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Training Camp Breakdown: Running Backs

Left: RB Justice Hill; Right: RB Gus Edwards
Left: RB Justice Hill; Right: RB Gus Edwards

With training camp right around the corner, we're breaking down each position's competition. Today is the running backs.

In the Hunt

  • J.K. Dobbins, rookie
  • Gus Edwards, 3rd season
  • Justice Hill, 2nd season
  • Mark Ingram II, 10th season
  • Bronson Rechsteiner, undrafted rookie

Projected Starter

Ingram was one of the NFL's top free-agent signings in 2019, averaging 5.0 yards per carry and enjoying his third 1,000-yard season. Don't expect the 30-year-old Ingram to slow down in 2020. He stays in great shape and the Ravens don't have to overwork him due to their backfield depth and Lamar Jackson's running ability. Ingram is a terrific mentor for the team's younger backs due to his professionalism and effervescent personality. If you don't think Ingram is still an elite running back, you need to come see him.

Best Battle

The Ravens have consistently said they have no problem keeping four running backs, so this is seemingly more a competition for snaps than a roster spot. The competition for carries will be intense, and the three younger backs behind Ingram will be highly motivated to earn playing time. Many were surprised when the Ravens took Dobbins in the second round, but he's a special talent who ran for 2,003 yards at Ohio State last season. Baltimore runs the ball more than any NFL team, making their backfield depth more crucial to their success. Whether the Ravens dress three running backs or four on game days, all the backs will bring different styles to the table. Trailing Ingram, Edwards brings bruising power, Hill is a speedster, and Dobbins is both elusive and tough.

Under the Radar

Hill's longest run was 18 yards last season, but he has the speed to make more explosive plays both as a runner and a receiver out of the backfield. Players often make their biggest improvement between Year 1 and Year 2. If Hill enjoys a strong training camp, Offensive Coordinator Greg Roman may look for more opportunities to get Hill the ball in space. Head Coach John Harbaugh said he expects Hill to make a "big jump." Rechsteiner is an interesting prospect out of Kennesaw State who is the son of former pro wrestler Rick Steiner. The undrafted rookie showed that physicality in his running in college, where he was also a mauling fullback.

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