Baltimore Ravens: Lorenzo Taliaferro Will Be a Major Factor This Season


Aug 13, 2015; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens running back Lorenzo Taliaferro (34) celebrates after scoring a touchdown during the first quarter against the New Orleans Saints in a preseason NFL football game at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The Baltimore Ravens played their first preseason game of the 2015-16 season against the New Orleans Saints on Thursday night. Aside from the starting unit, the defense looked pretty suspect, but offensively there were definitely some bright spots. One of those young players who stood out was second-year running back Lorenzo Taliaferro.

Taliaferro played really well on Thursday, rushing for 36 yards and a touchdown on just 12 carries. He also caught two passes for 18 yards. While these aren’t exactly gaudy numbers, it’s only preseason and Taliaferro made the most out of the opportunities that he was given.

Taliaferro saw early action, including snaps with the first team offense. The Ravens drafted him in the fourth round of last year’s draft out of Coastal Carolina. Many thought that the Ravens would opt to select Baltimore native and now Cleveland Browns running back Terrance West, but they waited too long and Cleveland snatched him up. 

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No West? No problem. Taliaferro showed plenty of signs of a bright future with this franchise in his rookie season. He carried the ball 68 times for 292 yards and four touchdowns. He tacked on eight receptions for 114 yards. Starting running back Justin Forsett‘s breakout year certainly overshadowed what Taliaferro did last season. He wasn’t spectacular, but he proved to be a solid change of pace back for the Ravens. Forsett was more of the big-play threat, while Taliaferro was a bruising, downhill runner capable of churning out some much needed yardage.

It is apparent that he has been putting in the work this offseason in order to take his game to the next level. Taliaferro is much leaner and quicker than he was just a season ago and it surely showed against the Saints. One noticeable difference between he and rookie tailback Javorius ‘Buck’ Allen is that Taliaferro knows how to lower his shoulder and fight for the extra yards, while Allen has yet to add that to his repertoire.

Even though powerful running may be his calling card, Taliaferro will be looking to prove that he can contribute in other ways as well. With a trimmer frame, he should be able to make some plays he couldn’t make last year.

Let’s not get ahead ourselves. That was just one game, but if Taliaferro can display some consistency, he will have more than enough opportunities to help the Ravens in the upcoming season.

Next: Young Players Stand Out in Ravens 1st Preseason Game

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