Raiders select WR Rashod Bateman in latest PFF mock draft

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Marcus Mosher
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As we stand here on March 1, it’s hard to envision the Raiders using the No. 17 pick on anyone on offense. The only position that would make sense would be on the offensive line if Mike Mayock and Jon Gruden wanted to improve the guard situation with someone like Rashawn Slater or Alija Vera-Tucker. Even then, it feels like a bit of a stretch.

But if we have learned one thing from Mayock and Gruden during their time with the Raiders is that they can be unpredictable. Is it possible the team could add a talented, No. 1 receiver type of player in Round 1? Maybe.

In a recent mock draft by Pro Football Focus, the site gave the Raiders wide receiver Rashod Bateman from Minnesota. Here is what they had to say about the potential pairing in Round 1:

“The Raiders take a wide receiver for the second straight year, opting for the more complete Rashod Bateman out of Minnesota. Bateman’s statistical comps for his first five years are Robert Woods and Davante Adams — also in their first five years — which would nicely complement Henry Ruggs III‘s speed and Darren Waller‘s elite play in the middle of the field. Bateman reported that he ran a sub-4.4 40-yard dash, which should quell any of the bogus fears about his straight-line speed.”

Bateman has all the traits you would want in a No. 1 wide receiver. He wins with route running and making contested catches. But he also has the speed and agility to make plays after the catch and understands how to win off the line of scrimmage. Bateman was also highly productive at Minnesota, catching 147 passes for 2,395 yards and 19 touchdowns in just 31 games.

If the Raiders do pick a wide receiver in the first round, Bateman would make a lot of sense as he would be a terrific complement to Ruggs and Hunter Renfrow. Still, it feels a bit like a luxury selection considering the team did use two top-100 picks on wide receivers last year and Waller is already the alpha in the passing game.

Bateman is worthy of a top-25 selection in the 2021 NFL Draft, but expect the Raiders to pass on him at No. 17.