Divisional rival rookies Bengals need to be aware of: RB J.K. Dobbins
The Ravens as a whole had an outstanding draft class, not only in comparison to the division but to the entire league. There are a number of players the Bengals ought to keep an eye on, but if there’s one player that stands out above the rest, it’s J.K. Dobbins.
The former Buckeye has the experience, frame, and mental makeup to be an instant-impact rookie. Throw in the fact that he’ll be lining up next to the ultra-elusive Lamar Jackson as well as Mark Ingram, and it could spell disaster for Cincinnati’s defense.
However, like all great players, Dobbins can be prepared for. Thankfully, the Bengals have the personnel necessary to contain the rushing attack that’s forming in Baltimore, something that couldn’t be said a year ago.
Dobbins is a nightmare in the screen game, so the Bengals will need to ensure they protect the edges and that their corners can defeat blocks on the outside. Trae Waynes and Mackensie Alexander are two of the better run-stopping defensive backs in the league, so they should help the situation. The hope is, Logan Wilson and Akeem Davis-Gaither can hit the ground running to give the secondary support on the perimeter.
The Texan native is a powerful runner and hard to bring down once he gets going. The interior defensive line will need to get hands on him early to slow his momentum. That should be no problem for Geno Atkins and D.J. Reader.
The Bengals are well equipped to handle a player like Dobbins, they just need to ensure they prepare for him properly.