Is T.J. Yeldon Poised for Greatness?
T.J. Yeldon’s name was curiously left off of this list of rookies who could be on the road to greatness in the NFL. While two other new members of the Jacksonville Jaguars were on that list, Yeldon, who may have the best chance for early success with the team, was not to be found.
The way I see it, T.J. Yeldon is in a great position with the Jacksonville Jaguars to advance his career. He is entering a crowded backfield, but will only have to beat out Denard Robinson for the starting job and it’s looking more and more like Robinson could be the change of pace back to Yeldon’s bell cow role. As a top draft pick that the Jaguars front office highly valued, expect him to be given every chance to succeed, no matter how much the team may like other guys like Robinson.
Gregg Rosenthal is in agreement with this, believing that Yeldon will have the most success of rookie running backs in his rookie season. Aside from highlighting the weaker group of running backs Yeldon has to compete with, Rosenthal highlights the fact that Yeldon comes from a pro-ready offense, saying, “Yeldon comes out of a pro-style offense with experience as a zone runner. He’s the type of back who is going to pile up four- and five-yard gains and can excel on passing downs as well.” I’m inclined to agree that Yeldon can be the kind of consistent back who can pile on those mid-yardage runs in the Jaguars’ offensive attack.
There’s also a shift to more running that could be occurring with the Jaguars. With a re-tooled offensive line – including 2015 NFL Draft third round pick guard A.J. Cann – the Jaguars may be in a position to let running backs carry the offensive load more. Yeldon is an upgrade as the ball carrier and with an offensive line that can finally hold its own, the Jaguars offense could finally extend drives and give its defense a rest.
The ability to beat out his competition, the opportunity for growth as the offense shifts, and the desire by the coaching staff to use Yeldon should give him plenty of chances to become a great running back in the NFL. He could follow in the footsteps of Maurice Jones-Drew and Fred Taylor before him, extending the legacy of strong runners with the Jaguars.
To me, he seems to be on the precipice. He’s ready to jump into an exciting career in the NFL and be successful. He’ll be a great complement to the arm of Blake Bortles and should finally bring balance to the Jaguars offense.
Next: Does Yeldon Replace Robinson Immediately?
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