The Ravens might have an extraordinary backfield and the best dual-threat quarterback in the NFL but they are still lacking some run-play punch according to a former three-time Pro Bowler and one-time All-Pro running back.
Maurice Jones-Drew, who is currently working as an analyst for NFL Network after carrying the ball for 1,847 times in the league playing for the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Oakland Raiders in the last two decades, thinks Baltimore " must invest in the backfield" next offseason.
"The Ravens boast one of the most imposing rushing threats in the NFL in Lamar Jackson, but in his first season under coordinator Todd Monken, Jackson's per-game rushing numbers (9.2 carries, 48.6 yards) are as low as they've been since his rookie year. Gus Edwards (who currently leads the team in rushing yards) and J.K. Dobbins (on injured reserve with a torn Achilles) are set to become free agents, and while Justice Hill and Keaton Mitchell (an explosive touchdown machine who has jumped onto the scene in 2023) will be under contract, Baltimore must add to its strength this offseason. As a team that features a downhill run game, it feels like a no-brainer for Baltimore to target 2024 free agent Derrick Henry on a short-term deal. The soon-to-be 30-year-old might not be what he once was, but thinking about Jackson and Henry in the Ravens’ backfield makes me giddy. They could also consider bringing back Dobbins, who has had multiple injuries over the last few seasons, on a prove-it deal. "- Maurice Jones-Drew, NFL Network
The former rusher listed a few teams he considers weak at the position ahead of Week 12 and into the next offseason already looking forward to the 2024 campaign.
MJD listed as many as 10 teams, mind you, which already are like a third of the freaking whole league...
The former rusher acknowledged the Ravens "boast one of the most imposing rushing threats in the NFL in Lamar Jackson," but he pointed out that Jackson's numbers have gone down under the guidance of new OC Todd Monken.
Jones-Drew also highlights a very well-known problem the Ravens will have to deal with next offseason, pointing out how Gus Edwards and J.K. Dobbins will become free agents soon.
"Baltimore must add to its strength this offseason," MJD stated, going the distance to write "As a team that features a downhill run game, it feels like a no-brainer for Baltimore to target 2024 free agent Derrick Henry on a short-term deal."
The Ravens already traded for Derrick Henry ahead of the last NFL trade deadline only for the owners of the Tennessee Titans to veto the deal at the last second, so the interest was definitely there in bolstering the backfield with a top-tier talent.
While it's unclear how the Ravens will manage their cap room ahead of next season, it's obvious that they should add someone to their backfield in 2024 with only unproven rookie RB Keaton Mitchell and rusher Justice Hill in tow.