For the Ravens, evaluating running back prospects in the draft is all about the specific type of player and fit on the roster. Baltimore has three backs currently on the roster in Mark Ingram, Gus Edwards, and Kenneth Dixon. While all three have different strengths and skill sets, they’re generally downhill, between-the-tackles runners.
Thus, it’s no surprise that the Ravens have talked about adding a speedy running back in the draft with ability to break off big plays and play third downs. Given the Ravens are looking for this specific mold at the position, some players projected to go higher than the ones you’ll find below were left out of these rankings because of play style.
1) Josh Jacobs, Alabama
Jacobs is the consensus top-overall running back prospect in the draft with a good mix of agility, speed, and vision. If the Ravens truly want him, they’d have to take him in the first round, trade back and hope he’s still on the board, or trade up, all of which are unlikely.
2) Darrell Henderson, Memphis
Arguably the most explosive back in the class, Henderson led all running back prospects in yards per carry (8.9) last year. He had a whopping 19 scrimmage plays of 30+ yards, too. Henderson would be an ideal third-down, complimentary player in the Ravens backfield, bringing a big-play element they don’t currently have.
Similar to Tarik Cohen, Matt Nagy could use Darrell Henderson out of the backfield in a variety of ways.— Flo Ottis (@flo_ottis) April 20, 2019
Put the ball in his hands and let him create after the catch: pic.twitter.com/0htnqXzayG
3) Bryce Love, Stanford
After finishing as the runner-up to Baker Mayfield in the 2017 Heisman campaign, Bryce Love’s draft stock has plummeted after an injury-riddled senior season. There’s certainly some concern there, but there’s no denying his talent and skill set. When healthy, Love has a knack for making big plays and possesses breakaway speed. Potential mid-round sleeper.
4) Justice Hill, Oklahoma St.
For what he lacks in size and between-the-tackles power, Justice Hill makes up for with legitimate home-run ability. Hill ran an extremely impressive 4.40 40-yard dash time at the scouting combine and his speed shows on tape. One of the best pass-catching backs in this draft class with the shiftiness to change directions in space.
Footwork is gorgeous here by Justice Hill. That stutter step and quick explosive cut is going to work in the NFL every time because of how he set it up. Those moves in succession are huge. Hill might be the shiftiest back in the class. pic.twitter.com/KMXPxLghIS— Nick Farabaugh (@FarabaughFB) April 17, 2019
5) Trayveon Williams, Texas A&M
Despite a productive three-year career at Texas A&M, Trayveon Williams has been flying relatively under the radar throughout the draft process. Williams is good is pass protection, a quality the Ravens lost with Ty Montgomery leaving in free agency. While not overly explosive, Williams has good vision in the open field.
What are your thoughts on these running back prospects and which guys would you like to see the Ravens select? Leave your thoughts down below and stay tuned for more positional big boards to follow in the coming days!