It is less than a week before the 2014 NFL Draft and the Jaguars have a lot to figure out. They have multiple people they pay tons of money to that evaluate talent for unlimited players from every college, big and small. I sit on my couch and have to lick the cheetos dust from my fingers so I don’t stain my laptop keyboard. Regardless, I have been studying game films, stats, scouting reports, combines, & pro days. Most importantly, I’ve followed my (ample) gut. Through all of this, I have completed a list of players at every position that I either covet (I want, I want, I WANT!!!) or wish for the Jags to avoid (EWWWW!). With time running short, I want to get this out. I pray that I might cause someone in power to rethink a pick to make or run away from.
Let’s review a seemingly forgotten position, Running back.
RB COVET LIST: (in no particular order)
- Tre Mason – He is 5-9, 207 lbs, runs a 4.5 in the 40, and is said to run much harder than his size would indicate. He also has soft hands that could make him a three down back. All of this sounds a whole hell of a lot like MJD. I feel if Mojo had stayed, he would have had a much better year with another year of recovery and a second year adapting to the new blocking scheme. Mason, on the other hand, would come in and be taught immediately.
- Storm Johnson – At 6-0 and 209 lbs, Johnson is the “Anti-Tre Mason”. While Mason is being compared to Ray Rice, Johnson would probably be compared to DeMarco Murray after the Jags get hold of him and put a little more weight on him. He catches the ball well and is a good QB protector from the blitz. Blake Bortles has had nothing but positive things to say about his time with him at UCF. Johnson should be available for one of our fifth round selections.
- De’Anthony Thomas – If we drafted this speedy guy, I doubt he would line up a RB too often. I see him as a slot receiver primarily, and what a fast one he would be. He would also instantly upgrade our punt and kickoff return teams. Thomas was one of the most exciting players in college football & I see nothing that prevent that from continuing in the pros. As I have stated before, because of his speed and shiftiness, I just don’t see him getting hit hard.
RB Avoid List:
- Andre Williams – Andre was easily one of the better RBs in college football the last couple of years. Playing in the ACC though, aside from FSU you could question the competition. He has shown no ability to catch the ball. He is lacking in pass protection. What I have a problem with is he has a build (5-11, 230 lbs) is comparable to other RBs like Falcons Jason Snelling (never a starter), Panthers Jonathon Stewart (constantly hurt), 49ers Marcus Lattimore (came into the league hurt), Cardinals Jonathon Dwyer & Robert Hughes (non-factors), & Eagles Chris Polk (WHO?!?). Now, Packer Eddie Lacy is an example of a successful RB this size but he is rare. He also got slower from his combine to his pro day, which is a red flag.
- Isaiah Crowell – Hell of a back. He killed it at a secondary school after being dismissed from Georgia. Crowell has the skills needed to have success in the NFL. Teams are figuring out now though that off field is something that needs to be taken into consideration. The combination of being dismissed from a major school, run-ins with the police involving firearms, and also having durability issues, makes Crowell too much of a risk to warrant the hope for rewards.
- James Wilder Jr. – First of all, at 6-3 & 232 lbs, he is WAY too big to be an NFL running back. So maybe he could be a FB? Nope. He’s had both shoulder injuries and concussion issues, two of the worse injuries for a FB. Add to this him being arrested FOUR TIMES in the last two years…Get him off my list!
That’s it for RB. I hope the Jags don’t lose focus on a good running game with the league converting to this “Madden Game” like offenses that are all the rage. Though I like Toby Gerhart, I would prefer another RB to not only compete but also to take some of the pressure off a player who’s rarely started in the NFL.
See ya next time when we focus on wide receivers!
Loudly pontificating to anyone who will listen…Michael McDonald.
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