The next time you watch Lamar Jackson play in a game, pay attention to his relationship with his running mate Rashod Bateman. The two have a close relationship on and off the field, and their chemistry in the backfield for the Ravens is key to any success they achieve in the future. As Jackson continues his storied career, he’ll depend on his running mate to make plays that will take the offense to the next level.

The Ravens drafted Lamar Jackson second overall because they believed he possessed the potential to be the best QB in the NFL. They have drafted him twice now, and while he has been an excellent player, he has never been the face of the franchise. They would still love for him to be, but he just won’t be.

Ravens QB Lamar Jackson is doing an excellent job of proving just how special he can be as he prepares for his second season in Baltimore. Not only was he named to the Pro Bowl in his first year, but he has also been keeping up his strong play in practices and preseason games. (Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson has been named to the Pro Bowl in the annual all-star game. All-Star Game )

Lamar Jackson of the Baltimore Ravens is one of the most entertaining quarterbacks in the NFL today. Nobody doubts his athleticism – he’s a freak of nature, and his rushing ability is the best we’ve ever seen from a quarterback. While discussions of an extension continue, Jackson is still on his rookie deal, so it’s fair to question whether Baltimore is still waiting for him to mature as a passer.

We’re aware of the rushing assault. We know they’ll rely on second-year running back JK Dobbins after Jackson’s straight 1,000-yard rushing seasons, which had never been done by a quarterback before. However, if they want to compete with the likes of the Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the league, they’ll have to chuck the rock. Since Mike Wallace in 2016, the Ravens haven’t had a 1,000-yard receiver. That isn’t going to work.

They didn’t waste any time in providing Jackson with the tools he needs, selecting Minnesota Golden Gopher wide receiver Rashod Bateman in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft. Bateman will play a big role in Jackson’s progress. Literally.

In 2020, Bateman had a difficult year.

Because of where he played college football, there may be a perception that Jackson can’t be a top-tier wide receiver in the NFL. The University of Minnesota, after all, isn’t exactly a hub for scouting. But don’t get it twisted: Bateman is the real deal. 

Playing his high school ball in Georgia, Bateman was a 4-star recruit and had offers from his home-state University of Georgia, Tennessee, South Carolina, and Texas A&M. He passed on all of them for Minnesota. 

He made an early impression with 704 receiving yards and six scores in his rookie season, and then exploded in his sophomore season with 1,219 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns. 

Bateman tested positive for COVID-19 last summer, just as NCAA teams throughout the nation were choosing whether or not to participate in the 2020 season. He is one of the first high-profile players to opt out of the 2020 collegiate football season. Bateman was still recuperating from COVID-19, and the year had been a roller coaster for him.

“Kids all across the nation were put in difficult situations where they had to make difficult choices at a young age,” Bateman told Sports Illustrated. “With my choosing out, it has had an impact on my career. People are interrogating me. It was difficult. And, man, with social inequality and other issues, 2020 was a disaster. That’s all I have to say about it.”

Bateman chose to return to the squad and play the collegiate season when Minnesota agreed to participate. When five games, he opted not to play the remaining two games of the season after Minnesota’s game against No. 16 Wisconsin was postponed due to COVID-19 procedures. 

He added, “It was one of those times in my life when I had to be selfish about my life and my work.” “I wasn’t sure how I felt about it. I’m sorry if I disappointed Minnesota. I feel like I failed my teammates, and I’ll have to live with it for the rest of my life, simply because of how the year went, you know?”

Throughout it all, Bateman’s outstanding college career earned him a first-round draft selection, becoming him the first Golden Gopher ever to do so.

Will Baltimore continue to throw?

Baltimore Ravens' quarterback Lamar Jackson shakes hands with wide receiver Marquise Brown before a 2020 game against the New England Patriots.

Baltimore Ravens' quarterback Lamar Jackson shakes hands with wide receiver Marquise Brown before a 2020 game against the New England Patriots. Before a 2020 game against the New England Patriots, Lamar Jackson #8 meets Marquise Brown #15 of the Baltimore Ravens. | Adam Glanzman/Getty Images

Baltimore had the most rushing attempts and yards per game last season, with 34.6 total attempts and 192.1 yards per game. To put things in perspective, the Tennessee Titans were second with 161.2 yards per game, and that was with a rushing back named Derrick Henry who had almost 2,000 yards on the ground. Part of it is due to the team’s ideology, and part of it is due to the people. Marquise Brown, who was 5-foot-9 and had 769 receiving yards with the Ravens previous season, was the team’s top receiver. Tight end Mark Andrews was behind him, and the remainder of the receiving corps was almost non-existent. 

Bateman appears. 

Due to Brown’s hamstring injury, which is allegedly worse than first anticipated, according to head coach John Harbaugh, Bateman will get plenty of action throughout the preseason. In training camp, he’s already causing a stir. The skilled route runner with a flair for spectacular receptions will strive to be Baltimore’s top receiving threat right away. 

It’s precisely what Jackson needs to advance to the next level and show off his passing skills.

Bateman will assist Jackson in putting the criticisms to rest.

The notion that Jackson is a mediocre-at-best passer continues to circulate, and there are statistics to back it up. Jackson’s passing statistics have been less than spectacular, despite his eye-popping athleticism, which was primarily the trademark of his 2019 MVP season. 

With a 64.4 completion percentage, Jackson ranked 27th among qualifying quarterbacks. On the season, he ranked 19th in yards per completion (7.3) and 15th in throwing touchdowns (26). 

This isn’t intended to be a smear campaign against him. Josh Allen, a fellow 2018 draft choice, struggled in 2019 with a 58.8 completion percentage until the Buffalo Bills acquired Stefon Diggs. The effect is immediate. Allen’s completion percentage rose to 69.2 right away. Wide receivers that are talented may assist raise quarterback performance, not the other way around.

Baltimore’s uber-athletic quarterback will be aiming for a similar leap. It will be because Bateman comes in and produces prolifically straight away if this club can build a flourishing passing game to go along with the greatest rushing offense in the league.

Bateman may be the missing link in Baltimore’s quest for a Super Bowl victory.

Michael Vick Says Lamar Jackson Is “Only Scratching the Surface of How Good He Can Be” RELATED: Michael Vick Says Lamar Jackson Is “Only Scratching the Surface of How Good He Can Be”

That’s right, young Lamar Jackson needs help. Yes, the Baltimore Ravens have the greatest young quarterback in the game today in Lamar Jackson. But, when you have the greatest young quarterback in the game today, the most important position in the NFL, and a team that has won two Super Bowls in the last three seasons, you need some help.. Read more about lamar jackson draft and let us know what you think.

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