The Baltimore Ravens have a running back situation that might be amongst the best in the NFL, and their rookie could perhaps be the best new player in the league.
As BaltimoreRavens.com explained, Mike Florio thinks that Dobbins is a potential sneaky pick for top rookie honors in the league. That’s due not only to his talent and situation he enters in Baltimore, but the fact that many aren’t paying attention to him as a pick for the award currently in terms of odds.
According to Garrett Downing, while Dobbins might have an unclear role, the chances of him pushing for immediate snaps are great, meaning the conditions could exist for him to carve out a huge role for the offense to get him attention.
“It’s a little difficult to predict exactly what role Dobbins will have in this offense because the Ravens already have some really good running backs in Mark Ingram, Gus Edwards and Justice Hill,” Downing says. “Ingram went to the Pro Bowl last season and I’d predict he’s going to be the lead guy in this running back rotation. But Dobbins is incredibly talented, and he’s going to push everyone for carries.”
How much Dobbins pushes could determine how dramatically he chases the league’s top rookie honors. Many figure that to be the case when looking into the future once the 2020 season begins.
J.K. Dobbins Under Pressure to Perform
All of the team’s rookie players will be facing the heat, but some might be seen as more under pressure than others. In terms of Baltimore, that’s the case according to Jeffri Chadiha of NFL.com. In a new piece, Chadiha named some of the rookies facing the most pressure this coming season to perform.
“Baltimore’s decision to select Dobbins in the second round made plenty of sense. Yes, the Ravens set a league record for single-season rushing yards in 2019 and still have Pro Bowl back Mark Ingram. However, Ingram turns 31 in December and the calf injury he sustained late last season was a major factor in the team’s playoff implosion after a 14-2 regular season. Simply put, Baltimore’s explosive offense wasn’t the same without him at full strength. Now the Ravens add Dobbins to the mix, which should be downright scary. Anybody who watched Ohio State on a regular basis had to see that Dobbins is a legitimate beast in the backfield. He feasted on read options with the Buckeyes, so much so that he ran for 4,459 yards and scored 38 rushing touchdowns in three seasons. It’s important to note here that no team in the NFL ran more runs off read options than the Ravens did last season.
Dobbins can catch, as well. He was a dangerous receiver coming out of the backfield and he looked comfortable running routes when asked to line up out wide. Dobbins also allows the Ravens to ease some of the pressure on quarterback Lamar Jackson, the league’s reigning MVP. Jackson had 176 rushing attempts in 2019 and opponents sacked him 23 times. To put that into perspective, he carried the ball more than New Orleans Saints star running back Alvin Kamara and he was was tackled nearly as often as Ingram (who finished the year with 202 rushing attempts). It’s safe to say Jackson isn’t going to become a pocket passer this fall. However, it wouldn’t be a bad thing to let someone like Dobbins to ease the QB’s burden and take more of the punishment. If Dobbins can do that — and serve as insurance for Ingram down the stretch — the Ravens are in a far better position to finish this season on a much higher note than last year’s.”
Depth in the backfield seemed to be the biggest issue that slowed down the Ravens last year, so it’s important for the team to keep their players healthy and rolling along in 2020. Dobbins, theoretically, will help them do just that showing up on the scene.
The important thing for Dobbins is staying healthy and engaged. His transition to the league will be very important for the Ravens.
Ravens Rated Best Fit For J.K. Dobbins
Looking below the surface after the draft, most see the Ravens as the overwhelming top fit for Dobbins. Recently, NFL.com analyst Bucky Brooks put together a list of the top player fits from the 2020 draft, and when it came to Dobbins and the Ravens, the pairing was on the list. No. 3 on the list, to be more specific.
“Despite fielding the NFL’s top-ranked rushing attack with Mark Ingram and Gus Edwards thriving behind dual-threat QB Lamar Jackson, the Ravens upgraded their RB1 spot with the addition of Dobbins. The 5-foot-9, 209-pounder is a dynamic runner with outstanding vision, balance and body control. He rushed for 2,000-plus yards during his final season at Ohio State while exhibiting the strength, stamina and endurance to carry the load as a workhorse runner. With Ravens’ runners averaging 5.09 yards per carry in Jackson’s 22 career starts, Dobbins could play at a Pro Bowl level as a rookie in a read-option offense that routinely gashes defenses lacking discipline at the point of attack.”
It’s safe to say that Dobbins could only make the Baltimore rushing attack more feared in the end next season, which would be huge and it’s a reason the fit is so good.
J.K. Dobbins Stats
While playing for the Buckeyes, Dobbins was a big game player as well as a game breaker. He was a first team All Big Ten player as well as a first team All-American in 2019. Statistically speaking, he was one of the most successful running backs the Buckeyes have ever had. In a 3 year career, Dobbins put up 4,459 rushing yards as well as 645 receiving yards. Dobbins also scored 38 touchdowns on the ground to go with 5 in the air. Truthfully, he was a very dangerous player given his breakaway speed in the open field and ability to catch the ball as well as run in between the tackles.
When he gets to the Ravens, Dobbins could be expected to do all of this and more. He could be on the fast track for a huge award as a result.