Gus Edwards salvaged the Ravens' run game in the second half of 2018, but the arrival of Mark Ingram and rookie Justice Hill spells doom for Edwards' playing time. It's too bad -- in his last eight games of 2018, Edwards averaged a ridiculous 5.2 yards per rush while picking up carries at a 16.3 per game clip. With Ingram aboard, Edwards' touches are sure to sag since Ingram is considered a better rusher and Edwards offers nothing in the passing game. Pretty much the only way Edwards will be impactful is if Ingram misses playing time. Handcuff him to Ingram if you'd like, but ultimately Edwards has nothing more than very late-round value on Draft Day.
Edwards said he still takes practice reps with the starters on offense, Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com reports. Despite averaging 5.2 yards on 137 carries as an undrafted rookie, Edwards will need to fight for his work after the Ravens signed Mark Ingram and used a fourth-round pick on Justice Hill. The team also returns Kenneth Dixon, who averaged 5.6 yards on 60 carries last year and has shown some pass-catching utility in the past. Edwards said he reduced his body fat from nine percent to six percent in an effort to become more versatile for his second pro campaign, per Clifton Brown of the Ravens' official website. He was strictly an up-the-middle grinder in 2018, catching two passes in 11 games while leading all qualified rushers with 90.2 percent of his carries going between the tackles.
Edwards has signed his tender with the Ravens, Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic reports. Edwards caught on with the Ravens as an undrafted rookie in 2018 and can be kept under team control at a low price through 2020. He served as Baltimore's lead runner during the second half of last season, but he'll now slide back to a complementary role with Mark Ingram hopping in as the starter. Edwards and Kenneth Dixon will compete for backup work in a run-heavy offense.
The Ravens signed Mark Ingram to join Edwards and Kenneth Dixon in the backfield, ESPN.com reports. Coach John Harbuagh referred to Edwards as his No. 1 running back a couple weeks ago, but it's pretty clear that won't be the case unless Ingram misses time with an injury. The 29-year-old former Saint is coming off four straight seasons with at least 4.6 yards per carry and six rushing touchdowns, and he's also far more proven than Edwards and Dixon in terms of blocking and receiving (228 career receptions). The team should still have a role for Edwards in a run-heavy offense, but he'll presumably be competing for the No. 2 job instead of the starting gig.
Coach John Harbaugh said Wednesday that Edwards is the Ravens' No.1 running back "right now," Ryan Mink of the team's official site reports. Harbaugh made the comment during his media availability at the NFL Scouting Combine, an event Edwards wasn't even invited to one year ago. Edwards went on to lead the team with 718 yards and two touchdowns as an undrafted rookie despite not taking on a major role until Week 11. As it stands, Edwards will be the starter in what projects to be one of the league's most run-heavy offenses. Kenneth Dixon looked good once he got back on the field in 2018 and will warrant his own workload, and the Ravens could still add depth at the position via free agency or the mid-to-late rounds of the upcoming draft. Still, Edwards did enough for himself to earn top billing on the depth chart heading into 2019.
Edwards rushed eight times for 23 yards in the Ravens' 23-17 wild-card loss to the Chargers on Sunday. With a nearly non-existent role in the passing game thus far in his young career, Edwards has seen his fantasy production exceedingly dependent on his success, or lack thereof, on the ground. Thus, when the running game is neutralized by game script, so too is Edwards, as was clearly the case Sunday. It was a disappointing finish for the Rutgers product, who certainly made a noticeable impact during the stretch run of the regular season with a trio of 100-yard efforts and another two over 80 in the last seven games. He'll look to pick up where he left off in 2019 while likely sharing a fair amount of touches with backfield mate Kenneth Dixon.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|3||09/22||@Kansas City Chiefs||31||23.78|
|9||11/04||New England Patriots||8||16.00|
|12||11/26||@Los Angeles Rams||14||17.26|
|13||12/01||San Francisco 49ers||20||19.00|
|15||12/13||New York Jets||18||17.75|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||137||718||2||2||20||0||87|