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NFL Combine 2019: Playing next to Ravens’ Lamar Jackson? These RB prospects are intrigued

INDIANAPOLIS — Prospects in this article at the 2019 NFL Scouting Mix spew optimism and gush about teams throughout the league all through media interviews. Of study course they do. These youthful gamers want to get drafted to begin earning professional paychecks, and they know it’d be foolish to display anything other unbridled enthusiasm about every single franchise that could take into account scooping them up in April.

So it is good to soak up any respond to about distinct teams and gamers with a hefty dose of skepticism this week.

It is also well worth noting, even though, that the tones of functioning back again prospective buyers changed when 22-yr-aged Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson came up in conversations Thursday.

“Lamar is surely rough,” reported Alabama’s Josh Jacobs, commonly regarded as the top ball carrier in this year’s draft class.

“He’s different,” added Memphis’ Tony Pollard.

Diverse is an apt term in this circumstance. As a rookie previous season, Jackson begun just seven games but broke an NFL record with 147 rushing makes an attempt as a quarterback, using his elusiveness to led the Ravens on a late cost to the AFC North title.

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Though Jackson’s a developing and uneven passer, his speed and slipperiness as a runner are one of a kind. The ground activity-centered offense the Ravens are setting up to create all over Jackson also bucks NFL-extensive trends, and it has the awareness of youthful functioning backs who want to have the ball as generally as probable.

Though most teams are flinging passes all over the industry, Baltimore strategies to spot zone-read operates at the coronary heart of its attack.

That usually means Ravens receivers will be forced to block much more generally than they would in other offenses, but it could give functioning backs possibilities to glow. And Pollard reported it is pleasurable to observe cellular quarterbacks like Jackson escape difficulties in the pocket ir zig-zag down the industry for major gains.

“It would not only advantage me, but the overall offense,” Pollard reported. “On these vital 3rd downs, the play that was drawn up maybe did not work as it was meant to, the quarterback has to use his legs. It is really a great way to hold the generate heading and support the offense.”

There are also troubles that occur with taking part in alongside a run-heavy quarterback. Oklahoma’s Rodney Anderson reported functioning backs ought to spend distinctive awareness to detail when they are future to a fast QB, mainly because they have to protect the ball on alternative performs and react when the quarterback improvises by bolting from the pocket.

Anderson would know — he took handoffs from uber-athletic Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray at Oklahoma.

“It’s anything you got to modify to, I guess, but that arrives through expertise and practice,” Anderson reported of taking part in with a quarterback like Murray. “We’d been practising with each other for pretty much a yr to the begin of the season. When he starts scrambling all over, it is very little new. So you just modify, modify on the fly and make the very best of it.”

It is a undertaking Anderson would have to replicate if he wound up with the Ravens and joined Jackson. And that state of affairs could occur to fruition as Baltimore seems to be to fortify depth and versatility in its backfield.

Coach John Harbaugh reported the Ravens are shifting further into the offseason with strong back again Gus Edwards as their No. 1 ball carrier, and Kenneth Dixon is in the combine as a different bruiser who can compliment Jackson. Even so, Baltimore is searching to add much more functioning backs.

“We’re heading to set some levels of competition in there,” Harbaugh reported.

The Ravens could take into account using their 1st-round select on a setting up-caliber functioning back again who can play all a few down and fill a wide variety of roles. Jacobs fits that invoice as very well as any prospect in the draft class, and the previous Crimson Tide star reported he’d like to land in Baltimore, wherever he could rejoin Alabama teammates and play around his agent’s dwelling foundation.

“That would surely be a great glimpse,” Jacobs reported.

If the Ravens never signal a superior-caliber veteran functioning back again or pick out a single like Jacobs early in the draft, they could glimpse to afterwards rounds or the undrafted no cost agent industry to fill the have to have. Which is how they wound up with Edwards previous yr.

That route would carry most of the gamers at this year’s blend into play, Pollard and Anderson included. And if either of these fellas wind up becoming a member of the Ravens, it is safe and sound to presume that a single of the 1st queries they’ll request by themselves is this: What will it be like to play with Lamar Jackson?

“There are not also numerous fellas that are as athletic as him and able to play quarterback,” Pollard reported, “and then basically be great at throwing the ball and run like he does.”


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