Ahead of the 2021 NFL season, Sam Monson of PFF gave his list of the top 32 running backs in the NFL. Ravens’ second-year running back J.K. Dobbins placed No. 26 on Monson’s list.
This comes as a surprise after Dobbins burst onto the scene during last season. Dobbins was selected with the No. 55 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. Dobbins overtook the starting role from veteran Mark Ingram during the season and is poised for a big second season.
Dobbins finished with his rookie campaign with 805 rushing yards and nine rushing touchdowns on 134 carries, averaging 6.0 yards per rushing attempt—best among all running backs—and third in the NFL behind quarterback Kyler Murray and his own quarterback Lamar Jackson at the top. Dobbins also added another 120 receiving yards on 18 receptions.
Potentially even more surprising is that Baltimore running back Gus Edwards was left off the list entirely. Edwards has been a model of consistency since joining the Ravens as an undrafted rookie in 2018. Edwards has rushed for 718, 711, and 723 yards in that order in his three seasons in the NFL, averaging over 5 yards per rush attempt in every season. Keep in mind that Edwards didn’t take over as the starter until midway through 2018, and played second fiddle to Mark Ingram in 2019 and Dobbins in 2020. To make matters more puzzling, Ingram landed at 32 on the list despite his play falling off dramatically last season and being reduced to a minor role behind Dobbins and Edwards.
Dobbins chimed in on Twitter.
I just let PFF talk I’m pretty sure none of those guys really know how to grade film— Jk dobbins (@Jkdobbins22) May 19, 2021