The Jacksonville Jaguars found a stud running back in undrafted free agent James Robinson in 2020. The Illinois State product quickly became one of their best offensive players and should have a big role in their game plan in 2021. However, if they want to keep him fresh, they will need to add talent to their running back and if they want to take on Day 3 of this year’s draft, they should keep an eye on Jaret Patterson of Buffalo.
Even though Patteson wasn’t highly recruited out of high school, he had an impact for the Bulls in 2018, his redshirt-freshman year, racking up 183 carries for 1,013 yards and 14 touchdowns. That year, he was named MAC Freshman of the Year and All-MAC Second Team.
Patterson was even better in his sophomore campaign, gaining national attention after tallying 296 yards and six touchdowns against Bowling Green. He finished the year with 1,799 yards and 19 touchdowns on 312 yards. The 2020 season was much of the same. He tied the FBS single-season rushing record against Ken State, led the nation in average yards per game, and once again had 19 trips to the end zone.
Oliver Hodgkinson of Pro Football Network sees Patterson as an “instinctive football player with outstanding vision as well as ball-carrying skills“, and a skill versatile running back. On the other hand, the Maryland native may not have the ideal size for the position (195 pounds) and isn’t particularly fast in spite of his slight frame. Moreover, his collegiate performance might’ve gotten a big boost due to Buffalo’s dominant offensive line.
Why should the Jacksonville Jaguars use a draft pick on Jaret Patterson?
Patterson is one of two Buffalo players, the other being Kayode Awosika, that the Jaguars should consider taking on Day 3 of the draft. Running back isn’t a pressing need for Jacksonville since they already have Robinson, but they should consider adding depth to the position in the draft.
If they believe that Michael Carter is a luxury they can’t afford in the second or third round and prefer to address other positions early in the draft, they should then target Patterson on Day 3. The Jags have two fifth-round selections and two in the seventh round, and they can easily use one of them on the Buffalo standout.