Ravens will have eyes on running backs at combine

Ravens will have eyes on running backs at combine
February 18, 2014, 12:45 pm

Towson Tigers running back Terrance West (28) celebrates after scoring a touchdown during the fourth quarter against the Eastern Illinois Panthers at O'Brien Field.

(Bradley Leeb-USA TODAY Sports)

Ray Rice was arrested over the weekend, and Bernard Pierce is recovering from rotator cuff surgery last month. Think the Ravens will be watching running backs closely at the NFL combine this weekend? That’s a safe bet.

The Ravens have been planning to improve their running back depth since the season ended. The likelihood of the Ravens spending a first or second-round pick on a running back is not great. However, they could target a back later in the draft, or look to add one during free agency.

When the Ravens' front office personnel watch the running back workouts on Sunday, here are five prospects that could catch their attention:

Kapri Bibbs, Colorado St

An unusual prospect, because he is leaving college with two years of eligibility remaining. Some scouts don’t think Bibbs will be drafted, but others like his upside as late-round pick, or as an unsigned free agent. Listed as 5-foot-11, 203 yards, Bibbs had eye-popping numbers last season – 1, 741 yards and 31 TD’s. He has good hands as a pass receiver, and he is elusive. He could be the kind of third-down playmaker the Ravens need, if he can convince teams he can handle jumping to the NFL.

Isaiah Crowell, Alabama St.

He was dismissed from the team at the University Georgia after an arrest on a weapons charge, but had a solid career at Alabama St. Crowell will be asked questions about his past off-field issues during the combine, but he was a heavily recruited backs entering college. Playing on a bad ankle last season, Crowell still had 1,121 yards and 15 touchdowns.

Marion Grice, Arizona St.

He had 91 catches for 863 yards and 14 touchdowns in college, so you know he can help in the passing game. Grice had a leg injury late in the season, so how fast he runs at the combine will be important.

Bishop Sankey, Washington

Sankey led the Pac-12 in rushing and also has good hands. Ka’Deem Carey of Arizona is considered the better running back prospect coming out of the Pac-12. But Carey will likely be gone in the first two rounds. Sankey could stay on the board long enough for the Ravens to take a chance.

Terrance West, Towson

The Ravens are very familiar with West, who had 2,509 yards rushing and 42 touchdowns. A product of Northwestern High in Baltimore, West having the chance to stay home and play for the Ravens would make for a nice story.

    More Team Talk