The Baltimore Ravens have high expectations for rookie running back J.K. Dobbins.
General manager Eric DeCosta could hardly believe that Dobbins fell to them with the 55th overall pick of the 2020 NFL Draft.
“I think with our offense we want to add as many talented guys as we can at skill positions,” DeCosta said. “You guys have watched us over the last couple years and specifically last year, and we’re a team that likes to run the football. So, having running backs is really, really important. This was a guy that was, in my opinion, one of the very best in college football this year.
“He’s a very talented guy with electric skills and played at a very high level in a really good conference [on] one of the best teams in college football, so we’re excited to get him. He fits us, and I think he’s going to be a guy that is going to be a dangerous player for us and give us the depth to do what we like to do.”
The Ravens love to run the football and broke the NFL’s all-time single-season rushing mark with 3,296 yards last season. Baltimore also became the first team in NFL history to average 206.0 rushing yards and 201.6 net passing yards per game behind quarterback Lamar Jackson, who was named the league's Most Valuable Player.
"It's amazing," Dobbins said. "I'm going to get to play with the MVP of the NFL, so I'm going to do my best to help him and just help the team win. So, it's definitely a blessing to be on this team.”
Even though the Ravens have all three of their running backs on the roster from last season — veteran Mark Ingram, Gus Edwards and Justice Hill — Dobbins has a chance to move up the depth chart and become a valuable fantasy pick.
"I don't think the Ravens had any idea he was gonna be there for them at the draft because they wouldn't have signed Gus Edwards to that one year tender," said Dr. Roto, Senior Fantasy Sports Expert for Sports Illustrated. "But Mark Ingram's about 30. Getting 31 year old, Edwards on a one year tender. It doesn't really matter.
"Dobbins is the best back of the trio. You watch as this season emerges. This kid is going to get that starting job and he's going to run away with it. When Lamar Jackson's back there with all that mobility, it creates running lanes and he's gonna have them aplenty."
Dobbins set a Buckeyes record with 2,003 rushing yards during his final season in 2019, breaking the previous mark of 1,927 held by Eddie George in 1995. Dobbins finished his career with 4,459 rushing yards, 796 receiving yards and 43 touchdowns.
In 2019, Dobbins was the Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award winner, First Team All‐Big Ten (media and coaches), First Team All‐American by the Football Writers Association of America and Doak Walker Award finalist.