Baltimore Ravens seem oddly unsure about their running back group
The Baltimore Ravens saw Gus Edwards have a breakout rookie season as an undrafted free agent and then added Mark Ingram. Yet they seem uneasy about the position group:
On paper, the Baltimore Ravens don’t have to worry about the running back position. They signed Mark Ingram to a three year deal. This added a proven running back to the mix with Gus Edwards and Kenneth Dixon. The Ravens still seem to be looking for a running back.
According to reports the Ravens have worked out Eddie Lacey. Lacey was out of football last year. He showed flashes of brilliance with the Green Bay Packers but not the career sustaining type. The Ravens have also reportedly visited with draft prospects Josh Jacobs and Damien Harris, running backs from Alabama.
The Ravens have always believed in a running back by committee or at least by tandem approach. Even when they had Ray Rice, they had Willis McGahee and Le’Ron McClain. The Ravens are going to be one of the most run first teams in football in 2019. Running backs may be easier to find than some other positions, but an elite running back could make more of a difference in Baltimore than anywhere else.
It’s understandable for the Ravens not to be overly reliant on Dixon. Dixon has an injury history that is hard to ignore. However the combination of Ingram and Edwards seems like a match made in heaven. Both are down hill runners but Ingram offers more shake and bake with receiving skills to go with it. Ingram becomes the star of the show, while Edwards can continue to prove himself as he rotates in.
The Ravens swiftly signed Ingram, so they knew they couldn’t go into the season with just Edwards and Dixon. Ingram could just be an insurance policy though, if Baltimore thinks they need a superstar running back. Ingram is a good player and he can make a difference but the Ravens could be looking for more of a game changer.
If the Ravens don’t add to the running back spot this offseason, it would be okay. Ingram, Edwards and Dixon is a fine trio. The Ravens can’t ignore the wide receiver position though, or the pass rushing department. The offensive line has to figure into the complex equation of the draft process. Running back should be an after thought right now, but it doesn’t seem to be. They seem to be actively looking for the perfect addition to the backfield.
It’s easy to overthink Baltimore’s workout for Lacey. He’s a player whose had some success in this league. Bringing him in wouldn’t even promise him a roster spot after training camp and it would be about as low risk as a move can be. That being said, Josh Jacobs is a likely first round pick. Showing interest in Jacobs is interesting because the Ravens have bigger needs.
It will be interesting to see how the Ravens fit the running back spot into the NFL Draft, if at all. They could just be doing their homework as broadly as possible on the available free agents and draft prospects. They could also be looking for a star in the backfield. It’s a curious situation because Eric DeCosta should have other priorities at the moment.