Dobbins was considered a second-round steal in the 2020 draft and started his NFL career off strong with 805 rushing yards and nine touchdowns.
Whatever progress Dobbins had made in his rookie season was cut short in 2021 when the running back suffered a season-ending injury, and the young buck will look to pick up where he left off in 2020 as he enters his third year in the league.
Last season, the Ravens’ running game floundered in Dobbins’ absence, and Dobbins’ backup, Gus Edwards, unfortunately, missed the entire year as well.
With both Dobbins and Edwards hoping to make a full recovery, the team should feel confident about its reinvigorated rushing attack and its odds of winning the AFC North.
As for individual player awards, Dobbins has a long shot to swoop in and take the Comeback Player of the Year award.
NFL’s Adam Schein came up with nine incredibly bold predictions for the 2022 season, one of which touted Dobbins to win Comeback Player of the Year:
"“I love this cat. I thought Baltimore stole him late in Round 2 of the 2020 NFL Draft, and spent much of that offseason gassing him up. Then he went out and averaged a robust 6.0 yards per carry as a rookie, only furthering my infatuation.I think he bounces back with a monster season in 2022. As I’ve said time and again, the 5-foot-10, 212-pounder was put on Earth to run the rock for the Ravens.”"
Ravens’ J.K. Dobbins could run his way to winning Comeback Player of the Year
No one is questioning Dobbins’ pure skill and talent as a running back, but the reason this prediction is so bold is that the CPOY award has recently been dominated by quarterbacks and wide receivers.
Since 2016, two wideouts and four quarterbacks have won the award; last year, Cincinnati Bengals’ Joe Burrow took home the award for his impressive 2021 performance which included two unforgettable beatings of the Ravens.
This time around, the Ravens are seeking revenge and will need a healthy roster to compete for the division crown. The returns of Dobbins, Edwards, and many other Ravens players will set the team up for success, but no one has perhaps quite as high a ceiling as Dobbins who is primed to lead the team’s rushing attack.
Gone are the likes of veterans Latavius Murray and Devonta Freeman — the Ravens boast arguably the best running back corps in 2022 and have high hopes for Dobbins to take a huge leap in his career.
With a retooled offensive line in front of him, Dobbins has his best opportunity to not only break out in his third year but also take home the CPOY award this season.
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: this is the Ravens’ comeback year. Don’t sleep on J.K. Dobbins.