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Can a Short Yardage Back Emerge for the Baltimore Ravens?

The backfield is crowded with mostly specialists.

Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

Some could say that there is redundancy in the Ravens backfield. The projected top three backs , Justin Forsett, Javorius Allen and Kenneth Dixon all present similar size and skill set. None of them present the physical profile to become long term bell-cows or situational battering rams. That fact alone could be enough to keep Lorenzo Taliaferro, a proven physical runner on the roster.

Kenneth Dixon could become that player despite his lack of size. He is a very violent runner, who puts everything (though it isn't an overwhelming amount) behind his pads. He does not move the pile but he does constantly break first contact, ranking on top of Pro Football Focus' elusiveness rating. He is likely to get his fair share of opportunities.

Trent Richardson came into the league as the next Marshawn Lynch; a lofty comparison that was not without merit. While Richardson's career has since flamed out, he has proven to have the physical ability to move piles.

Allen and Forsett will battle for the lead back position. Their experience should give them the initial edge over Dixon. The loser of this competition could find themselves phased out of the rotation, as their skills are almost identical.

The emerging and best short yardage back will also find himself getting most of the redzone touches, which could lead him to eventually vulture the lead back role.