Baltimore Ravens: Breaking Down Running Back Competition


The Ravens are in uncharted territory when it comes to their running back corps. Yes, they have Justin Forsett who has played at an elite level the past two seasons. But, Forsett is coming off of a major arm injury. Lorenzo Taliaferro was supposed to emerge last season, but he continued his bad history of injuries and was not able to get his big chance to play as a legit back in the backfield.

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Buck Allen, on the other hand, was able to show his great running ability by taking advantage of Forsett and Taliaferro’s injuries. Allen proved he has the ability to be a major producer next season, but the major question for Allen will be his playing time. Allen will need to prove himself during training camp to hop Lorenzo Taliaferro. Forsett will be turning 31 next season and may not be able to take all carries, giving Allen an even better opportunity.

But, looking at the second half of last season, was Allen really the best running back on the Ravens? Terrance West proved himself quite well. West was able to come in and play very well. The only problem with West’s future in Baltimore is that the Ravens rarely keep 4 running backs on the roster. Forsett is very unlikely to be cut while Taliaferro and Allen were both drafted recently.

Related: Buck Allen Next Ravens Superstar?

Looking at the draft, there are many intriguing prospects. Kenyon Drake seems to be the favorite from Ravens fans at the Senior Bowl. UCLA’s Paul Perkins, Louisiana Tech’s Kenneth Dion, and Alabama’s Derrick Henry are just some of the many names of prospects who can be drafted within the 2nd or 3rd rounds.  But, it seems unlikely the Ravens will draft a running back, knowing that they have 4 capable running backs already on the roster.

The 5tth back, Terrence McGee showed promise during the preseason, but never really got a chance during the regular season to show his abilities, especially with Raheem Mostert and Terrence West added to the active roster.

Do the Ravens want to keep 4 backs? With so much depth at other positions, and the possibility of keeping 7 wide receivers due to an extra spot for a punt returner, it seems unlikely the Ravens do in fact keep 4 running backs.

But what does this mean? Well, Justin Forsett and Buck Allen are locks for the roster. This sets up a possible huge running back battle between Terrence West and Lorenzo Taliaferro. Terrence West showed so much promise this past season, but Lorenzo Taliaferro was a 4th round pick of a recent draft class.

It was rumored that the Ravens wanted to get Terrence West in the 3rd round that year, but Cleveland drafted him picks before the Ravens came up. They ended up taking Tailaferro, instead when the Towson product was drafted by the Browns.

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The Ravens go into the next season with plenty of talent at the running back position. Having more talent than they have room for at one position is a good problem to have.