The Ravens selected players at just about every position with their 12 draft picks over the weekend.
But one spot they didn’t address was running back, and Assistant General Manager Eric DeCosta indicated that the Ravens could look to free agency to bolster the unit.
“We like our running backs, and there are still opportunities for us,” DeCosta said at the conclusion of the draft. “As Ozzie always says, ‘We don’t play games until September.’ We’ll have some chances between now and then maybe to add a couple backs.”
This year’s class was considered deep at running back, but the board didn’t fall in Baltimore’s favor at that position. DeCosta said there were times that a running back they liked came off the board just before the Ravens were on the clock.
“That happens every year,” he said. “I think I had less patience for it this year for some reason; I got kind of angry. But it did happen a few times, and one specifically was a running back. We tried.”
Even though the Ravens took a hard look at running backs, the position isn’t a glaring need because of the emergence of Alex Collins.
Head Coach John Harbaugh told reporters at the NFL League Meetings last month that Collins would be the starter this year after a breakout campaign where he rushed for 973 yards and six touchdowns on 212 carries. Collins emerged as the starter four games into the year after getting released by the Seattle Seahawks just before the season, and he showed the ability to be a workhorse back.
The Ravens also still have Buck Allen, who had the best year of his career. The versatile back carried 153 times for 591 yards and four touchdowns, and he added 250 receiving yards. Kenneth Dixon, who looked like he was going to compete for the starting job last year, is also returning to the lineup after missing the entire season with a knee injury.
But running back is a position where depth is important, as the Ravens were reminded last year after injuries to Dixon and veteran Danny Woodhead. The Ravens released Woodhead this offseason and he subsequently decided to retire.
If the Ravens decide to go the veteran route to address the position, the list of available rushers includes DeMarco Murray, C.J. Anderson, Eddie Lacy, Adrian Peterson, Jamaal Charles and Terrance West.