Day 3 Ravens rookie earns significant praise from Lamar Jackson

This Ravens youngster is impressing the MVP.
AFC Divisional Playoffs - Houston Texans v Baltimore Ravens
AFC Divisional Playoffs - Houston Texans v Baltimore Ravens / Kirby Lee/GettyImages

The Baltimore Ravens are banking on the combination of MVP quarterback Lamar Jackson and Hall of Fame-caliber running back Derrick Henry being overwhelming enough for opposing defenses to help this team get to the Super Bowl. Behind Henry, Baltimore is assembling a first-rate squad of backups.

Even with Keaton Mitchell scheduled to start the season injured as he works his way back to full health, the Ravens have a trusted deputy in Justice Hill. Eric DeCosta also saw fit to draft another player behind Henry in fifth-round Marshall alum Rasheen Ali.

While Ali didn't have the smoothest pre-draft process, he appears to have made an impression on his new teammates. Jackson spent his time with the media hyping up the running back room outside of Henry as a whole, but he paid special attention to Ali.

“Oh, [Rasheen Ali] looks smooth, man," Jackson said, via Ravens Wire. "He’s pretty fast from what I’ve seen on the field. But, it’s not just him. We’ve got Justice, we’ve got ‘O’ [2023 UDFA Owen Wright] doing their thing. The backs are looking good.” The running back room remains as deep as it has ever been.

Lamar Jackson impressed by Ravens rookie RB Rasheen Ali

Ali will likely begin the season as the No. 3 running back behind Henry and Hill, as Mitchell is still recovering from an ACL injury. Ali, who ran for 38 touchdowns in his last two seasons at Marshall, showed an impressive nose for the end zone and more between the tackles skill than most Day 3 running backs.

Ali's best trait is broken-field running, as he has solid vision and elusiveness for a bigger back. When Mitchell returns to full health, Ali has a chance to possibly unseat him atop the depth chart. If Ali's health issues from college don't pile up, the Ravens might have one of the best running back rooms in the league.

Hill has been a solid backup for years, and Mitchell has the speed needed to become a big-play threat. Even without Henry, Baltimore's depth-first approach to building this room could give them even more confidence in replicating or exceeding their standout performance from 2023.

As a fifth-round pick in a crowded room, Ali is guaranteed next to nothing in the pros. Getting a vote of confidence from Jackson early in his career could go a long way. As always, he needs to prove Jackson right with his play on the field.