Javorius Allen has been an underrated, yet versatile part of the Ravens offense in two of the last three seasons. Allen was selected in the fourth round of the 2015 NFL Draft out of USC and received snaps as part of a timeshare with Terrance West after a season-ending injury to veteran Justin Forsett. Allen made the most of his chances during his rookie campaign, finishing with 514 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown. In the passing game, Allen caught 45 receptions for 353 receiving yards and two touchdowns.
2016 was a much different story for Allen. Thanks in part to the play of West and rookie Kenneth Dixon, Allen was limited to just 34 rushing yards in his sophomore season. He suited up for only eight games in 2016. 2017 saw the re-emergence of Allen after Dixon was suspended and was eventually lost for the season with a torn meniscus in his left knee. West would also suffer a calf injury that limited him to five games last year. Allen and another unknown commodity, Alex Collins, would prove to be the catalysts in Baltimore’s rushing attack.
The two helped Baltimore to the 11th best running game in football. Collins made the headlines, but Allen made his mark as well. He rushed for 591 yards and four touchdowns. Again in the passing game, Allen was a reliable target for quarterback Joe Flacco as he notched 46 receptions for 250 yards and two touchdowns. Now, instead of being on the bubble, Allen and Collins look to establish their connection from a season ago. Allen is entering a contract season and can cash in after this year, but will it be for the Ravens?
At the moment, Allen is a number two running back, but he did show in his rookie season that he can start from time to time. Teams could be lining up to grab a versatile running back like Allen next year in free agency if he has a strong 2018. The wild-card in this equation is the return of Dixon, depending on how the Ravens view him after a lost 2017 campaign. If Dixon does well, that could spell the end for Allen in Baltimore, even if he continues to produce. If Dixon falters, Baltimore could make a good effort to bring Allen back. Either way, the Ravens would like one of them to pair with Collins for years to come.
If Javorius Allen is productive in 2018, should the Ravens re-sign him?
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