Coach Dan Quinn acknowledged both rookie Justin Hardy and Falcons newcomer Nick Williams as players who could see more extensive work. Hardy, the team’s fourth-round draft pick out of East Carolina, is sure to be on the 53-man roster. Williams, formerly with the Washington Redskins, appeared to be a longshot until he started flashing throughout training camp and in the first two preseason games.
“It totally — when a guy of Roddy’s caliber is not out there, yeah, you’re bummed that you’re not able to have him there — but these matchups that you love to see the opportunities for guys, and Nick’s a great example of that, of somebody who just keeps competing and battling for it,” Quinn said. “Yeah, he’s somebody that we definitely want to keep looking at. He’s just one of the guys who he keeps running the routes, keeps ripping it. It’s also an opportunity for Justin Hardy.”
Roddy White went eight years into his career before he missed any time. Which is actually a pretty impressive feat when you think about the beatings these guys take. But now White is a million years old, OK, he’s 33, but he’ll be 34 in November. His numbers have been on the decline since 2011, he’s missed five games the last two years and now he’s just had minor elbow surgery.
White is expected to be ready by Week 1, but for somebody who has also had multiple knee drains he’s not somebody that I am willing to invest any draft capital in. Leonard Hankerson would be the next man up and would be the main beneficiary if he were to step into the No. 2 WR role if White is forced to miss more time than expected. Justin Hardy and Nick Williams also stand to get gain some extra reps while White is sidelined. Hankerson makes Justin Winn’s list of Five Big-Bodied Wider Receivers we should be targeting in late round of our draft.
The injury to Taliaferro, the Ravens’ No. 2 running back, leaves Baltimore with inexperienced backups behind starter Justin Forsett. Buck Allen, a rookie fourth-round pick, will likely become the Ravens’ No. 2 back and could serve that role early in the regular season.
“I don’t have a degree [of the sprain] yet,” Harbaugh said. “It’s going to be a few weeks for Lorenzo. So, those young guys are going to step in the immediate future.”
The absence of Lorenzo Taliaferro could give Buck Allen some time to potentially solidify his role as the No. 2 RB behind Justin Forsett.
Both RBs were trending downward in the last month. More so for Allen maybe in part due to his lackluster preseason. He’s averaging a mere 3.17 YPC on 17 carries, but Allen makes for an interesting prospect and I’m pretty infatuated with the Ravens backfield altogether. Allen is one of the more interesting RB prospects to come out of this draft.
Forsett’s ADP has risen into the second round, while back in early MFL10 drafts, he was a nice value in the fourth round. Forsett doesn’t have the traditional build for a lead-back in the NFL and he’s soon-to-be 30 years old. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little leery of investing a second-round pick in Forsett this season.
Our staff projections have Forsett projected as RB9, just ahead of Jeremy Hill. Kevin Cole explains what effect Jim Trestman has on running backs and Heith Kruger goes in depth on how Forsett’s career has been a series of unfortunate events. The battle between Allen and Taliaferro for the No. 2 RB spot will definitely be a training camp battle to watch. Anthony Amico has a list of four late-round rookie RBs to watch, and Fantasy Douche thought Buck Allen could be a fit for any NFL team.