Baltimore Ravens running back J.K. Dobbins took a little while to get going in his rookie year. But make no mistake about it, once he was given the opportunity to shine, he took the ball and ran with it.
Both literally and figuratively.
Dobbins finished his rookie season with 805 yards and nine touchdowns on 135 carries for a highly efficient 6.0 yards per carry.
And going into the 2021 season, Cynthia Frelund of NFL.com listed him as the most “underappreciated player” on the Ravens roster.
The Ravens have high hopes for J.K. Dobbins in 2021
Despite Dobbins’ incredible success in 2020, he’s still flying a bit under the radar around the NFL, likely because he didn’t see a significant role in the offense until the middle of the season.
But as Frelund points out, that could be set to change in the near future.
"“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.”"
The Ravens will be counting on Dobbins to play more of a featured role in 2021, perhaps as the team’s true RB1. Mark Ingram is gone and it should be Dobbins and Gus Edwards running the show in Baltimore’s backfield.
Edwards is a very solid rotational back who has proven his worth over the last three years, but Dobbins has the potential to be the next breakout running back in the NFL.
Baltimore could lean on Dobbins more this year with the former Ohio State star possibly taking over as the lead back in the team’s running back rotation.
A second-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, Dobbins was a bit of a surprising pick at the time given the presence of Ingram, Edwards, and former fourth-round pick Justice Hill on the roster.
But one year later, it’s safe to say that Ravens fans are more than happy with the selection.
Dobbins could be primed for a monster 2021 season. But for now, he remains wholly underappreciated around the league.