Former Ohio State running back J.K. Dobbins saw his name called by the Baltimore Ravens with the No. 55 overall pick in the 2020 NFL draft. It was a surprising fall for Dobbins, who was expected to be a late first or early second round pick.
He didn’t let that stop him, though. After splitting time with veteran running back Mark Ingram and Gus Edwards for the first half of the 2020 season, the Ravens finally unleashed Dobbins. He rewarded the team with a few stellar performances – including a 13-carry, 160-yard and two touchdown performance against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 17.
Dobbins helped the team to a road playoff win over the Tennessee Titans, the team’s first playoff win since 2015.
Leading up to the Super Bowl between the Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Dobbins spoke on behalf of Panini America about his rookie season, his alma mater and more.
72-YARD TOUCHDOWN FOR JK!
Ravens look like they're heading to the playoffs 😈
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 3, 2021
The Spun: Being an Ohio State guy I assume you weren’t exactly thrilled with how the Big Ten handled the 2020 season. What was your first reaction to them cancelling the season knowing how great this Buckeyes team could be?
J.K. Dobbins: My reaction to that was like “oh my gosh” they have to let them play. You only have a few teams that have a legit shot ever year and Ohio State was one of those teams. It’s like you know how special that team was – everyone did – because they have so much talent so it was like the Big Ten has to let them play. Everyone else is playing.
The Spun: Obviously things worked out well in the end for Ohio State, making a run at the national title game. But what does Ohio State need to do to close the gap against a team like Alabama?
J.K. Dobbins: I think the gap is pretty close. I think Alabama just had a really special team this past year. They had a whole bunch of guys – that team was pretty old so a lot of guys left. We have young guys at Ohio State right now so the gap isn’t that far so we’ll be there again. Coach [Ryan] Day is an amazing coach and he’s going to get everybody right. No doubt they’re going to be there again.
The Spun: You watched your former coach, Urban Meyer, finally make the leap to the NFL. What do you expect from him and how long until the Jaguars are a competitive team?
J.K. Dobbins: They already have talent, young talent, over there. Coach Meyer, he’s the GOAT, he’s an amazing coach so I don’t know the timeframe, but Coach Meyer is going to get them right for sure.
The Spun: Who is one former Ohio State teammate you’d like to see join you on the Ravens? Whether it’s a position of need for the team or just someone you’d like to play alongside again.
J.K. Dobbins: Oh, that’s hard. Definitely [former Ohio State guard] Wyatt Davis. That’s my guy, he’s a lineman, but that’s my guy. Him or Josh Myers, those are my guys. [The Ravens] have some great linemen right now, but it would just be great to play with those guys again too.
The Spun: You were connected to plenty of teams in the pre-draft process. Mock drafts had you going all over the board, but is there one team you were surprised didn’t draft you?
J.K. Dobbins: The [Miami] Dolphins. I thought I built a great relationship with the coaches and stuff like that and I really thought I was going to go there. But, I didn’t. I thought I was going to go earlier in the draft as well, but I didn’t. And so here I am today.
The Spun: Hey, I saw that as a Pittsburgh Steelers fan. You were connected to the Steelers a few times too. Were you surprised at all that they didn’t take you?
J.K. Dobbins: A little bit. I wanted to go there too. But it all worked out. I’ll see them every year – twice a year.
The Spun: With Mark Ingram gone, what are your expectations for the 2021 season? What will you consider to be a successful season from an individual standpoint?
J.K. Dobbins: Individually, just building on what I did last year. Being better than what I was last year, that’s what I want. I don’t have any numbers or anything like that except for wanting to win every single game and going to the Super Bowl. But I just want to better than I was last year, that’s my main goal.
Not a mentor… but a big bro… a guy I will talk to for life 💜 love you big bro, God will bless you more than you could ever imagine 🤞🏾 pic.twitter.com/e4fJcByXm1
— Jk dobbins (@Jkdobbins22) January 20, 2021
The Spun: Making the playoffs and winning a playoff game in your rookie season must have been special. But what does this team need to do to take the next step and compete for a conference championship and potential Super Bowl?
J.K. Dobbins: We just have to stay locked in – everyone needs to stay locked in. We have to do what we know how to do and play our best game when we get into the playoffs and play against a great team like that. There’s no room for error in those situations on the playoffs. We’re going to get it. This offseason we’re going to work hard and we’re going to be back and better next season.
The Spun: Of course, I can’t leave without getting your prediction for the Super Bowl this weekend. Who do you think comes out on top and do you have a score prediction?
J.K. Dobbins: Oh, I haven’t thought about that. Who do I think is going to win? I don’t know man. The Chiefs just have so many weapons, so I do believe they come out with the victory and make it back-to-back. The score? It’s going to be a shootout. I’m gonna say 34-28.
The Spun: What are you doing with Panini and what was it like seeing yourself on a rookie card for the first time?
J.K. Dobbins: Seeing myself on a rookie card was a dream come true, really. You know, you grow up and you see all these cards and see all these amazing players and you have them and then the next thing you know, you’re on a card. People want to get your card and that’s what’s crazy to me right now. I’m definitely glad I’m partnering with Panini too and it’s been a great experience.
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