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Ravens draft Minnesota standout Rashod Bateman

The Baltimore Ravens selected Minnesota’s record-breaking receiver Rashod Bateman in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft Thursday night with the 27th overall pick.

Bateman is the first Gopher to be taken in the first round since Laurence Maroney was taken 21st overall by the New England Patriots in 2006.

Bateman, who is the first Minnesota receiver ever to be drafted in the first round, is one of the best to ever wear the maroon and gold and declared for the NFL after three prolific seasons as a Gopher. The Tifton, Georgia native caught at least one pass in all 31 games he played in and made 147 receptions (sixth in school history) for 2,395 yards (sixth in school history) and 19 touchdowns (fifth in school history).

He recorded ten 100-yard receiving games (fourth in school history) and set school records as a freshman and sophomore. His freshman records were in receptions (51) and receiving yards (704), while his sophomore records were receiving touchdowns (11) and receiving yards (1,219).

Bateman was named the 2019 Big Ten’s Richter–Howard Receiver of the Year and was one of 12 finalists for the Biletnikoff Award. He was named All-Big Ten First Team and AP Third-Team All-America.

Bateman’s former Gopher teammate Tyler Johnson was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last year and went on to win the Super Bowl. Bateman and Johnson are the first true Minnesota receivers to be selected in consecutive NFL Drafts ever. Prior to Bateman and Johnson the last two Gopher receivers drafted were Eric Decker (2010) and Ron Johnson (2002), which means that prior to this year Minnesota had two receivers drafted in the previous 18 years.