Doug Martin #22 RB, Boise St. 5'9" 220lbs.
The last time the Ravens drafted a running back in the second round they ended up with all pro Ray Rice. Much like this season, the team already had a Pro Bowl starter plus depth at the running back position. Actually, they had more depth at the position than they have at present. This, plus the pending hold out of Rice, leads me to believe the Ravens may select a running back in the early rounds in this years draft.
At this point Ray Rice is the starter and his immediate back up would be Anthony Allen followed by Damien Berry. Allen was a seventh round pick a year ago and has limited NFL experience to say the least. Berry, a second year pro out of Miami, who signed with Baltimore as an un-drafted free agent, has none at all. For a team like the Ravens, that relies heavily on the run game at times, having proven NFL caliber depth at the running back position is a must. It is unknown yet if the team plans to bring in a veteran to share the work load with Rice but the draft may be a cheaper option with a higher ceiling.
Picking at 29th overall, Baltimore will miss out on the best running back in the draft, Alabama's Trent Richardson. However, beyond Richardson the rest of the field at running back is sparse. Boise State running back Doug Martin is currently ranked second to Richardson on the draft depth chart. Martin is currently projected to go in the early second round. Perhaps if the Ravens do not have anyone they feel they must have drop to them in the first, they could trade down into the second and end up with an early pick.
In this case I think they should take a serious look at Martin. He is a back in the mold of Ray Rice who catches well out of the backfield and gains a lot of yards after initial contact even though he is smaller in stature. One of the strongest parts of the Ravens team over the years has been their ground game. They have always had a variety of versatile backs that are interchangeable throughout the game. I know the team and the NFL are starting to become more pass happy but they need to stay true to what has kept them prominent for so long. Running the football.
Let's face it, Joe Flacco is a very good quarterback, but he does have his bad days. The Ravens need to be able to run the ball effectively on these occasions to set up play action and ease Joe back into the game. Besides, Rice is going to get hurt at some point and I'm just not that comfortable with Anthony Allen being our number one and Berry our two. Hey, they could come out and prove me wrong, and I hope they do, but we are going to need to bring someone else in before the season starts. The sooner the better.
Here is the scouting report on Martin from fftoolbox.com:
2012 NFL Draft Prospect Scouting Report:
Doug Martin, RB, Boise State
The engine that drives the Boise State offense is not powered by quarterback Kellen Moore alone. Doug Martin is having one of the more impressive senior campaigns in the country and thus, putting himself squarely in the mix to hear his name called in the 2012 NFL Draft.
Martin is a thick back that runs low to the ground. He lacks straight ahead speed, but he accelerates into the line of scrimmage very well. His ability to move well in crowded spaces helps him a great deal. Using agility and good balance, he's able to fight for yards after contact.
NFL scouts can appreciate those qualities, but he does absorb a lot of contact (regardless of whether he goes to the ground or not). What's important is that he is always fighting toward daylight and churning his legs for yards. He runs well in open spaces since he can plant his foot and go. The Broncos don't use him a lot in their passing game, but he shows good hands.
Martin is currently pushing and competing to be the second running back drafted in the 2012 NFL Draft. He could hear his name called in the bottom half of the first round. In all likelihood though, he will come off the board in the second.