The Baltimore Ravens have made having a strong running game a calling card for the past few decades, and with the players they have in the mix, that’s set to continue into the future.
Even though the Ravens have a great running back in J.K. Dobbins, is it possible that the runner is flying under the radar more than a bit? That could be true as he gets set to transition into another season on the field and his second in the league.
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Recently, NFL.com writer Cynthia Frelund took a look at picking out the most under-appreciated player for every single team in the league. When it came to the Ravens, Dobbins was on the list, if only for one more season thanks to what he could be set to do in 2021.
“I am guessing I won’t be able to include Dobbins on this list after the coming season, so I am going for it now. Next Gen Stats credit Dobbins with the fourth-most rushing yards over expected last season (222), and his 7.0 yards per rush outside the tackles was not only the highest average but he was also the only running back to have an average over 6.0 yards on such runs (min. 50 attempts). His seven rushing touchdowns against stacked boxes were tied for fifth in the NFL. If that weren’t enough, when he wasn’t the subject of a play (ball-carrier or target), Dobbins was still extremely productive. To approximate a measurement for pass-protection impact, I counted all running backs making contact and at least holding their defender for one second. Dobbins ranked 10th-best at holding his defender for at least a second by percentage last season and got better in each game he played.”
When Dobbins got work last year, he was very impressive and managed to be one of the more interesting players on the roster. Coming into this season, it’s easy to see how he will not be overlooked as much as he may have been last season.
Dobbins’ Stats and Highlights
Dobbins entered the Ravens as a player who seemed to be on track to become one of the stars in the league, and he’s wasted no time getting this done. In his rookie season, Dobbins rushed for an impressive 805 yards and 9 touchdowns, and that was while dealing with others in the backfield. This coming season, Dobbins should be on track to be even more productive, given the team is banking on him to be the lead dog.
Here’s some of the top plays from Dobbins’ rookie season on the field:
Obviously, Dobbins has the chance to stand out in the future given the good start to his career.
Ravens Have Deep Running Back Room
Dobbins is not the only piece of the puzzle the Ravens have. Recently, Gus Edwards revealed he was sticking with the team and not wanting to move on given he signed a new extension. Give him credit for that fact given Dobbins is likely to be the unquestioned starter and key contributor for the foreseeable future. Perhaps Edwards sees himself as a complement to Dobbins and understands his role on the team if not embraces it. All of these questions will have to be sorted out soon, and it will be interesting to see if anyone takes a swing at trying to nab Edwards given his situation in Baltimore with the roster. There might not be a ton of touches to go around for the backfield, but this move likely ensures that Edwards is going to remain a huge part of the team’s rushing attack moving forward and will make a big case for more touches.
It’s clear that Dobbins is going to be the leader of this group, and for that reason, it may not be wise to keep overlooking him much longer.