Sep 28, 2014; San Diego, CA, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Denard Robinson (16) catches the ball during warm-ups prior to the game against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
2) Where will Denard Robinson’s touches come from?
Coming into the league as a converted quarterback, Denard Robinson is a flexible, dynamic “offensive weapon” to take advantage of. While he has fallen behind T.J. Yeldon on the projected depth chart, I think it’s clear that Robinson will get touches.
Robinson led the Jaguars in rushing last season with 582 yards and four touchdowns. Those are respectable numbers for a backup-turned-starter, especially one who is still converting from being a quarterback in college. Robinson was learning the ropes at running back and he was doing well at it.
What we don’t often talk about is how he did as a receiver. While he wasn’t as mature of a receiver as Toby Gerhart, there was a certain electricity when Robinson caught the ball. Coming in as the third running back in total yards receiving, directly behind Gerhart and Jordan Todman topping the list at 198 yards, Robinson wasn’t as used in the passing game as I expect he could be.
Still transitioning from that quarterback role, Robinson was only used on the ground in his rookie campaign in 2013. 2014 saw an expanded ground game and an expanded role catching the ball, too. With Gerhart transitioning roles a little bit and Robinson as the primary backup to Yeldon, I expect that he will end up with more opportunities in the passing game.
If Robinson finds himself with 10 rushing attempts per game and a few catches, then he could still be a significant part of the offense. Last season he was targeted 31 times and had 23 receptions for 124 yards. Targeted at least once every game with no more than five (he caught four for 47 yards in that game), Robinson is an intriguing option out of the backfield. Can he boost his numbers with more balls thrown at him? Can he improve on his five yard average? He was subbed out frequently on passing downs, can he improve enough to be put in for those plays?
Where Robinson gets his touches will be interesting to watch as he develops into his role as a pure running back more. At this point I don’t have an answer for how he will be used, but I imagine it will be more dynamic than simply as a runner.
Next: Robinson must improve value elsewhere to justify playing time