Maurice Jones-Drew led the Jacksonville Jaguars in rushing during the 2012 season with only 414 yards. After leading the league in 2011, MJD was well on his way to a stellar season in 2012. He may not have contested Adrian Peterson’s ridiculous numbers, but he would have been in the upper three or five. Jones-Drew was averaging 4.8 yards per attempt, the highest since his rookie season. He was doing very well without a competent offense around him. And his 414 yards were put up in six games (really more like five and two snaps since he left the Oakland Raiders game after the first couple snaps and never returned during the season).
Like it or not, MJD’s 2012 is one that he wishes he could forget. An avid fantasy football player, Jones-Drew knows that his 414 yards and two touchdowns on the season did not help his team out much. He was holding out for a larger contract during the 2012 offseason and didn’t get it and then couldn’t justify getting more due to the injury. That’s rough.
Yet, even without the new contract Pro Football Focus has him listed as the sixth most overvalued running back from 2012. The statistic measures a players pay compared to their performance and relevant performances from those in the same position. The Performance Based Value stat really dips toward the negative, as is the case with MJD.
Here is what PFF had to say about Jones-Drew:
Boy do the Jaguars look smart on this one. Running backs rarely get large contracts because the risk of serious injury is too high and that risk was realized by the Jags this year. Maurice Jones-Drew was lost for the season during Week 7 and managed to gain only 414 yards. Just imagine what his value differential would have looked like had he been given a raise.
I’m betting he would have been a lot closer to number one (Chris Johnson) if he had received his raise. 2013 is a pivotal season for Jones-Drew as he will fight to show that he can still play at a high level, as anticipated, and that he hasn’t missed a beat despite missing the final 10 games of 2012.
I think he’ll prove some doubters wrong in 2013 and he may just show that he is only ever overvalued when he misses time and that he’s undervalued when he’s on the field.
– Luke N. Sims
You can also find me on Twitter @LukeNSims