Jacksonville Jaguars: 15 best running backs of all-time

(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /
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T.J. Yeldon, Jacksonville Jaguars
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RB. (2015-present). T.J. Yeldon. 4. player. 52.

T.J. Yeldon is the third of three active Jaguars running backs that cracked this top-15. He is in his fourth year in the league out of Alabama. Though nowhere near the star tailback he was for Nick Saban’s Crimson Tide, Yeldon’s body of work thus far is good enough to have him coming in at No. 4 all-time in terms of great Jaguars running backs.

Yeldon was a high second-round pick by the Jaguars in the 2015 NFL Draft, as Jacksonville took him No. 36 overall. The Jaguars were only a few years removed from having Maurice Jones-Drew as their bell-cow in the backfield. Jacksonville was looking for its workhorse back it could pair with second-year starting quarterback Blake Bortles for years to come.

As a rookie, Yeldon emerged as the starting running back in Jacksonville. He made 12 starts in 12 games as a rookie, rushing for 740 yards on 182 carries, but only two touchdowns in his first year in the league. He was however, a very capable receiver out of the backfield, as he had 36 catches for 279 yards and a touchdown.

Yeldon would remain Jacksonville’s best running back in 2016, even after adding former New York Jets Pro Bowler Chris Ivory in free agency that offseason. However, Yeldon’s productivity did dip a good bit in year two. He only managed 465 rushing yards on 130 carries for just one touchdown in 2016.

This eventually led the Jaguars to drafting Leonard Fournette No. 4 overall in the 2017 NFL Draft out of LSU. As a result, Yeldon had only 49 rushing attempts for 253 yards and two touchdowns in Jacksonville’s monumental 2017 season.

With Fournette still on his rookie contract, this could be Yeldon’s last year with the Jaguars in 2018. That being said, he has seen a spike in workload to some degree, as Fournette has dealt with a hamstring injury throughout much of the 2018 NFL season.

Through the Jaguars’ bye in Week 9, Yeldon has 81 carries for 334 yards and a touchdown, as well as 37 receptions for 346 yards and four touchdowns as a receiver out of the backfield. Frankly, his receiving ability will end up carrying him in the second half of his NFL career.

Through his first 45 career games, Yeldon has amassed 442 rushing attempts for 1,792 yards and six touchdowns, while catching 153 balls out of the backfield for 1,161 yards and six touchdowns. Overall, Yeldon’s dual-threat ability has done enough for him to crack the Jaguars’ running back Mt. Rushmore for the time being. Expect Fournette to take his spot here in the coming years.