OWINGS MILLS – Javorius Allen was asked Friday whether he preferred his given name, or his nickname “Buck.” His response drew laughter.
“As long as you don’t disrespect me, I’ll answer to both of them,” Allen said.
Nobody in the Ravens’ organization is disrespecting Allen. The Ravens drafted him in Round 4 (No. 125 overall) because they saw a running back with the potential to be a backup now, and maybe a starter down the road.
Allen and Lorenzo Taliaferro should wage an interesting battle to backup Justin Forsett next season. Not only did Allen have 2,306 yards during his career at USC, averaging 5.5 yards per carry, but Allen also caught 63 passes for 712 yards.
That ability as a pass-catcher stood out in the Ravens’ eyes. New Ravens offensive coordinator Marc Trestman loves multi-purpose backs. Matt Forte was a huge part of Trestman’s offense when he was head coach of the Bears. Allen will step into an offense that will utilize his skills if he’s ready.
“I just want to show the coaching staff why they drafted me, why I was their No. 1 guy on the board, and come in and prove my point, make the 53-man roster and go from there,” Allen said.
Many rookie backs struggle with pass protection, so the Ravens’ coaches want to see how quickly Allen recognizes blitzes, and how well he pass-blocks. If Allen blocks well enough to protect Joe Flacco, then the Ravens are confident his running and catching will help their offense.
This weekend’s rookie camp is just step one for Allen. But his goal is to make a strong first impression.
“Whenever my number is called, I’m going to make the best of the opportunity,” Allen said.