation. Really soft/reliable hands, he’s a true hands catcher that catches the ball clean and effortlessly. Very underrated run after catch ability, his combination of size and speed makes him tough to bring down in open space. He’s also a very versatile receiver, his route running and good short area quickness give him the ability to win both inside and out. And he also had a pretty diverse route tree at Minnesota that should make for a small learning curve at the next level. Some weaknesses in Bateman’s game is that he doesn’t possess the deep speed to pose much of a threat over the top for opposing defenses. Seems to have not have much of a vertical to be able to out jumps opposing defenders on 50/50 balls. And because he opted out after only 5 games this season, there is somewhat of a small sample size compared to other receivers in the draft this year.
With Bateman opting out after only 5 games this year I think people, especially box score “scouts”, forget just how good he is when he’s on the field. Bateman has everything it takes to be a number one receiver at the next level in my opinion with his ideal size and polished route running to be able to consistently create separation, and he reminds me very much of Keenan Allen and I can definitely see him putting up similar number to him. Like I said earlier the popular choice for the Eagles would to be them taking either Chase or Smith at 6 but to trade down and acquire more more picks to help out this aging team, and still being able to grab a stud later in the first would be more valuable to this team in my opinion, and would set this team up nicely for future given they would hit on their extra picks acquired from a move like this.