Does T.J. Yeldon Replace Denard Robinson Immediately?


T.J. Yeldon could be something special for the Jacksonville Jaguars. While there was some discussion about whether or not he was a reach early in the second round of the 2015 NFL Draft, Yeldon will come in and compete immediately with the top running backs on the Jacksonville Jaguars’ roster.

That position is currently very crowded with Yeldon joining Denard Robinson, Bernard Pierce, Toby Gerhart, and Storm Johnson. The Jags are going to be carrying five running backs into the 2015 season, and that could end up being the depth chart right away. Pierce and Gerhart are underperforming veterans and frankly none of us really know if Storm Johnson is ready to be an NFL-caliber running back at this point.

So it’s down to T.J. Yeldon and Denard Robinson.

Robinson expected to be the starter heading into 2015, but with a new running back thrown into the mix – especially one the team was high enough on to draft 36th overall – that doesn’t seem as likely. Yeldon is a gifted runner and some people are predicting big things from him. We should as well.

At the same time, we expect big(ger) things from Denard Robinson in 2015 as well. He flashed great potential and skill during the 2014 season and it would be great to see him get a chance to develop into a true NFL running back. From that standpoint, it would be nice to see him get more touches during the season. But it’s looking more and more like the Jaguars’ coaching staff wasn’t comfortable with the running back situation in 2014 and needed an upgrade, according to Gregg Rosenthal. “Head coach Gus Bradley was clearly desperate to upgrade their starting running back spot, and they found a three-down option in T.J. Yeldon. Robinson is best suited in a change-of-pace role.”

It looks like 2015 will be the year for T.J. Yeldon to prove to the NFL that he deserved to be drafted as high as he was. It looks like it may be his time to shine in an ambiguous backfield that head coach Gus Bradley just wants to get better. Bradley really wanted the team to get Yeldon and it’s clear now that everyone was on board with him being the next best available running back behind Todd Gurley and Melvin Gordon.

When you’re as high on a player as Bradley and GM Dave Caldwell seem to have been, you don’t let him sit. This is especially true if he’s able to come in and contribute immediately.

The Jaguars added a strong running back in the 2015 NFL Draft to help solve a position that has underperformed in recent years. Yeldon could very well be the answer and right now it seems like he’ll be the guy to shoulder the load for now. It’s probably a tough break for Denard Robinson, but it’s good for the Jaguars.

Next: Draft Grades Around the AFC South

More from Black and Teal