Ravens Running Backs at a glance

Regular readers will know by now that the awesome pre-camp coverage provided by RavensInsider includes independent positional analysis of the Ravens squad by two different staff writers.<br><br> Today, Aaron Wilson looks at the Ravens RBs and comments on each. Also see Dev's RB article from yesterday and both QB breakdowns from the past couple of days. <br><br>

RUNNING BACKS

23 Preston Hartfield
Ht: 6-1 Wt: 213 Age: 24
Year: Rookie
College: Texas Tech
Acquired: Free agent, 2004
Resume: Played wide receiver/linebacker with the Rio Grande Valley Dorados (af2) after being cut by the Washington Redskins last year. Caught 21 passes for 207 yards as a senior. 
Outlook: Fullback is a fairly deep, stable position, so Hartfield faces an uphill climb.


29 Chester Taylor
Ht: 5-11 Wt: 213 Age: 24
Year: 3
College: Toledo
Acquired: Sixth round, 2002
Resume: Rushed for 276 yards and two touchdowns on 63 attempts last season while acting as the third-down back. Secured 20 receptions for 132 yards. Only fumbled once.
Outlook: Shifty reserve is adept at slipping out of the backfield for short routes and is an underrated pass blocker.


30 Kory Chapman
Ht: 6-1 Wt: 202 Age: 24 
Year: Rookie
College: Jacksonville State
Acquired: Free agent, 2004
Resume: Rushed for 1,265 yards and nine touchdowns last season for Division I-AA playoff squad.
Outlook: Pecking order at tailback is firmly established, decreasing chances for rookies.


31 Jamal Lewis
Ht: 5-11 Wt: 240 Age: 24
Year: 5
College: Tennessee
Acquired: First round, 2000
Resume: Reigning NFL Offensive Player of the Year gained second-most rushing yards in a single season in league history with a 2,066-yard campaign. Named to his first Pro Bowl, league rushing champion rushed for 14 touchdowns and over 100 yards in 12 games. Averaged 5.3 yards per carry for NFL's top-ranked rushing attack.
Outlook: Explosive, versatile runner is the centerpiece of the offense. Overpowered defenses specifically designed to limit his impact, but federal drug conspiracy charges cloud his future. Team officials expect Lewis to be available this fall despite his felony legal issues in Atlanta.


32 Musa Smith
Ht: 6-0 Wt: 232 Age: 22
College: Georgia
Year: 2
Acquired: Third round, 2003
Resume: Early-season arthroscopic knee surgery limited him to 31 yards and two touchdowns on nine attempts last year. Ravens scouts ranked him as a first-round talent when they drafted him, and team likes his upside as a potential emergency replacement for Lewis.
Outlook: Primed to assume a small portion of the workload to keep Lewis from wearing down, Smith represents a burly package as an inside runner with a solid burst and hands.


33 Harold Morrow
Ht: 5-11 Wt: 232 Age: 31
College: Auburn
Year: 9
Acquired: Free agent, 2003
Resume: Special-teams ace has over 140 career tackles in kick coverage with a season-high three stops in playoff loss to the Tennessee Titans last season. In 2001 with the Minnesota Vikings, Morrow rushed for a career-high 67 yards, catching 13 passes for 142 yards.
Outlook: Gritty wedge-buster gives coverage units an influx of toughness.


34 Ovie Mughelli 
Ht: 6-1 Wt: 260 Age: 24
Year: 2
College: Wake Forest
Acquired: Fourth round, 2003
Resume: Inactive for eight games, Mughelli had three special-teams tackles in regular-season finale victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Outlook: Has great size for a fullback, could see action in short-yardage situations along with special-teams role.


36 B.J. Sams 
Ht: 5-10 Wt: 187 Age: 23
Year: Rookie
College: McNeese State
Acquired: Free agent, 2003
Resume: Averaged 9.9 yards per punt return and 24.9 yards per kickoff, catching 38 passes for 303 yards as a senior. 
Outlook: In the hunt for return-specialist duties after strong minicamp performances.


39 Alan Ricard
Ht: 5-11 Wt: 237 Age: 27
Year: 4
College: Northeast Louisiana
Acquired: Free agent, 2000
Resume: Pro Bowl alternate in his second season as a starter, Ricard paved a path for Jamal Lewis' breakthrough season. Rushed for 79 yards on 19 carries and caught nine passes for 62 yards, returning a Lewis fumble 50 yards for a touchdown against the San Diego Chargers
Outlook: One of the most valuable, unsung cogs in Ravens' running machine.


Aaron Wilson writes for the Carroll County Times.


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