With all the dust finally starting to settle after the 2015 NFL Draft, the Jacksonville Jaguars appear to have quite a bit to be happy about. The team has received passing marks from both Luke and I here at Black and Teal, and national analysts have nothing but good things to say about the Jaguars 8 new players.
One player who has received somewhat polarizing reviews is the Jaguars’ second round pick, Alabama running back T.J. Yeldon. After seeing the top 2 running backs come off the board in the top half of the first round, the Jaguars decided to take Yeldon at the top of the 2nd round.
Opinions were varied on who the 3rd ranked running back was, but the Jaguars thought highly enough of Yeldon to turn down some trade offers to move down in the 2nd. While some soured on Yeldon last year, mostly due to some fumbling issues, his productivity at Alabama is hard to ignore, and it’s hard to believe Yeldon won’t have an impact early on with the Jaguars.
Yeldon is a very good fit for the Jaguars, and one person who thinks he’ll have a big year is Bo Martin over at NFL Mocks. He listed Yeldon as one of the “5 Underrated Rookies Who Will Make a Huge Impact in 2015”:
"No, Yeldon isn’t the most physically talented or elite at any one particular attribute, but he is likely the best all-around back aside from the top-2. Yeldon is patient runner with good vision, above-average burst, and some power. What seperates him from some of the game breakers is his ability to not only produce as a rusher, but also to be a viable pass-blocker.Yeldon goes to a Jaguars team that will offer him plenty of opportunity. General Manager Dave Caldwell noted that it’s more likely that a bell-cow in these days gets 15-18 attempts and likely 4 or 5 touches in the pass game. Yeldon will walk into this situation as the immediate starter and will be running behind a revamped offensive line.A good projection for Yeldon is somewhere around 1300 yards from scrimmage. Expect somewhere around 260 attempts on the ground and 40 receptions that will take him somewhere around 1000 yards rushing, 300 yards receiving and 10 total touchdowns."
Yeldon would be a rousing success if broke the 1000 yard rushing mark in his rookie season, and 10 total touchdowns would be terrific production given how difficult scoring in general proved to be last year for the Jaguars. This is a pretty optimistic project given the presence of Denard Robinson and Toby Gerhart, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Yeldon did get the 15+ rushing attempts a game that Bo is predicting here.
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