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This Baltimore Ravens Running Back Deserves More Opportunity

Keaton Mitchell has been proven useful and should be climbing the depth chart.
Keaton Mitchell Ravens

The Baltimore Ravens are currently the best team in the AFC North. As long as they continue to click on all cylinders, the Ravens should win the division handily. One of the biggest reasons for Baltimore’s success this year is depth on the offensive side of the ball. Lamar Jackson has taken a huge step this season as a passer and is posting the best completion percentage of his career with help from his counterparts. At receiver, Jackson has the options of Odell Beckham Jr., Rashod Bateman, Devin Duvernay, Nelson Agholor, and Zay Flowers. It’s safe to say that Jackson has never had a plethora of targets such as these, and he is taking full advantage of it. After losing tight end, Mark Andrews to a season-ending injury, the wide receivers are destined to get even more opportunities.

The Ravens are also deep at half-back and has a solid running attack. Gus Edwards, Justice Hill, and Keaton Mitchell make up the Ravens backfield. Edwards is currently the starter and has proven to be a reliable option. Second on the depth chart is Hill, who quietly collects yards every week. Last on the depth chart is Mitchell, who is opening the eyes of coaches and fans with his recent success.

Ravens Running Back Keaton Mitchell Needs More Touches

Running back Keaton Mitchell has been a bright spot for a Ravens team that needs a spark; He provides just that. This offseason, Mitchell signed with the Ravens as an undrafted free agent out of East Carolina University and was a standout in training camp. Unfortunately, Mitchell sustained a shoulder injury in camp and began the season on injured reserve. After missing the first five weeks of the season, Mitchell was activated in Week 6 against the Tennessee Titans. The Ravens began to work Mitchell into the rotation slowly but surely. In his Week 6 return, Mitchell did not touch the ball. In Week 7 against the Detroit Lions, Mitchell caught one pass for nine yards and did not receive a carry. Week 8 would be Mitchell’s last action-free game, where he did not touch the ball against the Arizona Cardinals.

The Ravens won all three games, so Mitchell’s absence wasn’t a detriment, but his success would soon be a welcomed addition. Once Mitchell received a legitimate opportunity to shine, he did just that. In Week 9 against the Seattle Seahawks, Mitchell ran wild. The rookie finished his first game of the season with a whopping 138 rushing yards, which is the most yards posted by a Ravens running back this season. For comparison, Gus Edwards’ game-high in rushing yards this season is 80 and Justice Hill’s is 46. Over the following three weeks against the Cleveland Browns, Cincinnati Bengals, and Los Angeles Chargers, Mitchell totaled 131 rushing yards and 65 receiving yards.

New Kid on the Flock

Mitchell has yet to carry the ball 10 times in a game due to his placement on the depth chart and Gus Edwards’ workhorse-like mentality. The Ravens need to do some shifting if they want to get Keaton Mitchell more involved. Edwards should continue to be the starter and shoulder the majority of the workload, but Mitchell needs to be on the field more. Justice Hill is a solid player but has yet to show the potential that Mitchell has shown in only four games. Mitchell has already won over fans with some of his electric highlights and lightning speed. As his opportunities pick up every week, so does his production. Keaton Mitchell is sure to be competing for the starting job shortly and has already proven to coaches that he deserves a chance.

Main Photo: Tommy Gilligan – USA Today Sports


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