The 2015 NFL Draft is fast approaching and this is where the real stocking of a roster occurs. Free agency is important each and every year and it brings in players who can help a team improve immediately, but it’s the draft that allows general managers to find players who will be the right fit for their team going forward, bringing in young players who can be molded into the role the team needs.
Recently, co-editor Daniel Lago noted that the Jaguars need to go after a running back in the 2015 NFL Draft. As much as I would like to count on Denard Robinson, Toby Gerhart, and Storm Johnson, I know that none of them are at a place where they can be a consistent feature back. None of them have proven they can be above average backs for more than a few games. While I would like to think they will develop enough this offseason, the more likely scenario is that the team brings in some help.
I would be shocked if that help came in the form of a first round pick – especially as the running back position has sunk in value in recent years – and expect the Jags to wait until at least round two and maybe into the later rounds to address the position. With one of the best running back classes to hit the draft in recent memory, the 2015 NFL Draft could still yield excellent value for the Jaguars at the position, no matter where they pick.
Let’s take a look at some players who should be available for the Jaguars.
Nov 1, 2014; Piscataway, NJ, USA; Wisconsin Badgers running back Melvin Gordon (25) runs for first down during the second quarter against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights at High Points Solutions Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim O
Melvin Gordon, Wisconsin
There is a strong case to be made that Gordon could be a first round pick. To me, however, I see just one runner chosen in the first round and that’s Todd Gurley. That means Gordon will be ripe fruit for any bold team early in the second round. If the Jacksonville Jaguars were really looking to bolster the position and they saw Gordon available at the fourth pick of the second round, he’d be really tough to pass up.
Lance Zierlein at NFL.com doesn’t believe Gordon could be a three-down back in the NFL. Personally, I think the potential is there. At a minimum, Gordon would be given the opportunity to show he can be a three-down back with the Jaguars. Even if he turned out not to be so, he could be an effective runner in committee with Robinson and Gerhart. At that point, however, you’ve got to wonder if a committee back is worth a high second round pick.
In my mind, Gordon is a back you take a chance on anyway, though. He put together a ridiculous 2587 yards and 29 touchdowns last year. He comes from the Big 10, which is a dominant conference, and he’s got the size (6’1″, 213 pounds) to be an effective back in the NFL.
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