Even after just one season, the Jacksonville Jaguars should feel confident with the team’s selection of a franchise running back in round one of last year’s draft.
The NFL draft is a fickle endeavor. Each and every team has hit on picks at some point or another, as well as miss on a few in the process. There will always be a prospect or prospects that a team wishes that were granted a re-do to go back and draft.
When it comes to the 2017 NFL draft, completely labeling draftees after just one season would be wildly unfair. But we did get to see the potential is many rookies across the league. If the Jacksonville Jaguars had a chance to do it over again last year, would the team choose to go a different direction than Leonard Fournette with the fourth overall pick? NFL.com’s Adam Rank says no. Rank put together a 2017 draft do-over, and has the Jaguars still taking the running back from LSU:
"PICK 4. Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU"
"Alvin Kamara and Kareem Hunt might be better all-around backs, but Fournette fits better with Doug Marrone’s smashmouth style.Actual pick: Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU."
Alvin Kamara and Kareem Hunt did both splash on the scene last season, and it’s not a completely unfair assessment to say that they are better all-around backs. Along with eight rushing touchdowns, Kamara had 81 receptions and five touchdowns through the air. Hunt also had eight touchdowns on the ground, and accompanied that by hauling in 53 catches.
But Rank hit the nail on the head by saying that Leonard Fournette fits the mold exquisitely in head coach Doug Marrone’s style of offense. The Jaguars want to run right through you. A physical, “we’re stronger than you and we’re going to prove it” type of philosophy. And Fournette was the perfect choice to do that well. Fournette is a bully back, and welcomes any and all contact. Fournette hits the hole quick, and gets downhill in a hurry. In his rookie season, Fournette had over 1,000 yards on the ground, rushed for 13 touchdowns, and should only continue to hit his stride next season.
While Kamara and Hunt are on their respective ways to stardom as well, Leonard Fournette was the perfect running back choice for the smashmouth Jacksonville Jaguars.