Jacksonville Jaguars take Kamara over Fournette in 2017 First Round Re-Draft

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JANUARY 14: Alvin Kamara /

The Jacksonville Jaguars had a very successful 2017 season, partly thanks to Leonard Fournette – but would they do things differently looking back?

Given the way their season ended – with a painful but encouraging performance in the AFC championship game – it’s hard to imagine the Jacksonville Jaguars would go back and change much of what they did last offseason.

Of course, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t discuss hypothetical situations.

That’s exactly what a re-draft and this time of the year is ripe for.

In a 2017 Draft first round re-draft, ESPN beat writer for the Jaguars Michael DiRocco has Jacksonville taking a running back at 4, just not the same one.

First he defends the original selection:

"4. Jacksonville JaguarsPlayer selected in actual draft: RB Leonard Fournette. The former LSU standout became just the second player in franchise history to rush for 1,000 yards (1,040). He needed a rookie record 268 carries to do it, and he averaged only 3.9 yards per carry. He tailed off late in the season, surpassing 69 yards just once in his final five games (101 yards against Seattle). Still, Fournette was an integral part of the Jaguars’ offense, creating the tough, physical identity that executive VP of football operations Tom Coughlin and coach Doug Marrone wanted."

Then contends there was a better choice at running back:

"Player I would select now: RB Alvin Kamara. Coughlin wanted a running back, so it made sense to stick with that approach for the re-draft. Kamara rushed for 312 fewer yards than Fournette, but he averaged 6.1 yards per carry. He also caught 81 passes for 826 yards and five touchdowns — that’s more than twice Fournette’s production as a receiver (36 for 302 yards, TD). Kamara isn’t as big as Fournette, but he has shown that he is more versatile. He was more durable than Fournette, too, playing all 16 games (Fournette missed three). Kamara shared time with Mark Ingram, so it’s logical to assume that his rushing numbers would have been even better as the main back. — Michael DiRocco"

In this re-draft, Fournette actually falls back to ten, with Kareem Hunt also getting drafted in front of him.

This is an interesting situation, because it relies almost entirely on your opinion of Leonard Fournette.

Even before the draft last year that saw Fournette go number 4 overall, there were people with reservations about the supposedly generational prospect – he has a hard time making people miss, doesn’t have much wiggle, and fails to create when there isn’t much room. In essence he was a one trick pony, a big fast guy who could bust out the big play if the conditions were right.

Quite frankly, some of those don’t seem invalid in retrospect. The Jacksonville offensive line was not a great run blocking unit and Fournette was not reliable in terms of generating 3+ yard runs consistently in the latter part of the season.

When there were holes, Fournette was a force, but the conditions weren’t always ideal.

Personally, I would stick with Fournette because I think the upside is higher there if you improve the offensive line. Fournette is still better in short yardage (very short yardage) and he was much better catching the ball out of the backfield than anyone could have expected.

That being said, I can understand the idea of drafting a more well-rounded back like Kamara or Hunt instead.

What do you think?