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Running Back. Are We Good?

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Yep, I'm dragging this debate back into the forefront. 

With the emergence of Gus Edwards and Kenneth Dixon looking good when actually on the field this year, is running back sliding further down the lists of significant needs again? It appears as if the team is going full-steam ahead with Lamar Jackson at quarterback and that's obviously huge for the running game. Maybe a part of it is bad defenses and not having enough time to study Baltimore's new offense on tape, but I don't think there is a big threat of this running game ever being truly shut-down or figured out. Bad games will happen but it's going to be there.

With that in mind, does it make sense to invest high draft or cap space capital in a better running back? Gus has been a beast and isn't doing it by the occasional gashing. Dixon is the change-of-pace option. Collins would probably thrive with the space/options now provided too and he should be back on the cheap next year. Allen is gone as a free agent, I'm thinking the same goes for Montgomery. 

I'm not saying disregard it entirely. Dixon isn't reliable and he hasn't been as big of a threat in the passing game as expected. Edwards doesn't seem to have any utility there either and Collins is just okay. There's a need in that facet (and I think the team can do better than Montgomery). Not sure I'm seeing a first through third round priority here unless some tremendous value pick presents itself. Again. Seems like I'm here more often than not...

Anyways, what are your thoughts? Jackson simply changes things. Does that alter your opinion in anyway?

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I think we're fine but we should still draft one in the mid rounds, anywhere from 3rd-6th.

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I don't know much about the draft class but if there's some high upside talent there in the first couple of rounds I'd be okay with using a high draft pick at RB. Dixon is made of glass and Edwards just sort of strikes me as a JAG on a hot streak. But maybe I'm just being unfair to Gus after being burned by jumping on the Alex Collins hype train. 

If we're going all-in on Lamar then we're in a sense also going all-in on some bigger emphasis on the running game. A gamebreaking RB combined with Lamar could be electric; we don't have that in our stable right now, we just have a bunch of solid players. Do I want to break the bank for LeVeon? No. Would I at least have conversations with Ingram and Ajayi when they hit the market? Definitely.  

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I don't think you're ever fine at RB, tbh unless you KNOW you have a star.

If we get to the 3rd or 4th round and BPA dictates a RB, I'm all for taking a RB.

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Nothing has changed for me really. I still think there a valuable role players at the position in the 4-7 round, especially that pass catching option which would fit well with what we need. Gus and his style works well, Dixon might even have a role afterall but I won't bet on it, and Alex Collins could still be a valuable piece for 10 snaps a game, especially if we get him in space on short passes. Myles Gaskin is still a guy I have the hots for.

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48 minutes ago, Danand said:

Nothing has changed for me really. I still think there a valuable role players at the position in the 4-7 round, especially that pass catching option which would fit well with what we need. Gus and his style works well, Dixon might even have a role afterall but I won't bet on it, and Alex Collins could still be a valuable piece for 10 snaps a game, especially if we get him in space on short passes. Myles Gaskin is still a guy I have the hots for.

oh god yes

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I'm not convinced yet that either Dixon or Edwards are RBs you say "we're set at the position" with, but I do think there are a couple of other positions (at least) that require a more significant upgrade.  Plus Dixon has a longer history of not being available through injury or suspension than he does of actually being on the field, so I'm not sure it'd be all that wise to depend on him

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11 hours ago, Danand said:

especially that pass catching option

wouldn't (shouldn't) that be Montgomery on the squad right now? i'd say give him an offseason to get on track with the playbook.

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I think Gus Edwards is a very good one dimensional threat. He’s not a pass catching back. The problem with him might be durability, but based off of his vision to this point I have not seen anything to convince me that he’s not real.

We can definitely upgrade him, but I’m not convinced that we will have the opportunity. There are few backs in this draft that I would feel comfortable providing us with the upgrade. It depends on if they fall.

I definitely wouldn’t go RB in round 1. And I would be very unlikely to go RB in round 3, unless we find a way to obtain a couple earlier picks via a trade down in round one, a Flacco trade, etc.

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8 hours ago, berlin calling said:

wouldn't (shouldn't) that be Montgomery on the squad right now? i'd say give him an offseason to get on track with the playbook.

He could very well be an existing option. It all depends on whether we are able to find someone who can provide more big plays. Atm. we only have runningbacks capable of running 20 yards it seems.

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I think TyMont has a better chance of being on the roster in 2019 than Alex Collins does, tbh. Just doesn't seem like the organization/Harbaugh really trusts him, between the fumbling and the concerns about him dancing too much in the backfield. Montgomery has a pass-catching skillset that nobody else on the roster really has. 

Edited by BaltimoreTerp

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1 hour ago, BaltimoreTerp said:

I think TyMont has a better chance of being on the roster in 2019 than Alex Collins does, tbh. Just doesn't seem like the organization/Harbaugh really trusts him, between the fumbling and the concerns about him dancing too much in the backfield. Montgomery has a pass-catching skillset that nobody else on the roster really has. 

Yup. We traded for Ty while we put a relatively healthy Alex Collins on IR to end the season. I feel much better about a backfield consisting of Montgomery and Edwards than Collins and Edwards. The latter hasn’t a back that can be your All Purpose threat as a passer and a runner.

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I still believe we have an asset in Collins, and I do believe he can be developed into an all purpose player. He is still more explosive than Edwards, Dixon and Montgomery and we need something explosive on offense.

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gus doesnt wow me, i believe he's a product of lamar more than anything, and dixon can't be trusted. would still like to see collins playing with lamar. i would not be opposed to drafting a rb in day 2.

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47 minutes ago, RavensDefense3 said:

gus doesnt wow me, i believe he's a product of lamar more than anything, and dixon can't be trusted. would still like to see collins playing with lamar. i would not be opposed to drafting a rb in day 2.

Gus ran well with Flacco under center against the Titans, who were selling out against the run. 

Lamar's effect on the running game is powerful, but there's little evidence to suggest we haven't at least stumbled upon a hyper consistent power runner. Edwards' ability to get positive yardage with non ideal blocking, and plus yardage when the holes are there - is exceptionally valuable. He boasts the best success rate among all qualified runners in the NFL, 10% better than #2 Alvin Kamara. Gus is also 15th in DYAR & 9th in DVOA. He's breaking tackles, he isn't fumbling, and he's moving the chains.

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