The phrase “perfect landing spot,” is overused in dynasty circles, but it precisely describes Dobbins to the Baltimore Ravens. Ravens selected Dobbins with the 55th overall pick. According to Bleacher Report, Raven’s general manager Eric DeCosta did not expect Dobbins to be available at pick 55. Decosta stated “we just had to take him. He’s just a talented guy. It just made too much sense for us not to take him.” Dobbins was drafted behind notable prospects such as Louisiana State running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire (32nd pick), Georgia running back D’Andre Swift (35th pick), Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor (41st pick), and Florida State running back Cam Akers (52nd pick). Despite being picked as the fifth running back off the board, Dobbin’s talent and situation open the discussion of why he could be the RB1 from this class.
Dobbins won the 2019 Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award, recognizing him as the top offensive player in college football who was born in or graduated from a high school and/or college in Texas. At 5’9, 209 lbs with 4.45 speed, Dobbins through three seasons at Ohio State posted 4,459 rushing yards and 38 touchdowns on 725 attempts. In his last season he set the Ohio State single season rushing record with 2,003 yards. Per Pro-Football Focus, Dobbins had 31 carries of 15-plus yards last season, which led all running backs in college football. From his experience playing in the Ohio State system, Dobbins is the ideal fit for the Raven’s heavy run-pass option offense.
In 2019, the Ravens were the number one rushing offense with 3,296 yards for 21 touchdowns on 596 attempts. To put their dominance into perspective, the Ravens offense rushed for 991 more yards than the second ranked rushing offense, The San Francisco 49ers. Quarterback Lamar Jackson was the X-factor in the rushing game with 176 attempts for 1,206 yards. Dobbins will have to compete with running back Mark Ingram for the starting role. Last year, Ingram rushed for 1,018 yards for ten touchdowns on 202 attempts. Ingram added 247 yards receiving (on 29 targets) and five touchdowns. Dobbins will also have to compete with Gus Edwards and Justice Hill for playing time.
It will be difficult for Dobbins to reach RB1 status in 2020 given the crowded backfield. It would take an injury to Ingram for Dobbins to get a legit shot at a workhouse role. In Week 16 of last year, Ingram suffered a left calf injury which ended his season. The 30-year-old isn’t getting any younger and only has two years left on his contract. Per Overthecap.com, Mark Ingram can be cut for only $1.3 million in dead money after this season. Per ESPN, Ravens GM Decosta stated he sees Dobbins being utilized as a “three-down back.” It is not out of the realm of possibility that Dobbins takes over by mid season.
According to DLF’s July 2020 ADP data, Dobbins is going as RB21 in start-up drafts. Per their May 2020 ADP data, Dobbins is going as RB4 in rookie drafts. In both instances, you are drafting Dobbins as a value. He will be less expensive to acquire than his top counterparts in the 2020 class. Buy now and reap the benefits later.
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