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Josh Jacobs: Coming to Baltimore Would Be a 'Good Look'


Becoming the next Alabama player to land with the Ravens sounds good to running back Josh Jacobs.

The Ravens are in the market for a running back, and Jacobs seems to be the best in this year's class.

Jacobs has seen former Alabama players such as Pro Bowl linebacker C.J. Mosley and cornerback Marlon Humphrey flourish in Baltimore, and the Ravens' roster is loaded with other Crimson Tide products – outside linebacker Tim Williams, cornerback Anthony Averett, offensive lineman Bradley Bozeman, and cornerback/punt returner Cyrus Jones.

Keeping the Alabama-Ravens pipeline going works for Jacobs, who can picture himself as another offensive threat in an offense spearheaded by quarterback Lamar Jackson.

"Lamar's definitely tough," Jacobs said Thursday at the NFL Combine. "He's different. Just playing with a lot of former Alabama players would make it easier for me transitioning. That would definitely be a good look."

With so many Alabama connections, starting with former general manager Ozzie Newsome, the Ravens have plenty of intel on Jacobs and the feedback is good. It's hard not to be impressed with a person who has already overcome tough circumstances.

Jacobs spent a large portion of high school in Tulsa, Okla., moving from one apartment to another with his father, a single parent raising five kids. Things got so bad financially at one point that Jacobs and his father slept in the family car for several weeks. College football has literally been a life-changing experience for Jacobs.

"Fighting adversity, going through all the things I went through in life, molded me into who I am today," Jacobs said.

Jacobs measured 5-foot-10, 220 pounds at the Combine, but he will not participate in workout drills. He suffered a slight groin injury earlier this month and will save his running for his pro day in March.

"I could run on it, I'm like 85 percent, but I feel like if I run on it and do bad, it will hurt me more than if I just chill," Jacobs said.

Perhaps the biggest knock on Jacobs is that he didn't have eye-popping numbers at Alabama last season – 640 yards on 120 carries, sharing reps with two other running backs, Damien Harris (876 yards on 150 carries) and Najee Harris (783 yards on 117 carries).

So why is Jacobs considered a top draft prospect? His running style, versatility, and lack of wear-and-tear on his legs.

Jacobs said teams understand that he didn't need huge numbers in college to prove he would be a playmaker in the NFL. He is ready to hit the NFL running, and thinks teams are smart to rely on more than one running back.

"I didn't have any injuries this year," Jacobs said. "After games, I didn't have bruises. I felt crazy-good. I definitely think it's the new wave."

Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh said Gus Edwards is the team's No. 1 back, but that competition for the job would be brought in. Jacobs has elusiveness, but he also has power, which fits the style the Ravens are looking for. 

"In our system, the ability to run the ball comes first," Offensive Coordinator Greg Roman said. "If we can find a guy that really excels in that [receiving] area – we'd love to have him. But el numero uno for us is: Here's the ball, and now go run with it."

That approach suits Jacobs, who often breaks the first attempted tackle. Told his running style has been described as "angry," Jacobs laughed.

"It's hard to explain, but when I put my helmet on it's like I go into a different zone," he said. "I don't hear the crowd or anything like that. It's like everything slows down for me. I guess it's just adrenaline and a mindset."

If the Ravens decide to choose Jacobs, he says they won't regret it.

"I'm been waiting for this opportunity," Jacobs said. "I'm just going to put in the work, grind every day. Any team that gives me a shot, I'm ready."

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