The Ravens Might Run And Hyde

carlos hyde

OWINGS MILLS — The Baltimore Ravens want to get back to playing physical, smash-mouth football.

Throughout team history, the Ravens have consistently ranked as one of the better running teams in the NFL. Last season, they had one of the least effective running games in the NFL.

And while the team has been more aggressive in upgrading its passing game during the last month, one of the primary goals for Baltimore entering the offseason was to get back to being able to pound and overwhelm opposing defenses on the ground.

The team expects new offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak to help with that. The Houston Texans and Denver Broncos consistently ranked among the best rushing offenses in the league under Kubiak’s direction.

The Ravens also added a new center, Jeremy Zuttah, hoping to improve one of their biggest problem areas on the offensive line last season.

Now, they plan to use the draft to add talent at running back, possibly even as early as the second-round with a back like Carlos Hyde from Ohio State.

“I think the draft is such at that position where you can get a guy in any round – second through seventh – that can help you play some good football,” Assistant general manager Eric DeCosta said.

Baltimore’s need for a running back has been greatened since the season ended.

Starter Ray Rice is facing a third-degree assault charge, and he could be suspended by the NFL regardless of the outcome of his case.

Backup Bernard Pierce, meanwhile, underwent shoulder surgery in January and is expected to be held out of football activities until at least the beginning of training camp in late July.

However, the Ravens viewed it as a priority to add at least one running back even before Rice was arrested in February.

They pursued some running backs during free agency — notably former New Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount — but the only back they signed was Justin Forsett, a journeyman who has now been a part of four different teams the last four years.

So Baltimore will depend on the draft, and it may be hard for the team to pass on Hyde if he is still available when the Ravens pick in the second round.

Coach John Harbaugh has said that he would like to add a big, physical, Blount-like back to go along with Rice and Pierce. The 6-foot, 230-pound Hyde is that type of player, although he brings more to the table than just that.

Hyde was suspended the first three games of last season for being a person of interest in an assault investigation, but he ran for 1,521 yards and 15 touchdowns during Ohio State’s final 10 games while averaging 7.3 yards per carry.

“[He] proved he can be a workhorse,” Nolan Nawrocki wrote in a scouting report on NFL.com. “[He’s a] solid all-around chunk runner well-built for the physicality of the AFC North.”

LSU’s Jeremy Hill is another big back teams are intrigued by.

Click here for more on Jeremy Hill…

Should the Ravens spend a 2nd round pick on a running back?
Yes if he is the best player available (52%)
No there are other options later in the draft (48%)
This poll has completed. Thank you for voting.

8 Raves on “The Ravens Might Run And Hyde

  1. Andrew on said:

    As a Buckeye (Undergrad and now Professional). I’ve loved watching Hyde. He’s a great power back and would be such a great fit for the Ravens. I’ve been hoping for the Raven to get him in the 2nd. Unfortunately, I don’t think he’ll fall past the titans.

  2. Morris on said:

    Personally, with all the recent trade talk, I’ve grown partial to the idea of trading with Niners. We pick up Jimmie Ward at the end of the 1st. Maybe a bit high, we get a plug-and-play center fielder plus a pick. If Ward went to a larger school, he’d be in the same conversation with Dix and Pryor. There are some formidable tackles in the 2nd round and running back talent can be found throughout. It’s not like we’re desperate at the position, anyway.

      • D-rock on said:

        You can get West or another RB later. Lee or Cooks, Bucannon, and best available OT in first 50 would be better. Again RBs are a dime a dozen….except AP

        • Fernando on said:

          I’m with you here… Unless there is someone REALLY good at 17, this is a perfect scenario. But there’s always the risk of trading down and having the guy you want taken before you pick…

  3. Cheri on said:

    It will take using a second round for Hyde I would pass.Too many other good backs to use a second on a RB. Remember RB has been devauled.On the other hand whatever Gary K. wants I would listen with his track record of drafting or signing RB’s. Hopefully he has his eye on someone that would fit his system perfectly in the 4th round or later.

  4. Unibomber on said:

    I can dig it. Hyde is big, has an excellent build, and simply does not get stuffed at the line of scrimmage. He may not be fast enough to be a home run hitter, but he gets consistent positive yards and does not go down on first contact. Plus he would probably be our best blocking RB as a rookie.

    OTOH, there are plenty of good options in the mid rounds.

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