Rushing Attack Strengthened in Baltimore

0
401
MIAMI, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 08: Mark Ingram #21 of the Baltimore Ravens celebrates after rushing for a touchdown against the Miami Dolphins during the first quarter at Hard Rock Stadium on September 08, 2019 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

The Baltimore Ravens made headlines last season with their rushing attack. The team broke a 41-year NFL record for most rushing yards in a season at 3,296 yards. Quarterback Lamar Jackson also broke Michael Vick’s record for rushing yards by a quarterback in a season with 1,206 yards.

Baltimore has only strengthened it’s rushing attack this off-season. They selected one of the top running backs in this draft with the 55th overall pick, J.K Dobbins. Mark Ingram returns as the starter, and they now have his replacement with Dobbins. Gus Edwards and Justice Hill are very nice complementary backs that can thrive in this system. Running back is Baltimore’s strongest position in terms of depth.

Rushing Leader Returns – Mark Ingram

Mark Ingram quickly found his home in Baltimore. His debut season saw him contribute to a record-breaking running attack for the Ravens. His power-running style perfectly suits this offense, and he produced with 1,018 yards. 5.0 yards per carry was the second-best of his nine-year career.

The Baltimore offense is perfect for running backs. The dynamic running threat of Lamar Jackson helps open up rushing lanes for Ingram. He’s a leader in this offense and can be the perfect mentor to his younger backups. Barring injuries, it’s likely Ingram will once again rush for 1,000 yards this season, as he and the team hunt for a SuperBowl.

gettyimages 1173170819
Ingram has quickly become a vital cog in this Ravens offense. He’s likely to repeat his 1,000 yard season barring injury. (Photo: Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

The Future Star Rusher For Baltimore – J.K Dobbins

Baltimore had great depth at running back last season, with Ingram, Gus Edwards, and Justice Hill. Then the NFL Draft came around, and the board fell kindly to the Ravens. They were able to select one of the best backs in this year’s class with the 55th overall pick. Dobbins has star potential and will be an ideal replacement for Ingram in the future.

Dobbins is a physical runner like Ingram but is a hair faster. His breakaway speed makes him a touchdown threat every time he touches the ball.J.K joins an offense ideally suited to his skills and can learn from Ingram. He will have a role in this offense, but will not be relied upon to be a bell cow from day one.

usatsi 13322261
J.K Dobbins rushed for over 2,000 yards at Ohio State in 2019, and projects as the next star running back for Baltimore. Photo: Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

The Power Rushing Option – Gus Edwards

The Ravens are spoiled for choice at running back, with Gus Edwards a very nice complementary back. Edwards has been the latest undrafted free agent gem the Ravens discovered, making the most of his limited opportunities. He has rushed for over 700 yards and 5.0 yards per carry in his opening two seasons.

His role is that of the physical back in this offense. At 6 foot one and 238 pounds, he is the hammer for Baltimore. His physical running style and size help demoralize opposing teams. Edwards has shown enough in his first two years to warrant an increased role in this offense. Gus is one of the most underrated backs in the NFL.

gettyimages 1196549975
Gus Edwards is a hidden gem in this Ravens offense. He’s a tremendous power back who is carving out an increased role in this rushing attack. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

The Speed Rushing Option – Justice Hill

The depth and talent continue in Baltimore, with Justice Hill an excellent developmental prospect. The Ravens selected Hill in the fourth round of the 2019 Draft, earning a limited role in his rookie season. Hill is the speed back for the Ravens, with 4.40 speed. He, much like the other backs, is also a third-down receiving threat.

Hill had a 3.9 yards per carry average his rookie season. However, he only had 58 carries all year. The drafting of Dobbins pushes him down the rotation, yet he has shown enough to be given a chance. Baltimore is in a very fortunate position of having four running backs who can all be starters in the NFL.

usatsi 13196862
Justice Hill showed promise in his very limited role in 2019. With Dobbins he may see his role diminish slightly in 2020. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

Fullback Extraordinaire – Patrick Ricard

The fullback position has become almost extinct in the NFL, but not in Baltimore. Patrick Ricard has become an NFL talking point thanks to his positional versatility. He plays at fullback and defensive end for the Ravens. He played over 100 snaps on all three phases last season, earning plaudits as a throwback NFL player.

Ricard has the physique of a defensive end, lining up at 6ft 3 and 303 pounds. Having him opening rushing lanes for the running back is a tremendous plus for this offense. His role in this offense is likely under-played but is significant.

usatsi 13155146
Patrick Ricard is a NFL throwback playing both ways, but his role in this offense is criminally under-appreciated.(AP Photo/Nick Wass)

The Son of a Legend – Bronson Rechsteiner

The Ravens made a splash with the undrafted free agent signing of fullback Bronson Rechsteiner. He is the son of Rick Steiner, who formed part of the Steiner brothers tag team in WWE. Rechsteiner was a productive player at FCS level Kennesaw State University.

The odds are against Rechsteiner, with his undrafted free agent status and the limited role the fullback has in modern NFL offenses. Ricard has cemented himself in the position, so Rechsteiner will have to have a massive training camp to make the final 53-man roster.

bronson rechsteiner kennesaw state
Bronson Rechsteiner is from a famous WWE family, but has his work cut out to make the Ravens roster. Photo: Kyle Hess/KSU Athletics

That wraps up this positional look at the running backs on the Ravens roster. What do you think of the Ravens running backs? Let us know in the comments below. For more NFL news be sure to check out the site home page here and NFL page here. Be sure to check out the site forum pages for more great sports discussion here.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here