What the Draft tells us about the Jacksonville Jaguars running backs
Now that the NFL Draft is over, how will the Jacksonville Jaguars address their needs at the running back position for the 2020 season?
The self-proclaimed “Tim Duncan” of the Jacksonville Jaguars, Leonard Fournette, appears to have survived the 2020 NFL Draft without being traded and is still a member of the Jacksonville Jaguars for the time being
Dave Caldwell shocked most of the Jaguars fan base by opting to use all 12 draft picks without a single trade to move up (or even down) the board. The Jags addressed every position on the roster with the exception of one. Can you guess which one is missing?
Caldwell even made mention that they were unable to find anyone they view higher than the backs currently on their roster in the mid-rounds.
More from Jacksonville Jaguars News
- Jacksonville Jaguars should welcome Derrick Henry into the kingdom
- Jaguars Rumors: Trent Baalke seems to be getting respect now
- Jaguars News: This division rival might be making a big move
- Former Jacksonville Jaguars S Johnathan Cyprien: “New Profession, Same Standards”
- Jacksonville Jaguars TE Evan Engram officially gets the franchise tag: 3 takeaways
"“We got to Round 3/4 and we said ‘are there any guys we like more than Rock and Devine?’ And the answer was no.” – Dave Caldwell on not drafting a running back."
This leaves three prominent questions on the forefront in regards to this position group: Why wasn’t Fournette traded? WIll we see Fournette moved prior to the season? What does this tell us about the position moving forward?
In advance of what is to be a very bizarre offseason due to COVID-19, I take a stab at these questions and what the position could look like come Week 1 of the NFL Season.
Why Wasn’t Leonard Fournette Traded?
It wasn’t for lack of trying on the Jacksonville Jaguars part, it appears they have been the ones reaching out to teams throughout the league since the Combine trying to facilitate a deal that would send the former 4th pick overall packing.
Here are four teams that, prior to the draft could’ve been seen as suitors for Fournette and why that isn’t the case following the Draft.
Buffalo Bills– The Bills opted to go with Zack Moss out of Utah with their 3rd Round (Pick 86) to pair with the explosive Devin Singletary
Miami Dolphins– After the Jaguars called (Insert link) the Dolphins to potentially send Fournette their way, the Dolphins instead, traded their 5th Round Pick (Pick 153) for 49ers RB Matt Breida.
Tampa (Not Tompa, Never Tompa) Bay Buccaneers– The Bucs selected Ke’Shawn Vaughn out of Vanderbilt in the 3rd Round (Pick 76).
Los Angeles Rams– The Rams selected Cam Akers from FSU with their 2nd Round Pick (Pick 52) that many in the Jaguars community wanted as a potential replacement for Fournette.
The Jacksonville Jaguars simply lost trade partners who opted to use their own draft capital to make moves to address the running back position.
WIll we see Leonard Fournette moved prior to the season?
Even after failing to find a trade partner in the draft I still believe Fournette has played his last snap for the Jaguars. In a league that sees many players (unfortunately) fall to torn ACLs (especially at skill positions) the Jaguars could be in a good place to be patient with dealing Fournette and wait for a contending team to be hit with the injury bug.
Even with a small market for his services, teams always get desperate one way or another and the Jaguars may be able to unload Fournette by the time the regular season rolls around. Personally, I look at the “High-Character” additions this offseason not being a coincidence.
I feel that if a trade is not completed by the time team activities resume (whenever that can/will be) Fournette will be cut.
What does this tell us about the position moving forward?
Moving forward, with or without Fournette, Caldwell and the Jaguars view two running backs on their roster very highly in Ryquell Armstead and Devine Ozigbo. In addition to the two young backs, the Jacksonville Jaguars have also signed two UDFAs following the draft in James Robinson (Illinois State) and Tavien Feaster (S. Carolina).
My pick from my gut to make the roster will be James Robinson who comes in with Serious Production (30 TDs in two seasons). Just like the Jaguars are seeing if Gardner Minshew can be the Franchise QB I believe they will do the same with Armstead and the running back position.
The Jacksonville Jaguars may not have drafted a running back in the NFL Draft or moved on from Fournette (yet) but the position group is one to keep a very close eye on as this summer progresses and we head closer to the preseason.
The youth movement has ripped through the defense and it appears to be the case in the running back room as well. We are still on the Fournette trade watch, but the watch has been extended for the time being.