Ravens Part Ways with Alex Collins, Solidifying Gus Edwards’ 2019 Usageby Ryan Potts March 2, 2019 0 comments
Former Ravens starting running back Alex Collins was waived by Baltimore yesterday.
The release of Collins follows an arrest after he was involved in a car accident early yesterday morning. Collins, who rushed for nearly 1,000 yards in 2017, was limited to 10 games in the 2018 season before being put on the injured reserve. Collins’s role in the Baltimore offense was filled by Kenneth Dixon and rookie Gus Edwards.
While Collins’s effectiveness around the goal line will be missed by the Ravens, the Ravens have seven months to find a suitable replacement for Collins.
In large part due to the revamped offense with Lamar Jackson and Edwards, the Ravens produced an incredibly high number of rushing yards without Collins in the lineup. The Ravens, who finished second in the NFL in rushing in 2018, were not set on bringing Collins back into the fray in 2019 as he was a restricted free agent.
With this release, Collins will certainly not find another spot on the Ravens roster next season, but other teams could glance at the former 900-yard rusher. Collins, a former Seahawk, will look to be a part of a running back by committee in order to stay in the NFL. Moving forward, the Ravens could look to draft a running back early in the draft.
Many mock drafts have positioned the Ravens to take Alabama running back Josh Jacobs with the No. 22 pick. While the Ravens may look to fill holes at other positions, selecting Jacobs is an option the Ravens should look at.
Baltimore should also look at options through free agency including the likes of Le’Veon Bell and Mark Ingram. If either star running back slips through, there are a plethora of tier-two running backs on the market including the likes of Tevin Coleman.
The current Ravens depth includes Edwards, Dixon, Javorius Allen, and De’Lance Turner quartet. By virtue of being four backs deep, the Ravens are not in a position that they must add another back. In any matter, the system of offense which the Ravens excel in does not necessitate star backs.
The 2019 offense, which will more than likely feature a nuanced approach to the 2018 offense, will be spearheaded by the decision making of Jackson and the ability of the offensive line to create sizeable running lanes for the likes of Edwards and Dixon.
While the running lanes froze up against the Chargers in the playoffs, the latter part of the regular season saw the Ravens create legendarily large running gaps, at least in the eyes of former player and Super Bowl champion Mark Schlereth.
If the Ravens can replicate this success, the Ravens will challenge for one of the highest rushing totals in the 21st century.
Just before the NFL Combine, John Harbaugh announced that Edwards was the number-one back heading into the new league year.
The announcement should be a boon to Edwards’s confidence as he enters his second year as a Raven, but a variety of other backs should feature due to the gargantuan number of carries which the Ravens record on a weekly basis.