Minnesota wide receiver Rashod Bateman announced Tuesday he would be opting out of the 2020 college football season and begin preparing for the NFL Draft. Bateman is the second NFL Draft prospect to make such an announcement, following Virginia Tech's Caleb Farley.
"Unfortunately, in light of the uncertainty around health and safety in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, I have to set my wishes aside for the wellness of my family, community and beyond," Bateman said in his announcement. "Because of this, I have decided to opt out of the 2020 college football season and I will be taking the next steps in my journey by declaring for the 2021 NFL Draft."
Bateman is actually a rising junior, so he will head into the NFL Draft with just two years of college football under his belt. But in his two seasons with the Golden Gophers, Bateman hauled in 111 receptions for 1,923 yards and 17 touchdowns.
Bateman is currently listed as the No. 19 overall prospect on Todd McShay's board and has a chance to be the first receiver selected in next year's NFL Draft.
With two likely first rounders in Bateman and Farley already declining to participate in college football this year, it seems likely to me they will end up as the only two to opt out. While the season is still meaningful to the majority of players across college football, the guys at the top of draft boards stand a lot to lose.