Ravens: J.K. Dobbins ‘poised for Year 2 breakout’ in 2021

J.K. Dobbins, Ravens.(Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
J.K. Dobbins, Ravens.(Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /

The Baltimore Ravens have always been good at the running game, but just how good? Next year, hopefully “J.K. Dobbins” good.

NFL analyst Maurice Jones-Drew recently spotlighted six running backs who could have a breakout second year in the league, and the Ravens’ very own J.K. Dobbins made the list.

In his rookie season, Dobbins led Ravens running backs with 805 yards on 134 carries with nine touchdowns. Dobbins also recorded a rushing touchdown in seven consecutive games which tied for the second-longest streak by a rookie in NFL history.

His six average yards per attempt was the second-highest for a rookie since the 1970 merger. The highest? Alvin Kamara’s 6.1.

Dobbins has been growing his own wings alongside veteran Mark Ingram for just a year now, but he’s well-prepared to be Baltimore’s No. 1 running back.

Exactly how many yards Dobbins gains will depend on how the Ravens distribute running duties among him, Lamar Jackson, and Gus Edwards. Even though Dobbins enters only his second season, he’s more than earned his right to carry the ball.

Other NFL analysts have already heaped praise on the young running back, whose talent and potential for Baltimore simply cannot be ignored. Jones-Drew himself writes:

"“I’m excited to see how Dobbins is utilized in Greg Roman’s offense. He can run between the tackles, catch the ball out of the backfield and, as mentioned, has a knack for getting in the end zone. Get ready for a big season from the Ravens’ RB1.”"

Ravens running back J.K. Dobbins could be a breakout star in 2021.

Some outlets have been more conservative with their rating of Dobbins, with Pro Football Focus ranking him as the 26th best running back going into 2021.

Sure, Dobbins’ performance was distorted at times given Jackson’s own run-centric and defense-mongering game, and Dobbins only recorded one play of over 50 yards.

But 26 out of 32? We’re no math whizzes, but ranking Dobbins that low after his standout rookie season just seems outright disrespectful.

Critics aside, expect the Ravens to increase Dobbins’ workload this season and challenge him to rip off larger chunks of yardage.

Dobbins made it a priority to bulk up in the offseason, and if any of the Ravens’ opponents have seen this video, they should be very frightened indeed.

In 2021, Dobbins will be running behind an offensive line that lost Pro Bowler tackle Orlando Brown Jr. and center Matt Skura, but newcomers Alejandro Villanueva and Kevin Zeitler should fit in just fine.

For Dobbins, the goal this year isn’t necessarily to “break out.”

He’s gone on record to say he wants to be included in the league’s upper echelons of running backs along with Alvin Kamara and Christian McCaffrey, and it’ll take more than just running to get there.

Next. Ravens: 4 standouts from the first padded practice of training camp. dark

At least the Ravens’ current running scheme needs no adjustments. Just put J.K. Dobbins on the field, add an extra blocker or two, and watch him go.