OWINGS MILLS — Gary Kubiak’s offenses have done something consistently well over the years: Produce highly productive running backs.
Terrell Davis was the NFL Offensive Player of the Year twice under Kubiak in Denver. Mike Anderson was the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2000. Arian Foster was selected to three Pro Bowls under Kubiak in Houston. Unheralded running backs like Reuben Droughns and Olandis Gary even rushed for 1,100-plus yards in Kubiak’s offense.
And to the Baltimore Ravens, fourth-round pick Lorenzo Taliaferro has some similar attributes to many of those running backs that have been successful under Kubiak, who took over as the Ravens’ offensive coordinator in January.
“He’s an aggressive runner,” Baltimore assistant general manager Eric DeCosta said of the 6-foot, 230-pound Taliaferro. “He’s a downhill runner. He’s a good scheme fit. He has good hands. But really, the size, the physicality that he has … Gary has had good success in his offense with players like this guy, and I think he’s a good, young developmental prospect.”
Taliaferro ran for 1,729 yards and 27 touchdowns as a senior at Coastal Carolina last season and further impressed the Ravens at the Senior Bowl in January.
With Baltimore, he will likely serve as a power complement to starting running back Ray Rice and backup Bernard Pierce.
He could also be depended on to play a sizeable role early in the season. Rice was arrested in February and charged with third-degree aggravated assault, and he could be suspended by the NFL regardless of the outcome of the case.
However, the Ravens were looking for a power running back even before Rice got in trouble, and they now have one in Taliaferro.
Taliaferro also has respectable speed for a player of his size. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.58 seconds at the NFL Scouting Combine in February.
“I think my speed is very underrated,” Taliaferro said. “A lot of people don’t understand that we [ran] power plays and a lot of mid-zones in our school. I was able to bust a bunch up the middle this year where I outran defenders. Whether it was FCS level or not, I think my speed was highly rated as well.”
Baltimore’s brass also thinks highly of Taliaferro in pass protection.
NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock named Taliaferro his “Player of the Day” after one of the practices at the SenIor Bowl strictly for Taliaferro’s work in pass protection.
“He is a really outstanding pass protector,” Ravens director of college scouting Joe Hortiz said.
More on Taliaferro HERE…