Under Lamar Jackson, the Ravens have mostly been a run-first offense. With the departure of long-time offensive coordinator Greg Roman, Baltimore enters a new era of football. And this time, passing will reign supreme. We are looking at you, Zay Flowers, Odell Beckham Jr., and Rashod Bateman.
The franchise hired former Georgia offensive coordinator Todd Monken to fill Roman’s absence. Monken’s affinity with throwing the football downfield makes this hire quite intriguing to football fans. The 57-year-old coach thrives at getting the ball to his best players in space and letting them create. Lucky for Jackson and Co., he has a slew of weapons.
We all know tight end Mark Andrews, who has served as Jackson’s safety blanket since the duo entered the league together in 2018. At running back, a healthy J.K. Dobbins would go a long way toward diversifying the offense. Gus Edwards and the freshly signed Melvin Gordon provide solid insurance behind Dobbins.
Who is the Ravens WR1? Zay Flowers, Odell Beckham Jr., or Rashod Bateman?
But what about the all-important wide receiver position? After suffering through subpar play in the pass-catching department, Jackson will have three uber-talented wideouts at his disposal. Rashod Bateman is the longest-tenured of the trio, while Odell Beckham Jr. and Zay Flowers just joined the franchise this offseason.
Which player is the front-runner to see the most targets in this iteration of the Ravens’ offense?
The Case For Rashod Bateman
When healthy, Bateman has proven to be a difference-maker for Baltimore. He boasts blazing speed, strong hands, and polished route running. The Minnesota alum is built like a WR1 and has developed a connection with Jackson over the past couple of seasons.
The Case Against Rashod Bateman
Bateman has the most experience within the Ravens franchise, but considering that Monken just arrived, that likely carries less weight than you might think. Not to mention, the young wideout has a long list of injuries during his playing career. Bateman has struggled to stay on the field consistently and must prove that injuries are a thing of the past before Monken entrusts him with the No. 1 option duties.