With the initial craze of free agency now behind us, it is time to look forward to the 2022 NFL Draft that is now only days away. The Baltimore Ravens currently have 10 picks, including the No. 14 overall pick — their highest since drafting All-Pro left tackle Ronnie Stanley with the No. 6 overall pick in 2016.
In addition to pressing needs at cornerback and offensive tackle, among others, another position where the Ravens could add a prospect is at running back.
With J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards coming off torn ACLs and Justice Hill returning from a torn Achilles injury, as well heading into the last year of his rookie deal, drafting another young piece to the backfield may be in the cards.
This year’s incoming class is loaded with prospects at the position that can fit specific roles or possess diverse skillsets. One such prospect that can catch and run the ball and prove to be a steal in the middle rounds is Rachaad White of Arizona State.
The former Sun Devil is coming off a breakout senior season where he recorded over 1,400 yards and scored 16 total touchdowns from scrimmage on 225 combined touches. He rushed for exactly 1,000 yards on 182 attempts and added another 456 yards receiving on 43 receptions. His overall Pro Football Focus grade of 92.4 over the past two seasons is the highest for any running back prospect in this year’s draft class.
I want Rachaad White. The reasons should be obvious. pic.twitter.com/oTz6OvWmMb— Valley Boys Sports (@VBSofficial_) April 14, 2022
White is a dynamic playmaker with the ball in his hands both as a runner and receiver out of the backfield. His vision, explosiveness, quick feet, and elusiveness are just some of his most alluring traits. While he didn’t run a sub-4.4 in the 40-yard dash at the combine, he wasn’t far off with a time of 4.48. His tape shows that he clearly possesses the breakaway speed to rip off big plays and score from anywhere.
His swift footwork coupled with excellent vision allows him to make cuts on a dime, find rushing lanes and cutback lanes if need be, and explode through them into and past the second and third levels of the defense.
So, I'm watching OT Kellen Diesch (#74, cool player btw), however, I couldn't help but notice RB Rachaad White (#3).— Nick Price (@PriceCheck3) December 13, 2021
White has great agility with his feet but more importantly the vision to find a gap for the home run score. Keep an eye out for the Sun Devil at the Senior Bowl. pic.twitter.com/7qxb1nFhGp
He showed out at the 2022 Reese’s Senior Bowl with strong performances both in the week of practice as well as the all-star game. He displayed his route running prowess and ability to gain quick separation in one-on-one and team drills. In the game, he led the National team in rushing with 52 yards and finished second on the team in scrimmage yards with 59 — after adding his lone reception for seven yards.
White’s ability to be a weapon in the passing game would make him an immediate contributor as a rookie anywhere, but especially if he were to be drafted by the Ravens. He has some room for improvement as a pass blocker and runs with a high pad level at times, but both can be addressed with coaching at the next level. The Ravens hosted him for an official pre-draft visit earlier this month, so he is clearly on their radar and has piqued their interest.
White is projected to come off the board as early as the late third round but most likely somewhere in the fourth round. General Manager Eric DeCosta is currently equipped with five picks in Round 4. White could prove to be a mid-round steal in short order in Baltimore, where he’d be an early reliever for Dobbins and Edwards to start the season as they work their way back to full health.