The Baltimore Ravens have one of the best running games in the NFL, so the team wouldn’t upset the apple cart and deal a key piece during the season?
It might not seem feasible, but it’s possible. Recently, Pro Football Focus writer Andrew Erickson put together a piece on the players most likely to be trade bait for every team. Erickson had running back Gus Edwards as the pick for the Ravens, due in large part to the relative strength of his team’s backfield.
“Edwards rushed for 5.3 yards per carry and 3.4 yards after contact per carry in 2019, which ranked second and seventh, respectively, among running backs with at least 100 carries in 2019. He has been nothing but an efficient rusher in his two years with Baltimore, earning PFF’s 13th-highest grade as a rusher (83.4) among running backs with at least 200 carries.
In his one start against the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2019, Edwards rushed for 130 yards on 21 carries for an average of 6.2 yards per carry and 5.6 yards per carry after contact.
Entering the 2020 season, Edwards could potentially be the odd man out in a running back room that includes starter Mark Ingram II, rookie J.K. Dobbins and second-year player Justice Hill. Edwards adds zero value in the passing game, with just nine receptions in his two-year career, so the Ravens could easily decide to move on from him in favor of getting Dobbins more involved.”
Dobbins is the big variable here, and he is expected to be one of the top rookies in the league toting the rock this year. If things play out that way, Edwards may lose carries and the team might have no chance but to deal him.
The other scenario? The Ravens are good and simply hang on to everyone. This seems more likely to be the case, but if there was a player who could get moved, Edwards would seem to be one to watch.
Gus Edwards Stats
Edwards has been a very productive member of the Ravens since 2018. He’s rushed for 1,429 yards and 4 touchdowns thus far in his career. He hasn’t been nearly as prolific catching the ball as running the ball, with only 65 receiving yards as a member of the team.
A former runner for Miami and Rutgers in college, Edwards has been a tough runner early in his time in the league and a player some might describe as a bowling ball to bring down.
Mark Ingram Not Slowing Down
One runner who isn’t going anywhere? Mark Ingram. A few months back, Ingram was asked his thoughts on the team adding Dobbins to the mix. As expected, he didn’t hold back whatsoever. In a piece by Grant Gordon from NFL.com, Ingram’s comments are presented and it sure doesn’t sound as if he plans on the team slowing things down.
Looking anything but concerned about Baltimore adding another stud to the stable, Ingram — along with his ever-present grin — told NFL Network’s Colleen Wolfe on Thursday’s NFL Schedule Release ’20 that he’s excited about what Dobbins will add and their shared aspirations.
“I like his mindset, I like his attitude, I like the way he run the ball. Just bring him and his talents to our room that’s already special; our backfield is gonna be the best in the league for sure,” Ingram said Thursday. “We’re all looking forward to it, being playmakers for the team and help us win the championship.”
Interestingly, in 2019, the Ravens already had the best rushing attack in the league, so how much better could they be expected to get? It’s a scary thought for the AFC, as it’s already nearly impossible for the team to be stopped on offense thanks to their diverse attack.
If the Ravens are planning on getting even better, it could be a long year for the opposition.
Mark Ingram Not Slowing Down
So how much longer could Ingram be expected to play? As he said himself earlier this offseason in an interview with the team, another 4-5 years is the expectation he is currently setting for himself, meaning he’s not going anywhere.
— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) April 14, 2020
“I am just blessed and thankful. The lord has my body feeling this way. I am with a great team that takes care of me. I feel like I can play this game at a high level, at the highest level for at least another 4-5 years,” he told reporters. “I honestly do. I feel good. My body feels good.”
The reason for this isn’t merely longevity, but the fact that Ingram feels as if he still has some major goals to reach on the field.
“I just want to be the best man. I want to be one of the best. You talk about running backs who have long, prestigious careers. I want to be in that discussion and talked about that way,” he said. “I just want to be the best player I can be, I want to win championships, and I want to do it at a high level and I feel like I could do it for a long time.”
Ingram, Dobbins and Edwards are a formidable trio. Whether one ends up moving on via trade is something to watch.