The Baltimore Ravens got the job done on the ground in a big way during the 2019 season, and they have been lauded for their work in terms of a key statistic.
Recently, Pro Football Focus took a look at ranking the most valuable running back groups in the NFL in terms of WAR. The Ravens place easily in the No. 1 slot for their work last season, ahead of some other teams that were elite running the ball. Clearly, however, none were in the company of the Ravens given what they could do.
Most-valuable running back groups in 2019 per PFF WAR:
2. San Francisco
3. New England
4. Green Bay pic.twitter.com/S847cQI4Ja
— PFF (@PFF) June 30, 2020
Baltimore had the top ground game in the league last season so it’s not a shock to see them high on this list. Mark Ingram drove the bus for the team, but Gus Edwards was also phenomenal in helping the Ravens have the top rushing attack in the entire NFL. Now, the team has added J.K. Dobbins
The moral of the story? Metrics say the Ravens ground attack was elite in 2019, but it could be even better in 2020. Truly a case of the rich getting richer.
J.K. Dobbins Getting Rookie of the Year Love
The Ravens had one of the best running games last season but they wasted no time improving it this offseason with J.K. Dobbins. 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.
— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) June 9, 2020
“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.
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. It could also be a reason the team is still in elite shape heading toward 2020 on the ground after a great 2019 season.
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