Jacksonville Jaguars 2017 Draft: Finding the Next Fred Taylor at Fourth Overall

Me and Fred Taylor
Me and Fred Taylor /

The Jacksonville Jaguars may address the offensive line in free agency but finding the next Fred Taylor may be tough.

The all-time leading rusher in Jacksonville Jaguars history is Fred Taylor. He rushed for 11,271 yards from 1998 to 2008. In addition, Maurice Jones-Drew is second with 8,071 yards and after those two, there is not anyone else close. It’s easy to surmise that finding the next Fred Taylor may be tough.

Taylor was the ninth overall pick in the 1998 NFL draftTom Coughlin, now executive vice president for football operations, was the Jaguars head coach. The Jaguars have not selected a running back in the first round since 1998. Jones-Drew was drafted in the second round in 2006.

Finding the right running back for the Jaguars offense is key to making it work. Currently, T.J. Yeldon and Chris Ivory are struggling to stay healthy and be productive. Jacksonville needs to be committed to obtain that special type of running back.

Running back is an important cog in the Air Coryell offense. Don Coryell had Chuck Muncie as his featured back. Joe Gibbs’ hybrid version had John Riggins, the Diesel. In Dallas, Norv Turner ran Emmit Smith effectively. Marshall Faulk led Mike Martz’ Greatest Show on Turf.

Which available free agent would help the Jaguars running attack? Is Le’Veon Bell a future Jaguar? Not any time soon. Is there anyone that Jacksonville may pursue? There is not a clear budding star among the group of free agents.

Which leads to the 2017 NFL Draft.

Who Might The Jacksonville Jaguars Draft at Number Four in the 2017 NFL Draft?

First, Leonard Fournette is the top candidate to draft at number four. Fournette is 6’1″ and 236 lbs which is similar to John Riggins. Both are of the Diesel variety of the various running back models.

Second, Dalvin Cook would be an excellent choice. At 5’11” and 213 pounds, think of Cook as a bigger version of Marshall Faulk. He would excel running the ball and catching passes out of the backfield.

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Third, as the draft experts will say, taking Christian McCaffrey at number four is a huge stretch. But, McCaffrey is the most athletic of all the backs in the draft. He broke Barry Sanders’ NCAA records.

Finally, the next Fred Taylor may come in the person of D’Onta Foreman of Texas. Could it be that Alvin Kamara is selected as a second round selection? What about Joe Nixon of Oklahoma?

The Jacksonville Jaguars need a franchise featured running back. If Fournette or Cook are available at number four in the draft, take one. The  Jaguars just might take a running back in the first round.