Javorius Allen Is a Perfect Fit in the Baltimore Ravens' Offense
The 2015 rookie running back class is comprised of a group of top-end talents (Todd Gurley and Melvin Gordon) and then a free-flowing group of backs who all offered positive attributes but were also accompanied by question marks that needed to be accounted for.
As most believed before the draft, Gurley was indeed the first running back off the board, landing in St. Louis with the 10th overall pick. Melvin Gordon was the next off the board at pick 15, landing in San Diego. Both players will have a legitimate chance to contribute immediately, but there was one running back who lasted until round four who fell into a very positive situation given his attributes.
Selected with the 126th pick overall, Javorius "Buck" Allen found his new home in Baltimore, a place where the depth chart situation, as well as the coaching staff and scheme plays right into what he does best.
Allen's athletic measurables may not be earth-shattering, but he is more than adequately qualified to find his way onto the field at the next level.
And while Allen may not match up athletically to the backs drafted ahead of him, what he does have to offer is the proven ability to catch the football out of the backfield.
Where Allen Excels
Allen was very productive on the ground in 2014 at USC, but it was his dual-threat ability that made him difficult to gameplan against.
And as we know, the modern day NFL is full of situational running back rotations where a back that can put stress on the opposing team's linebackers and safeties in the passing game are extremely valuable.
According to Pro Football Focus, Allen led the nation last season in Receiving Yards Per Route Run (1.71). For context, the 2014 NFL leader was Theo Riddick (2.45). While Allen excelled in the receiving game, he did struggle in pass protection, ranking in the bottom 10 in Pass Blocking Efficiency.
Baltimore's new offensive coordinator, Marc Trestman, is a stringent believer in the pass-catcher back philosophy.
What Trestman had to say regarding Allen in this Baltimore Sun article was telling:
Coaches will obviously have nice things to say about new draft picks just hours after the draft, but in this situation, it seems like Trestman's words actually make sense from an on-the-field perspective.
Justin Forsett v2.0?
Baltimore re-signed Justin Forsett to a new three-year deal in March, solidifying his spot as the team's starter heading into training camp. Forsett should assimilate himself into Trestman's offense easily due to his pass-catching ability, but ultimately, Forsett has only had one 200-plus carry season in his career (2014) and turns 30 in October.
Looking at both Forsett's and Allen's measureables side-by-side hints at Allen as a possible replacement in a few years, as a player with similar skills (assuming Trestman is still in Baltimore).
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Those are a lot of conditions, but as far as landing spots go, Baltimore is as close to a perfect situation as any for a running back like Javorius Allen.