Jacksonville Jaguars: Running back position needs revamp


The 2015 Jacksonville Jaguars looked to have a logjam of talent at the running back position before the season began, but it quickly became clear that it wasn’t true.

Blow it all up. Well, except for T.J. Yeldon.

Before the 2015 season began, there was so much hope for the Jacksonville Jaguars at the running back position. T.J. Yeldon’s arrival as a second-round rookie back wasn’t supposed to be the entire ground game for the season. Yeldon was a complement to a position loaded with talent.

After 2015, it’s pretty clear that the talent level wasn’t nearly as high as it at first appeared. Here’s a look at how the players who were with the team all year shook out.

  • T.J. Yeldon: 12 starts, 182 attempts, 720 yards, 4.1 yards per attempt average, two touchdowns
  • Denard Robinson: 3 starts, 67 attempts, 266 yards, 4.0 yards per attempt average, one touchdown, three fumbles
  • Toby Gerhart: one start, 20 attempts, 44 yards, 2.2 yards per attempt average
  • Bernard Pierce: six attempts, 11 yards, 1.8 yards per attempt
  • Corey Grant: six attempts, two yards, .3 yards per attempt

Behind Yeldon, there is a clear drop off in production. Even Denard Robinson’s four yards per attempt is soured by his three fumbles, which were critical in the games he was carrying the load for.

While it is tempting to take a look at this unit and think that Robinson can develop into a true a NFL starter and Toby Gerhart may finally get it all together or maybe even Corey Grant turning into a true threat (he was pushed backward in every rush almost except his long of 11 yards), there’s just no truly inspiring player who can step up and turn this unit into a threat behind Yeldon.

If the Jacksonville Jaguars are forced to start other players aside from Yeldon in the coming seasons, it could seriously hurt the team’s chances of winning. It’s time to find a true second option behind Yeldon. It may be time to find new third and fourth options as well.

The Jags could move away from Gerhart and Pierce and nobody would be upset (they may even be happy). Grant could find himself replaced and very few people would notice. The only really controversial player to move away from is Robinson, who has a certain spark to his play that keeps people interested.

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On the whole, however, there is only one option on the roster who is truly quality running back: T.J. Yeldon. The Jags need to built a complementary group around him and not stick it out hoping that one of the others will suddenly turn the corner.