NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported on Thursday that the Ravens are hosting Gurley on a visit today. Gurley visited with the Detroit Lions recently and is looking to sign on with a new team after spending last season in Atlanta.
Not too long ago, Gurley was arguably the best running back in football rushing for 1,200+ yards in consecutive seasons and being named first-team All-Pro in both 2017 and 2018.
However, he hasn’t been the same player since that 2018 season as injuries and age have taken their toll. Nonetheless, he could be a worthwhile addition to an already-talented running back rotation.
The Ravens could benefit from signing Todd Gurley.
The Ravens’ backfield is expected to be led by the duo of J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards this season with Dobbins likely to take on more of a lead-back role.
After a standout rookie season, the Ravens hope to see Dobbins emerge as one of the league’s better backs in 2021.
As for Edwards, the former undrafted free agent was recently signed to a two-year extension and will continue to play an important role in Baltimore’s rushing attack.
Behind them is 2019 fourth-rounder Justice Hill who is expected to serve as the No. 3 back behind Dobbins and Edwards. However, that could change if Gurley is signed.
Although he hasn’t been nearly as effective over the last two years, Gurley has been a high-volume runner who’s started 30 games over the last two years.
Despite nearly 200 carries in 2020, he managed just 678 yards on a woeful 3.5 yards per carry as Atlanta’s primary running back. He did, however, total nine touchdowns.
Gurley, who is a Baltimore native himself, remains an effective short-yardage back which might be why the Ravens are targeting him. Perhaps Gurley could be used as a situational runner near the goal-line.
The 26-year-old is also an accomplished pass catcher with 56 catches over the last two seasons. In his prime, he would regularly haul in 60 catches per season.
Ravens running backs finished the 2020 season with just 38 catches, 18 of which went to Dobbins, and this has become a point of emphasis for the team this offseason.
Signing Gurley would also give the Ravens an experienced receiving back with short-yardage traits. It’s a surprising move, sure, and one that would spell trouble for Hill’s role with the team.
But it’s one that does make some sense, provided it doesn’t cost very much.