Jacksonville Jaguars: 3 realistic expectations for RB James Robinson

Jacksonville Jaguars running back James Robinson #30 Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports
Jacksonville Jaguars running back James Robinson #30 Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports /
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Jacksonville Jaguars
Jaguars James Robinson with Jags fans. (Imagn Images photo pool) /

James Robinson is the quintessential example you can find a running back in the later rounds of the draft or even after it. In 2020, the Jacksonville Jaguars signed the Illinois State standout as an undrafted free agent and looking back, it might’ve been one of the best offseason decisions they made, as he quickly became one of their best offensive players.

Think about it, nobody will deny Robinson was a talented player for the Redbirds, racking up 797 carries for 4,444 yards, and 44 touchdowns over his four-year collegiate career. However, the Jags had a starting running back in Leonard Fournette, who was coming off his second 1,000-yard rushing season in three years.

Nevertheless, things quickly change and Robinson found himself as the Jaguars’ starting running back after the team released ‘Lenny’ before the 2020 season started. Although he had a modest Week 1 debut, amassing 62 yards on 16 carries, he quickly showed what he could do in the NFL, running the ball 16 times (again), but finishing with 102 yards against the Tennessee Titans in Week 2.

Robinson was finished the season with 240 carries for 1,070 yards and seven touchdowns but his contributions went beyond running the ball, hauling in 49 receptions for 344 yards and three touchdowns. Moreover, his 1,414  total yards from scrimmage yards were the most by an undrafted rookie in NFL history.

What’s more surprising is that Robinson achieved the feat even though he missed the last two games of the season with an ankle injury. Had he stayed healthy, his numbers would’ve been even better, so heading into the 2021 NFL season, here are three realistic expectations for the Illinois native.