J.K Dobbins is finally being allowed to shine.
For months, it’s been painfully obvious that J.K Dobbins is the best back in Baltimore. I’ve made my appreciation for Gus Edwards abundantly clear, but Dobbins is a perfect fit for a system that works best when the RPO is a viable threat.
J.K. Dobbins is something else 😤
— Bleacher Report CFB (@BR_CFB) September 14, 2019
What separates Dobbins from other backs is his combination of speed, quickness, elusiveness, and power. For example, look at the clip above. It’s from his college tape and it’s only one play, but it tells a story. Dobbins looks like he’s going to go up the middle, but there’s nowhere to go. So, he cuts it outside. Despite slipping intially, Dobbins regains his balance quickly and accelerates through the hole. It’s a tight hole, but he’s faster and stronger than the defenders on the other team. From there, it’s a battle of wills, and he wins and goes into the endzone for the great touchdown.
This play, while fantastic, wouldn’t mean much when evaluating other players. After all, NFL defenders are stronger, faster, and won’t miss all those tackles. Not only that, but it’s an option play. Not all NFL teams have the scheme to ensure success for Dobbins, but he just so happened to land on the team that does so at an elite level.
Lamar Jackson has struggled this season, but he’s started to turn it around. It’s my hypothesis that a big reason why has been a revitalized run-game. Gus Edwards has been a big part of the picture, but Dobbins is the present and the future in that backfield; he has 6 breakaway runs (as of Week 15) and that’s with a limited amont of carries; Dobbins is averaging 5.2 YPC (most among rookies) while also catching 18 passes for 120 yards. The scariest part is this is just the beginning. If Dobbins and Jackson are both threats in the backfield, defenses are going to struggle to contain all of that speed and elusiveness.
Earlier this year, Alex and I were debating whether I should draft CeeDee Lamb or J.K Dobbins with the 3rd pick of the rookie draft. I chose Lamb. I don’t regret my decision; I believe Lamb is a future top-3 receiver in the league. But I can’t help but look at Dobbins with awe. I’m investing in him in all my redraft leagues next season if I get the chance. For now, I’m just happy Dobbins is being allowed to shine.