DeMarco Murray: The final piece for the Ravens’ offense

NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 05: DeMarco Murray /

After reloading the offense via the draft, the one remaining hole on that side of the ball is running back depth. Insert veteran DeMarco Murray.

The Ravens have not been shy about addressing their offensive needs this offseason. The team signed not one, not two, but three wide receivers in the forms of John Brown, Michael Crabtree, and Willie Snead. Come draft time, the Ravens added two tight ends in Hayden Hurst (1st round) and Mark Andrews (3rd round), plus two more wide receivers in Jaleel Scott and Jordan Lasley (4th and 5th rounds).

Seven. Seven new faces to the Ravens offense in one offseason. That’s not including the offensive linemen and the flashy new quarterback as well. So, job well done, right? Not quite yet.

The Ravens’ backfield remains lackluster. I am a huge supporter of Alex Collins, but what if he doesn’t take the next step? Javorius “Buck” Allen is OK, but nothing special. I loved Kenneth Dixon, but I sure as heck don’t trust him. As of now, the Ravens are gambling entirely on Collins progressing to Pro Bowl status.

Maybe he does, maybe he doesn’t. But why go into the season without a good backup plan. Heck, why go into the season without a good back-up running back?

Make way for DeMarco Murray

With little remaining in the free agent market, DeMarco Murray’s name certainly shines brighter than the rest. His track record is appealing, too. The former Oklahoma Sooner has 7,174 rushing yards and 55 total touchdowns. His 6’1″ 220-lbs build fits ideally with the backfield the Ravens have begun to establish. It makes sense to slot Murray to Baltimore.

The Ravens have always loved their veterans, especially when it comes to wide receivers. But, why don’t we talk more about the Ravens’ affairs with veteran running backs? Justin Forsett is the best example by far, but guys like Ricky Williams were successful in part-time roles. And that’s all the Ravens need Murray to be – a part-time player.

This isn’t me standing on a soapbox demanding DeMarco Murray be signed and placed into a starting role. It’s quite the contrary. Murray should be signed for much needed-depth at a position so important to the Ravens success historically.

The bottom line

The Ravens current running back depth chart isn’t intimidating anyone. Yes, Alex Collins could be great, but I don’t trust Buck Allen or Kenneth Dixon at the moment. If Collins gets hurt, God-forbid, what are the Ravens to do?

Just because the Ravens offensive draft pieces for the future (a la Lamar Jackson) doesn’t mean they can’t win now. And the Ravens can’t win now without proper depth at a historically great position.

Next: Baltimore Ravens: DeShon Elliott was a major draft steal

DeMarco Murray is no spring chicken at age 30, but he doesn’t need to be. Yes, Murray is coming off a disappointing 2017 campaign, but he doesn’t need to be great in 2018. Murray needs to be serviceable as a back-up for the Ravens. This is a role he would thrive in, and a role that would complete a Ravens offense that might be good enough to win the team games behind dominant defensive outings.