After long wait, Dobbins gets chance with NFL’s best running team

Ohio State running one of seven Buckeyes drafted in first three rounds

Ohio State Buckeyes running J.K. Dobbins waited longer than most experts expected but got his NFL Draft moment 23 picks into the second round Friday.

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Baltimore Ravens General Manager Eric DeCosta called Dobbins, who was sitting on a couch in a room full of family members. The Ravens shared video of the call on their website.

“How much do you know about Baltimore?” DeCosta asked.

“I don’t know too much,” Dobbins said, “but I know they’ve got a great offense over there, and I know you all are a great team.”

“We like to run the ball. You know that, right?’

“Yes, sir.”

“Can you help us?

“Oh yeah, definitely.”

The Ravens, the NFL’s best team in the regular season last year with a 14-2 record, led the NFL by a wide margin with 206.0 rushing yards per game and added the second-leading rusher in Ohio State history to their attack. ESPN draft expert Mel Kiper rated Dobbins the second best running back in the draft class.

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“I’ve been waiting for a while,” Dobbins said on a teleconference with reporters Friday night. “It was a longer wait than I expected, but I’m glad the Ravens are giving me a chance. It’s a blessing to be on this team.”

Dobbins was the fourth of seven Ohio State players drafted in the first three rounds. He followed defensive end Chase Young (No. 2 overall to the Washington Redskins), cornerback Jeff Okudah (No. 3 to Detroit Lions) and cornerback Damon Arnette (No. 19 to Las Vegas Raiders).

Dobbins preceded three third-round picks: defensive tackle Davon Hamilton (No. 73 to Jacksonville Jaguars); offensive guard Jonah Jackson (No. 75 to Lions); and linebacker Malik Harrison (No. 98 to Ravens).

Dobbins became the 11th Ohio State running back drafted since 2000 and the first drafted in the first two rounds since Ezekiel Elliott was the fourth overall pick in 2016.

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The Ravens didn’t expect to get the chance to draft Dobbins, but he kept falling. Four running backs were drafted before him, including Wisconsin’s Jonathan Taylor, who was on the All-Big Ten first team with Dobbins and went to the Indianapolis Colts with the ninth pick of the second round.

The Ravens have the NFL’s sixth-leading rusher, quarterback Lamar Jackson (1,206 yards), and 14th-leading rusher, running back Mark Ingram (1,018). DeCosta told reporters they need as many talented players at the skill positions as they can find.

“We’re a team that likes to run the football,” he said. “Having running backs is really important. This is a guy who was one of the very best in college football. He’s a very talented guy with electric skills who plays at a high level. He’s from a really good conference and one of the best teams in college football. We’re excited to get him. He fits us. He’s going to be a dangerous player for us and give us the depth to do what we like to do.”

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