Danny Woodhead: The Baltimore Ravens X Factor?

Ravens Newest Weapon

Playing in Baltimore, couldn’t be a better scenario for Danny Woodhead this season.  After coming from San Diego in free agency, Woodhead will immediately become the passing downs back. Considering Joe Flacco and the Ravens love to move the ball through the air, Woodhead could be in for a career year. The Ravens have a couple of big play receivers, but neither should expect to see a high volume of targets. The tight end group is very inexperienced, especially after losing Dennis Pitta for good this off season.

My only concerns for Woodhead is that he is coming off a torn ACL in 2016 and he is 32 years old. An ACL tear is never good for any NFL player, but its especially bad for a 5′-7″ 195 pound running back that relies on quickness and agility. The silver lining to this injury is that it happened in September of last year so by the time the season starts he will be almost 1 year removed. Woodhead is a legitimate candidate to lead this team in receptions, if he proves to be back to full health of course.

Woodhead Will Lead In Receptions

John Harbaugh loves to throw the ball to his backs. There isn’t a more dangerous pass catching back on this team than Woodhead. As a matter of fact, there hasn’t been an effective pass catching back on this team since Ray Rice. From 2009-2013, Ray Rice averaged 68 catches per season. Since then the highest total by a single back was 45. Historically it was always a multiple back catching system.

In 2016, Kyle Juszczyk lead all backs with 37 receptions,  with an additional 88 receptions from all the other backs. That’s a total of 125 receptions out of the back field, or 29% of Joe Flacco’s total completions last year. With the departure of Juszczyk this off season and the 4 game suspension of Kenneth Dixon to open the season, it’s prime time for Woodhead to shine.

By The Numbers

Since 2014, which was the first full year without Ray Rice, here is the breakdown of receptions for running backs in Baltimore.


Player Rec Yards
Justin Forsett 44 263
Kyle Juszczyk 19 182
Lorenzo Taliaferro 8 114
Fitzgerald Toussaint 3 27
Bernard Pierce 2 13
TOTALS 76 599


Player Rec Yards
Javorius Allen 45 353
Kyle Juszczyk 41 321
Justin Forsett 31 153
Lorenzo Taliaferro 5 29
Michael Campanaro 5 35
Terrance West 4 21
Terrence Magee 1 2
TOTALS 132 914


Player Rec Yards
Kyle Juszczyk 37 266
Terrance West 34 236
Kenneth Dixon 30 162
Justin Forsett 11 36
Chris Moore 7 46
Lorenzo Taliaferro 3 10
Javorius Allen 3 15
TOTALS 125 771


2017 Expectations

With the anticipation that Danny Woodhead stays healthy through the entire season, it would not be out of the question to see him have 75 receptions for 800 yards and 4 touchdowns. For a guy being drafted in the 6th round as the 28th back off the board, I would happily take him as my flex or RB2.