T.J. Yeldon, Melvin Gordon, & Tevin Coleman leading rookie backs
Sep 13, 2015; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Carolina Panthers defensive back Kurt Coleman (20) tackles Jacksonville Jaguars running back T.J. Yeldon (24) during the first quarter at EverBank Field. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
T.J. Yeldon, running back, Jacksonville Jaguars
T.J. Yeldon has had a lot of attention placed on him because the Jacksonville Jaguars lost first-round selection Dante Fowler Jr. to an ACL injury early in the offseason. As a result, the early second-round running back has become the “top” draft choice for the Jaguars and gets increased attention, criticism, and expectations.
To T.J. Yeldon’s credit, he hasn’t shied away from anything and simply attacks the game the only way he knows how: by running hard.
With 51 yards on 12 attempts (4.3 yard average), Yeldon showed that he could be a valuable runner for the Jacksonville Jaguars. He was the top graded player on this list by Pro Football Focus at +1.3, even though he did not finish with the top yardage, yards per carry, or even score. His three runs for over 11 yards (long of just 14, though) helped contribute to that.
Yeldon managed to shake three defenders while running the ball. He added another missed tackle as a receiver, while catching three balls for 13 yards.
Like Melvin Gordon, T.J. Yeldon’s stats don’t really jump off the page. But there’s certainly something there. Yeldon’s touches have been limited so far, but if he keeps performing well he should get more opportunities.
Yeldon had the 10th highest elusively rating in Week 1, which bodes well for the future, especially since the Jaguars’ passing attack cannot be relied upon.
Against the Miami Dolphins in Week 2, T.J. Yeldon is poised to breakout. The Dolphins allowed the Washington Redskins to put up 161 yards on the ground in Week 1 (third worst in the NFL). The Redskins did a great job opening up holes and running away from Ndamukong Suh. Yeldon should be able to do the same.
Next: Running angry all the way to the top