Packers draft rumors 2021: Potential interest in Rashod Bateman?

Rashod Bateman (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)
Rashod Bateman (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) /

Maybe, just maybe, this will be the year the Green Bay Packers draft a wide receiver early.

The Packers just missed out on some of the top receivers in the first round like Justin Jefferson and Brandon Aiyuk a year ago. A player to watch on Thursday night will be Minnesota’s Rashod Bateman.

According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler and Dan Graziano, the Packers have done “a lot of research” on Bateman and have “spent time with him in the process”.

Even after finishing the 2020 season with the league’s highest-scoring offense, it sure seems like the Packers are still very much open to adding another wide receiver, and potentially early on.

Bateman has received a lot of love from Packers fans and draft analysts for what he could bring to Matt LaFleur’s offense, and understandably so.

Bateman is a great route-runner and could make a fast start in the NFL like many of the rookie wide receivers did last year. In his past 18 games at Minnesota, he caught 96 passes for 1,691 yards and 13 touchdowns.

It’s one thing if Green Bay is interested in Bateman, the other is how far he will fall in the first round. Mock drafts vary on where the Minnesota wide receiver will be selected, with some projecting he’ll go somewhere around No. 19 to the Washington Football Team, while others have him falling to No. 29 where the Packers will pick.

Like Jefferson and Aiyuk a year ago, the real answer could be somewhere in between with Bateman going somewhere in the 20s. If the Packers have serious interest, they might need to be willing to trade up to get ahead of teams like the Baltimore Ravens and New Orleans Saints, and potentially even the Tennessee Titans earlier on.

Bateman could make a huge impact early on in LaFleur’s offense. Could he be Green Bay’s first-round choice on Thursday night?