List projection highlights key position battles

Rookie stat projections for Odafe Oweh and Rashod Bateman

With the 17-game season kicking off this year, ESPN’s Mike Clay examined the top five projected leaders among recruits in each of the major statistical categories. Two Ravens rookies made the rosters at their respective positions.

Clay projects Bateman to finish fifth among all rookies in receiving yards with 657, behind Ja’Marr Chase, DeVonta Smith, Jaylen Waddle and Kyle Pitts.

“It paints a very positive picture for Chase, Smith and Waddle in 2021,” Clay wrote. “Assuming they stay healthy, all three are positioned to play important offensive roles from the start.

“Pitts’ projection would place him fifth all-time for a tight rookie end and give him the most receiving yards by a freshman at position since Evan Engram’s 722 yards in 2017. And while Bateman’s rise is limited by Baltimore’s heavyweight run; he has a path to an all-down role against Brown. “

Marquise Brown, Marlon Brown and Torrey Smith each won seven touchdowns as rookies. Smith led the group with 841 receiving yards.

Oweh also made the list as Clay projects him to finish with 4.5 sacks as a rookie. He’s the third best behind Jaelan Phillips and Kwity Paye, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see Oweh emerge from the group.

“In 2019, rookies combined for 126.5 sacks and first-round rookies combined for 60,” Clay wrote. “The two totals were the highest since 2011. But in 2020 those numbers dropped to 71.5 and 18, respectively – the two easily recorded themselves as the fewest in more than a decade. The 7.5 bags de Chase Young paced all rookies last season, although he was the only freshman with over 4. Four others had over 2.5 sacks.

“Phillips and Paye have paths to great roles in 2021 with disappointing competition for reps with their new teams, and it might not be long for Oweh to overtake Bowser and / or McPhee in Baltimore. Turner and Tryon have a more difficult task to find opportunities with Cameron Jordan. and Marcus Davenport on the Saints depth card and Shaquil Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul returning to Tampa Bay. “

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