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Minnesota’s Rashod Bateman could replace Watkins as the Chiefs’ X receiver

29 Days of Draftmas continues with a wideout who is strong at the catch point — and has room to develop.

Purdue v Minnesota Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

A very Merry Draftmas to you!

We continue our tradition of profiling an NFL Draft prospect every day in April, leading up to the NFL Draft on April 29th. Every day, you’ll get a prospect profile that includes how they would fit with the Kansas City Chiefs.

This offseason, the Chiefs said goodbye to Sammy Watkins — and have yet to make a move to replace him. Could they look in the draft? Here’s a Big Ten receiver who might be worth selecting as early as pick 31.

Rashod Bateman, wide receiver

Minnesota v Northwestern Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

6’ | 190 lbs | Minnesota

Tifton, GA

Expected draft range: Late day one, early day two

Pro Day: 4.43 40-yard dash, 36” vertical jump, 123” broad jump, 4.35 short shuttle, 6.95 three cone

One-sentence bio: 2019 All-Big Ten and third team All-American who initially opted out of the 2020 season before opting back in and playing five games.

One-sentence scouting report: Physical, strong receiver with excellent body control who wins at the catch point and generates explosive plays outside the numbers.

One play:

How he fits in Kansas City: The Chiefs should add some additional firepower to their pass-catcher group for both the short and long term. There’s an immediate need for a true X receiver like Watkins, so Bateman would make a lot of sense. He may not be a player who wins with consistent separation — the way some others in this class will — but when the ball is in the air, it’s his. He is excellent at the catch point. He would be a fascinating player to get involved with Patrick Mahomes outside the numbers.

While not the fastest receiver — or the most dynamic route runner — Bateman’s strengths fit in well with the Chiefs’ offense. He can win against press coverage — and with his strong hands, catch the ball in contested areas. As a route runner, he has still room for growth — and that’s a good thing. There’s a good baseline from which to build and develop.

If the Chiefs want Bateman, they’ll likely need take him at 31 — their first pick of their draft. He may not even fall to that point. I wouldn’t expect the Chiefs to move up for him, but if he’s there at the end of the first round, he will be worth considering.

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