• Matt Oehl

Following the Rookies: AFC North Baltimore Ravens

The Baltimore Ravens were coming off of a season where they were the number 1 seed in the AFC and had MVP quarterback Lamar Jackson. Having the best rushing offense in the NFL in 2019 the Ravens decided to add to their stable of running backs by drafting Ohio State running back J.K. Dobbins with their 2nd round pick. With their 1st rounder, they took LSU linebacker Patrick Queen to fill the void left by free agent CJ Mosley when he went to the Jets between the 2018 and 2019 season. Queen filled a massive need while Dobbins simply gave them more depth with the potential of taking over the workhorse role in the future.

Patrick Queen has started in all 9 games he has played in registering 61 tackles (43 solo/18 assisted) with 5 tackles for loss, 5 QB hits, and 2.0 sacks. He has been given up 27 completions, being targeted 40 times while registering 1 pass defended, 2 forced fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries, and 1 touchdown. Queen is a very athletic, sideline to sideline backer who fits the Ravens blitz heavy scheme as he can rush the passer very well not only with his timing and speed but also with his relentlessness. Against the run, he is a sound tackler who is aggressive and attacks the ball carrier. He finds lanes to meet runners in the hole, takes good angles, and has done a good job to shed blocks to make plays on the ball carrier. In the passing game, he can improve his ball skills as he seems to be in the right place but still allows the catch. I think part of Queen's success has been due to him being drafted to the perfect situation so as he gets more comfortable and the game slows down as he learns more about NFL offenses and schemes he will do even better to potentially become one of the best linebackers in the game. His combination of athleticism and instincts are very good and his future is very bright.

J.K. Dobbins has played in all 9 games, registering 57 carries for 310 yards and 2 touchdowns, never eclipsing more than 15 carries in a game. He has also been targeted 20 times, taking in 15 receptions for 88 yards. His numbers don't tell the story of how well Dobbins has looked simply because of how many mouths there are to feed in that backfield. 4 players consistently get carries in Lamar Jackson, Gus Edwards, Mark Ingram, and J.K. When he does get the ball though he is an explosive back with a great combination of power and speed to break tackles and outrun defenders at the 2nd level. His contact balance allows him to stay up when receiving hits and his agility and elusiveness allows him to make defenders miss in the open field. I think he is the most explosive back in this backfield and he needs to start get consistently get 12-15 touches a game so that he can make a real difference. In the passing game, he has shown that he is comfortable catching the ball out of the backfield and one day may take over as a 3 down back. His potential is massive, if the Ravens decide to give Dobbins the role of an every-down back I think he will thrive as defenses will always have to respect the idea of Lamar Jackson running. With Mark Ingram still under contract for 1 more season Dobbins will not start to get a heavier workload unless the Ravens decide to make him the number 1 runner which hopefully will happen since he is by far the most talented back for them.

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