After ranking the quarterbacks in the AFC North in my last article, I'll now move on to the players joining the quarterbacks in the backfield; the running backs. The Pittsburgh Steelers didn't fare well in the QB rankings in a division crowded with Pro Bowl talent, but perhaps they will fare better when it comes to their ball carrier.
Similar to the quarterback position, there is a lot of talent at the tailback position in this division, with each back bringing their own running style to the table. This was an incredibly difficult list to make as I think each back could make a case to be higher on the list. With all that being said, let's get started.
4. J.K. Dobbins, Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens are known for using a variety of running options in their dangerous rushing attack. Quarterback Lamar Jackson and Gus Edwards will be involved a lot in the running game, but 2020 second-round pick J.K. Dobbins will be the starting back this season. It's been an up-and-down career for Dobbins in his first three seasons.
After being drafted out of Ohio State, Dobbins only started one game in his rookie season but still managed to rack up 805 rushing yards and 9 rushing touchdowns while averaging 6 yards a carry. A torn ACL cost Dobbins his entire 2021 season and complications from that injury limited him to 8 games last season. He rushed for 520 yards on 5.7 yards per carry last season, but he only played in half the games.
Dobbins is a hard player to rank on this list. When he's been on the field, Dobbins has been a really good running back on a great rushing team. However, he's only played in 23 games across his first seasons and all that injury history concerns me. If Dobbins can put together a fully healthy season and play close to 17 games, he could easily find himself higher up on this list. Until that happens though, he'll remain at fourth.