Jaguars RB James Robinson doesn’t get love in recent PFF ranking

James Robinson with Jacksonville Jaguars fans. (Imagn Images photo pool)
James Robinson with Jacksonville Jaguars fans. (Imagn Images photo pool) /

Although the Jacksonville Jaguars weren’t good in 2020, it was worth watching them play because of running back James Robinson. As a rookie, the Illinois product totaled 1,414 scrimmage yards, the most for an undrafted rookie. Nevertheless, that wasn’t enough to get a top 10 spot in a recent power ranking.

Sam Monson of Pro Football Focus recently ranked the best NFL running backs entering the 2021 season, and Robinson was listed at 17. Monson says that as impressive as the undrafted free agent was last year, he will now have to share the Jags’ backfield with rookie Travis Etienne and Carlos Hyde. On the other hand, he highlighted Robinson’s 3.2 yard-after-contact average.

Monson’s rankings look right at first, with Derrick Henry, Dalvin Cook, Christian McCaffrey, Nick Chubb, and Alvin Kamara taking the top 5 spots. However, things then take an unexpected turn, as Seattle Seahawks running back Chris gets the eighth place on the list and David Montgomery of the Chicago Bears appears at 13.

Here’s are the top 20 running backs in this PFF rankings:

  1. Derrick Henry
  2. Dalvin Cook
  3. Christian McCaffrey
  4. Nick Chubb
  5. Alvin Kamara
  6. Aaron Jones
  7. Saquon Barkley
  8. Chris Carson
  9. Josh Jacobs
  10. Kareem Hunt
  11. Austin Ekeler
  12. Ezekiel Elliott
  13. David Montgomery
  14. Joe Mixon
  15. Antonio Gibson
  16. Jonathan Taylor
  17. Melvin Gordon III
  18. James Robinson
  19. Miles Sanders
  20. Najee Harris

Jacksonville Jaguars have a top 10 running back in James Robinson.

There’s no way Carson, Montogmery and Ekeler, Gordon, and Ekeler are better than Robinson. The Jaguars running back had a better statistical season than all of them. While his 4.5 yard-per-carry average ranked just 24 last season, he was seventh in rushing yards. It’s true that you want to see a top running back score more than just seven touchdowns. However, the fact Robinson was able to thrive in spite of how bad this Jacksonville team was in 2020 is worth praising.

Also, totaling the most yards as an undrafted rookie in NFL history is nothing to scoff at. Monson says that Etienne’s presence will reduce Robinson’s role on offense but in this case, less may be more. Last season, the Jags running back had 86 percent of the team’s carries, the highest figure in the league. Taking some of the workload off his shoulders will likely increase his effectiveness.

Chubb and Hunt split carries for the Cleveland Browns last year and both made PFF’s top 10. That could be the case for Robinson and Etienne, who have the potential to form one of the most dynamic running back tandem in the league.

The Jags are planning to make Etienne an important part of their offense this upcoming season. However, Robinson will still have a key role on the offense. After all, who would want to keep a top 10 running back on the bench?

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