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Ravens Positional Preview: Running Back

One of the big stories of the Ravens preseason is the competition to be the starting runningback during Ray Rices suspension.

Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

The Players: Ray Rice, Bernard Pierce, Lorenzo Taliaferro, Justin Forsett, Fitzgerald Toussaint, Cierre Wood

What To Know: Rice, Pierce and Taliaferro are locks to make the team. Their pay and status as Ravens draft picks ensure that. Forsett will probably be on the team for at least the first two games.

Each running back has a unique skill of their own that makes them useful to the team: Pierce is the one-cut runner, Forsett is the change-of-pace back and Taliaferro is the short yardage/goal-line back.

Taliaferro and Pierce both made good impressions against the 49ers as Pierce ran for a touchdown and Taliaferro led both teams with 13 carries for 71 yards. However, Taliaferro has performed better than both Forsett and Pierce in the areas of pass protection and ball security as Forsett failed miserably in his one block vs. the 49ers and Pierce struggled at it in camp and also both Pierce and Forsett had a fumble in last Fridays game.

One of the things that might derail Pierce from getting the starting job is his health as injuries have been a problem,not enough to keep him out of a game,but enough to affect the quality of his play.

Wood and Toussaint have been  unremarkable in camp and didn't do anything on Friday to get a job. They're likely fighting for a spot on the practice squad, unless they show some value on special teams or an injury pops up.

Projection: Taliaferro continues to impress in preseason and wins the starting job during Rays' suspension. Forsett gets cut after Week 2. Wood goes on the practice squad.