Ravens want to get J.K. Dobbins more involved in the passing game

Ravens, J.K. Dobbins Mandatory Credit: Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports
Ravens, J.K. Dobbins Mandatory Credit: Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports /

The Baltimore Ravens have high expectations for running back J.K. Dobbins in 2021. And as it turns out, those expectations relate to more than just the running game.

Offensive coordinator Greg Roman spoke to season-ticket holders and media members in a conference call on Wednesday and detailed a few changes he hopes to make to the offense this season.

From getting Lamar Jackson under center more to emphasizing the deep passing game, Roman touched on a variety of topics.

That included a discussion about Dobbins who the veteran play-caller hopes to get more involved in the passing game in 2021.

The Ravens hope to see J.K. Dobbins contribute more in the passing game

Dobbins was selected in the second round of last year’s draft, and while it took him a little while to fully capture a featured role in the offense, once he grabbed it, he never relinquished it.

The former Ohio State star finished his rookie season with 805 yards and a team rookie record nine touchdowns on just 134 carries for a highly-efficient 6.0 yards per carry.

He was one of the most impressive rookie running backs in the NFL last season, which is why the Ravens believe he could emerge as their lead back in 2021.

But not only will Dobbins hopefully receive the lion’s share of carries, but the Ravens also hope that they could get him some more touches in the passing game.

Dobbins was fairly productive as a receiver last season hauling in 18 catches for 120 yards in the air. His 18 catches were nearly equal to the total receptions from the likes of Gus Edwards, Mark Ingram, and Justice Hill combined.

Nonetheless, Roman still sees a need to get Dobbins more involved.

Over the last two seasons, Lamar Jackson has completed just 89 passes to his running backs — a figure that ranks 28th in the NFL over that time frame.

When pressured, Jackson has been more apt to take off and run as opposed to check it down to his running backs.

But in an effort to protect their quarterback from taking unnecessary hits, the Ravens want Jackson to look more to his backs in those situations — namely Dobbins.

The 22-year-old was never a highly-touted receiving back during his time in high school or college, primarily because he was never asked to be one. His touches came predominantly on handoffs out of the backfield.

But he showed in 2020 that there’s more to his game than meets the eye, and the Ravens are looking to tap into his receiving potential this season.

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J.K. Dobbins could be set for a monster 2021 campaign.