We can probably rule out seeing Bateman in a Tennessee Titans jersey.
We have talked about why any non-SEC player is going to have an uphill battle to be the Titans first pick, but we need to talk about an even better filter for draft prospects. Jon Robinson has adhered to something called the “Matias Wodner rule”. Just in case you’re unaware of what that is, here’s the rule and why it is so important:
"Every receiver Jon Robinson spends a draft pick on MUST have two or more 1,000-yard seasons. Looking back from 2014-2019 there are only 39 players with 2+ 1,000 yard seasons, so just under 8 receivers per draft class. Robinson has drafted four of those receivers (Corey Davis, A.J. Brown, Tajae Sharpe, and Taywan Taylor) and those are the only receivers he has spent draft picks on. At this point, you can doubt whether it is mandatory for a college receiver to produce like that, but it is definitely a strong preference."
Rashod Bateman seemed like he was trending towards Wodner territory after his 2019 season, but he struggled throughout his 2020 campaign. Even if you double his yardage total to account for what the SEC did this season, he still wouldn’t fit the rule.
Now, there are some reasons to think that Bateman may be an outlier. He was coached by P.J. Fleck, who also coached Corey Davis, and both Bateman and Davis seem to be guys who can win inside or outside at every level of the field.
Bateman isn’t the physical specimen that Davis was, and it’s hard to determine how the Titans are going to value first-round talent at the wide receiver position. Still, it’s hard to state that Bateman checks every box, especially when he’s being compared to Corey Davis.