With free agency on the horizon, it is as good a time as any to take an in-depth look at the performance of each position group on the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2013. As a standard metric to start the conversation, Pro Football Focus grades were used to get an initial look at how each player fared in the 2013 regular season. Specific information about how Pro Football Focus comes up with their grades is available in their FAQ.
Today we take a look at an emerging need – the running back position. Maurice Jones-Drew has done an admirable job as the feature running back since taking over for arguably the greatest player in franchise history in Fred Taylor, but he is hitting the free agent market and will most likely not be back in a Jacksonville uniform. The prospects of this team in 2014 don’t really jive with an aging running back who doesn’t scare defenses anymore. So let’s take a look at what Jacksonville will be missing in Jones-Drew, as well as how the rest of the backs on the roster fared.
|Snaps||Rushes||Yards||Yds/Rush||TD||Rec||Rec. Yards||Rush Grade||Pass Grade||Block Grade||Overall||NFL Ranking|
|Maurice Jones-Drew||664||234||803||3.4||5||43||314||-5.7||2.1||6.5||3.9||30 (out of 140)|
|Jordan Todman||380||76||256||3.4||2||14||116||-2.6||-1.9||-0.1||-5.0||133 (out of 140)|
|Justin Forsett||100||6||31||5.2||0||15||82||-0.2||-0.5||0.7||0.5||65 (out of 140)|
|Denard Robinson||53||20||66||3.3||0||0||0||-4.6||-1.4||0.3||-5.7||128 (out of 140)|
MJD was easily the most productive back on the team, but he did it by sheer volume. Jones-Drew played more snaps than all the other backs combined, and that’s with missing one full game. Maurice was a reliable source for 3-4 yards, but he really wasn’t a threat to break out on any given play. Jordan Todman came in and showed some of the quickness missing with MJD, but he was not very efficient. Todman will be on the roster for training camp, but don’t be surprised if he gets challenged by a rookie if the Jaguars draft one.
Justin Forsett was used sparingly as a runner before his injury, but he was a big component in the passing game. He will also get a chance to make the roster in camp, but he needs to show more as a runner to break the rotation. Denard Robinson is still the wild card in the group, as he flashed the ability to be a playmaker in his rookie year. Unfortunately, those flashes were sandwiched between long stretches of inexperience and ineffectiveness. Robinson still has a ways to go to learn the position, and hopefully he’ll get more time to learn this year with Jones-Drew gone.
2013 Position Grade, Running Back – C-
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