Baltimore Ravens general managers Eric DeCosta does not seem afraid to admit his failings in drafting an elite wide receiver target for Lamar Jackson, and in doing so this week he took a major — and likely unintentional shot — at 2021 first-round pick Rashod Bateman.
The biggest story of the offseason for the Baltimore Ravens surrounds the future of starting quarterback Lamar Jackson, and the will-he or won’t-he sign a contract extension drama hangs over the entire organization. However, whether he is on the roster in 2023 or not, the team needs to find some better skills players on offense.
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Last season, when Jackson was on the field — outside of tight end Mark Andrews — the QB was a one-man offense because of the little impact the Baltimore Ravens got from their running backs and receivers. And that wasn’t an issue just last season, especially when it comes to their receiving corps.
It was something that general manager Eric DeCosta was asked about this week at the NFL Combine. And in giving an honest assessment of his shortcomings in finding talented receivers in the NFL Draft, he actually threw shade at his current WR1 Rashod Bateman.
“If I had an answer, that would probably mean I would have some better receivers. … There have been some guys that have been successful players for us that were draft picks. We’ve never really hit on that All-Pro type of guy, which is disappointing, but it’s not for a lack of effort. … It’s one of those anomalies that I really can’t explain, other than to say that we’re not going to stop trying. We’re gonna keep swinging and hopefully, at one of these points, we’re gonna hit the ball out of the park.”– Eric DeCosta (via Sara Ellison)
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Following DeCosta’s comments, Bateman — the team’s top pick in 2021 — responded in a since-deleted post on Twitter.
“How bout you play to your player’s strength and & stop pointing the finger at us and #8 …blame the one you let do this…. we take heat 24/7 . & keep us healthy … care about US & see what happen..ain’t no promises tho … tired of y’all lyin and capn on players for no reason,” Bateman wrote.
The Baltimore Ravens star had two new posts on Thursday, and one interestingly proclaimed, “my apologies.” Bateman’s sophomore season in the league was cut short in November after undergoing foot surgery.
Since taking over at GM in 2019, DeCosta has selected six receivers in his first four drafts with the team. Two of those players — Bateman in 2021 and Marquise Brown in 2019 — were first-round picks.