By Matt Vensel
7:00 PM EST, February 7, 2012
The retirement of Ricky Williams leaves the Ravens with one running back who has more than five career NFL carries -- and that’s Ray Rice, who is an unrestricted free agent this offseason.
Here’s a quick look at who the Ravens have on the roster (besides Rice) and a little speculation with three free-agent running backs and three soon-to-be draftees who might fit with the team.
On the roster:
Anthony Allen, 2nd season: A seventh-round draft pick in 2011, Allen beat out Jalen Parmele last summer to be the No. 3 back. A downhill runner, he rushed for eight yards on three carries.
Damien Berry, 2nd season: As an undrafted free agent, Berry was on the team’s practice squad in 2011. He showed good quickness and vision in college at Miami and is an intriguing prospect.
Matt Lawrence, 4th season: For a second straight year, he spent the season on injured reserve. Lawrence, a restricted free agent, hasn’t made an impact since receiving four carries in 2009.
On the market:
Cedric Benson, 8th season: Replacing one former Longhorns back with another? With his physical, one-cut running style, the 29-year-old has had three consecutive 1,000-yard seasons.
Ryan Grant, 6th season: Grant, who had a pair of 1,200-yard rushing seasons with the Green Bay Packers, can do a little bit of everything, including subbing in on passing downs if needed.
LaDainian Tomlinson, 12th season (???): Tomlinson, one of the most productive backs in NFL history, could also retire. But if L.T. wants one more shot at a ring, he would be a great fit here.
In the draft:
Dan Herron, Ohio State: One of the Buckeyes involved in the tattoo scandal, Herron is short but stout and is more of a straight-ahead runner. He scored 33 touchdowns in his collegiate career.
Isaiah Pead, Cincinnati: This 5-foot-10 sparkplug is on the rise after being named the 2012 Senior Bowl MVP. He also showed promise as a dangerous returner, something the Ravens lack.
Bernard Pierce, Temple: He can play the physical, change-of-pace role that Williams and Willis McGahee played in recent seasons. He is projected to be a second-day pick in April’s NFL draft.
Copyright © 2013, The Baltimore Sun