Dec 31, 2014; Glendale, AZ, USA; Boise State Broncos running back Jay Ajayi (27) against the Arizona Wildcats in the 2014 Fiesta Bowl at Phoenix Stadium. The Broncos defeated the Wildcats 38-30. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Jay Ajayi, Boise State
If we talk about workhorse backs coming out of college, it’s tough to overlook Ajayi. He put in an incredibly impressive 347 attempts last season for Boise State and averaged 5.3 yards per carry. While that should dip at the NFL level, it’s apparent that Ajayi is willing and able to carry the rock for a team.
While he may want to head to the Dallas Cowboys, it really comes down to what team drafts him and how they want to use him.
Ajayi has excellent feet (attributed to his time as a soccer player) and he’s shown he knows when to accelerate through his runs and into the next level of the defense. That suggest high athleticism and vision, something that many running backs need but never develop.
Projected as a second or third round pick, if Gordon is off the board (which is perfectly possible) then Ajayi is definitely someone to consider at fourth in the second round. If he falls all the way to the third (which would be shocking to me) then he would be a no-brainer pickup for general manager Dave Caldwell in the 2015 NFL Draft.
Nov 29, 2014; Bloomington, IN, USA; Indiana Hoosiers running back Tevin Coleman (6) runs the ball during the third quarter against the Purdue Boilermakers at Memorial Stadium. Indiana defeated Purdue 23-16. Mandatory Credit: Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports
Tevin Coleman, Indiana
Described as a “violent runner,” Coleman could be the kind of player the Jaguars are looking for. With nobody really having that aggressive feel to him in the current running back stable, bringing in someone who is more than willing to teach defenses who should actually be afraid when he touches the ball. Another Big 10 runner with over 2000 yards last season, Coleman has shown he can produce, averaging 7.5 yards per carry during his last season for Indiana.
What I like most about Coleman is that he would be an addition to many rosters (Jags included) and instantly fill a role that they are lacking: punishing runner. We’re not just talking about a third down back that can move a pile. We’re talking about a guy that hurts the opposition, with his feet and with his body if need be. That’s really tough to pass up/
Another second or third round projection, Coleman seems a bit risky in the second round because of his 110% approach to running. No team wants to run a back into the ground after just a few years if they can help it; especially a high draft choice. If he’s available at three, however, then that’s starting to seem more plausible.
Next: A dependable, physical back and a gamble