The Baltimore Ravens‘ ground game was productive in 2019, but could be even better in 2020 with the addition of rookie J.K. Dobbins.
Dobbins will come into the mix at the position and give the Ravens some extra depth, but more than that, he might give them a completely elite season on the field. According to a new prediction by Michael Renner, Dobbins is well set up to go over 1,000 yards this season as a rookie in Baltimore’s attack.
“The bevy of talent at the top of this running back class was insane. There were five guys on PFF’s draft board who would have given Josh Jacobs competition for RB1 if they were in the 2019 class. Clyde Edwards-Helaire, J.K. Dobbins and the aforementioned Jonathan Taylor are all in terrific situations to go for over 1,000 yards, and Cam Akers, D’Andre Swift and Antonio Gibson are all liable to take the reins in their respective offenses, as well.”
Seeing Dobbins be a weapon like that would be a huge development for the Ravens, who are already in elite standing with Mark Ingram in their backfield. Dobbins being a huge rushing threat and going over 1,000 yards would mean the team’s offense was even more difficult to stop this season.
J.K. Dobbins Impressed With Camp Catch
Not only is Dobbins a great runner, he’s a very capable receiver as well, something he showed in college all too often. Now, as he transitions to the NFL, Dobbins is once again showing his ability to make the big play through the air. Recently in practice, Dobbins made exactly that kind of play.
Here’s a look at Dobbins hauling in the pass right overtop of the linebacker for the score.
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) August 24, 2020
Obviously, the Ravens hope that Dobbins can turn in these kind of plays on the regular when the games count, but for now, it’s excellent to see him showing out in camp.
Pressure on J.K. Dobbins for 2020
When that happens, 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. If he has this type of season it will be a big benefit.
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