2021 NFL Draft Round 1, Pick 14
While they appear close to an extension with Kenny Golladay, wide receiver stands out as a potential long-term need for the Detroit Lions. The duo of Golladay and Marvin Jones is strong, but Jones’ contract runs out after the 2020 season and their depth behind these two players is limited. If the right opportunity presents itself, I could easily see the Lions attacking the wide receiver position early in the 2021 NFL Draft.
With the 14th overall pick of this mock draft, the Lions add wide receiver Rashod Bateman to the mix. He stands out as a great choice for Detroit in this situation and would quickly help take their offensive attack to the next level.
Bateman is not the biggest wide receiver, but he shows fantastic concentration when the ball is in the air and shines in contested-catch situations. He is not the most explosive athlete, but he is a smooth and precise route runner who can separate against man coverage and has a knack for finding the soft spots against zone. He also shows nice run-after-catch ability, showcasing solid elusiveness in the open field and excellent contact balance for a wide receiver.
When it comes down to it, Bateman is a safe wide receiver prospect who also has a high ceiling at the next level. Bateman is one of the premier players in a loaded 2021 NFL Draft class of receivers and would be an immediate impact playmaker in the Lions’ offensive attack.