Draftable Running Backs
Todd Gurley: As we get closer and closer to draft day, don’t be surprised to see Todd Gurley mentioned as a mid-to-late first-round pick. Harkening back to the Ravens best available player strategy, Todd Gurley could be a player that, if available, the team rolls the dice on.
Prior to his ACL injury last year against Auburn, Gurley was not a player that had injury problems. In fact, he was a workhorse who single-handedly carried his team for about a year and a half. He was a projected top-five selection, and it remains to be seen where his body is, but if I’m the Ravens, I would like to see what he can do. He fits Trestman’s system as a big shifty back that can catch the ball out of the backfield. The big thing with Gurley is that he could possibly be off the board when the Ravens pick.
Duke Williams: If Lorenzo Taliaferro is going to be the feature back in Baltimore, then Duke Williams is his perfect complement. Taliaffero is a power back, you want him to churn out three and four yards a carry and be your goal-line/short-yardage workhorse, a Jamal Lewis of sorts.
Duke Williams is the big play option who could bust a 35-40 yarder, or take a wheel route to the house. If Taliaferro is really the future, Williams is the pick in the middle rounds of this draft that completes the back field.
T.J. Yeldon: Ozzie Newsome and John Harbaugh could continue the Alabama pipeline by selecting T.J. Yeldon in this years draft. Yeldon is an unorthodox back; athletic and fast, good size at 6’1″, 230, but a bit of an upright runner. Although he runs upright he still runs people over on occasion.
I don’t put much stock into his drop in production due to two factors: the first being that Lane Kiffin is known for liking to throw the ball, and why not when you have Amari Cooper on your team, the second being that Derrick Henry took about half of the running back reps in proper Alabama running game fashion. Yeldon took carries from Lacy, and it is no surprise that the favor was returned to him. I would be pretty happy to see Yeldon on the Ravens. I think he will be a long career, good not great production player in the NFL.