Could the Giants trade back in the first round and still draft a receiver? Well, if they do, Minnesota’s Rashod Bateman may be a target.
Rashod Bateman Info
- WR, Minnesota
- 6-foot-2, 209 pounds
- First-team All-Big Ten in 2019, third-team All-Big Ten in 2020
- Big Ten Richter-Howard Receiver of the Year in 2019
- 2019 stats: 60 receptions, 1,219 yards, 11 touchdowns in 13 games
- Opted out in the middle of the 2020 season to prepare for the NFL Draft
How Bateman would benefit the Giants
The Giants probably won’t target a star receiver at No. 11 overall given the recent acquisition of Kenny Golladay. However, what they could do is trade back and still acquire a wideout with a late first-round selection. Big Blue would also get a few more picks out of the deal such as an extra second-round selection and maybe a fourth-rounder as well.
That receiver acquired late in the opening round could be Minnesota’s Rashod Bateman, who underwent a superb career with the Golden Gophers. Bateman would be another talented target for Daniel Jones, a young quarterback that requires assistance in order to develop. He’d also be one of the taller targets within the receiving corps — Bateman is 6-foot-2 while Darius Slayton is 6-foot-1 and Sterling Shepard is 5-foot-10.
Taking his upside into consideration, Rashod could start right away and be another red-zone target alongside Golladay, who led the NFL with 11 touchdown receptions just two years ago.
Adding another weapon would mean even fewer excuses for Jones and an offensive unit that must improve after last year’s struggles (second-to-last in both total yards and points).
Film Room Notes
Bateman and Minnesota’s November 2020 loss to Iowa (eight receptions, 111 yards, one touchdown)
Early in the defeat, Bateman runs a great route on a 3rd & 5 conversion and immediately looks to gain yards after the catch.
This play contains another great route run by Bateman, but the talented receiver just needs to haul that pass in (it hits him right in the chest).
After the reception on this play, we see some elusiveness from Bateman, who puts on the moves in order to gain some ground following the catch.
The same elusive qualities are shown in the above clip.
Contrary to some of the other plays shown, this one isn’t that fantastic of a look for Bateman. He does indeed find space in the secondary but ultimately needs to make the catch — the deflected ball winds up an interception (this looks like an Evan Engram-type mistake).
What about the tough catches in traffic?
Bateman can make those, just like he does on this play prior to executing a strong spin move to gain yardage after the reception.
And finally, we get to see Bateman’s lone touchdown reception of the game (and Minnesota’s only score). While he runs a good out route, Rashod should be making that cut in the end zone and not in front of the goal line. Nonetheless, he makes a tough catch on a low throw as well as an athletic move to still turn upfield into the end zone.
Bateman and Minnesota’s November 2019 win over Penn State (seven receptions, 203 yards, one touchdown)
A notable number of Bateman’s on-field skills come together on this play; he utilizes a quick first step before running a sharp route and making the catch over the middle while being covered.
Bateman could’ve chosen to hear the footsteps on this touchdown catch but he tuned it all out. He instead focused on the ball, didn’t worry about the near defender, and honed in on the task-at-hand (the reception). From there, he’s fast enough to reach the end zone with little-to-no issues.
Making it look too easy here; Bateman runs a great route, finds space on the outside, and makes a tough catch towards the sideline.
Bateman, on this play, employs great vision to realize the cushion between him and the defender, which is why he quickly makes his cut to the inside in order to retain that space.
Lastly, Bateman’s speed allows him to find space behind two defenders and ultimately make the difficult catch near the sideline.
The potential first-rounder has work to do. He’ll need to be coached up if he wants to succeed at the next level, regardless of the team he’s on or the quarterback he works with in 2021.
But you’re lying to yourself if you think Bateman doesn’t have a bright future. He’s a superb route runner and elusive once he reels in the football. He certainly uses the speed to his advantage as well.
If the Giants do trade back, Bateman could be on the board when they select and should be a legitimate target.