How the Kenyan Drake signing impacts the Ravens backfield

Kenyan Drake, Las Vegas Raiders. (Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images)
Kenyan Drake, Las Vegas Raiders. (Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images) /

The Baltimore Ravens have arguably built the best backfield in the NFL with the addition of running back Kenyan Drake. What role will Drake play in 2022?

Drake reportedly visited Baltimore on Tuesday after being released by the Las Vegas Raiders roughly a week ago. He officially signed with the team on Wednesday and gives the Ravens yet another talented and productive threat in the running back corps.

Gus Edwards was recently placed on the PUP list which sidelines him for at least the first four games of the regular season, so the Ravens were logically looking for extra running back depth behind projected starter J.K. Dobbins.

Dobbins, who is recovering from a season-ending ACL injury, should be ready to go in Week 1, but if not the Ravens have a solid contingency plan in veteran Mike Davis and Drake.

Head coach John Harbaugh spoke briefly about Drake’s signing on Wednesday:

"“When good players are available — and we’ve been known to run the ball a little bit — so you get a running back out there that we feel like fits what we do, a talented guy that wants to be here, we felt like it was a good move for us.”"

Baltimore Ravens have a solid RB2 and maybe more in new signing Kenyan Drake

With the surprise cut of rookie Tyler Badie, the Ravens trimmed down their running back room to just four players prior to signing Drake: Dobbins, Edwards, Davis, and special teamer Justice Hill.

Davis performed well in preseason, averaging 3.1 yards per carry and establishing himself as a reliable backup to Dobbins for the start of the season. If the Ravens are looking for a little extra pep in their ball carriers, though, Drake fits the bill.

The dual-threat recorded 3,266 yards and 27 touchdowns in three years with the Miami Dolphins and Arizona Cardinals. He’s coming off a bit of a down rushing year with 254 yards on the ground for Las Vegas, yet he posted a respectable 291 receiving yards as well.

As a mostly healthy back with no startling injury history, Drake appears to be a great fit for Baltimore on paper given his versatile skillset, and will likely compete directly with Davis for the RB2 role until Edwards returns.

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Drake stepped up when Raiders’ starting running back Josh Jacobs sat out due to injury last year, and he could very well adopt the same trusty backup role for the Ravens in 2022.