When the Baltimore Ravens added Keaton Mitchell as a UDFA it was automatically one of the most discussed additions by fans. Fans love the running backs, and those who watched college football was Mitchell because he was a big play hitter at running back.
Can Keaton Mitchell beat out Justice Hill on Baltimore Ravens roster?
Still, he is undersized and does not have a well-rounded game other than hitting the hole with straight-line speed, and that is what caused him to be a UDFA. Still, with the fan excitement, there is already talk that he should be ahead of Justice Hill. The thing holding that back is special teams.
Justice Hill has been a four-phase special teams option when he has been healthy over the past three years. It is what has kept him on the roster, and that is why the Baltimore Ravens brought him back in free agency.
Mitchell could be a better back, but he has almost no special team experience. He returned kicks but has just 12 in his career. the Ravens take special teams seriously and have one of the best in the NFL in Devin Duvernay. You could almost make the case that the path for Mitchell to make the roster is by returning kicks, and Zay Flower returning punts, which makes Duvernay expendable. It is hard to see him beating out Hill.
Beyond that, while Keaton Mitchell is the new thing that fans are excited about, Justice Hill went earlier in the NFL draft. That is because he is bigger, faster, and had more production in college than Keaton Mitchell did. There are reasons that every UDFA does not turn into a star, and there are reasons that fourth-round picks who stick around as depth are not always busts.
The Baltimore Ravens expect J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards to be fully healthy this season, and you can tell because the team is not hedging with a heap of veterans in a way that they are currently doing at cornerback, and did at running back last season.
The Ravens are going to run through Dobbins and Edwards. Hill is going to be playing special teams, and that locks him in. If Mitchell wants to make the roster as a fourth back, he will be competing with other positions for special teams work. His best bet is to spend a season on the practice squad and find out what happens to J.K. Dobbins and his future contract.