Jacksonville Jaguars: 5 players who must get off to hot start in 2021

Fans of the Jacksonville Jaguars on Day 1 of 2019's draft (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)
Fans of the Jacksonville Jaguars on Day 1 of 2019's draft (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images) /
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Jacksonville Jaguars
Running back James Robinson #30 of the Jacksonville Jaguars (Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports) /

Jacksonville Jaguars player No. 4 – RB James Robinson

The Jaguars used the 25th overall selection in his year’s draft to take running back Travis Etienne. Throughout training camp, he showed the burst and athleticism he displayed back at Clemson. Nevertheless, he suffered a Lisfranc injury in the preseason and is now out for the year.

The team’s brass expected Etienne and sophomore James Robinson to form a running back tandem. With E-T-N out of the picture, Robinson will have to once again carry the load in 2021. Last season, he took the NFL by surprise, totaling 1,414 yards from scrimmage, the most by an undrafted rookie in league history. Even though opposing defenses frequently stacked the box against the former Redbird, racked up 1,070 yards on 230 carries.

Last season, Robinson had 86 percent of the Jaguars’ carries. That number might not be as high in 2021 but he will still have a big workload. Working in his favor is the fact that the team’s brass signed veteran Carlos Hyde in free agency. The Ohio State product has averaged 4.4 yards over the last two years and even posted a 1,000-yard season in 2019. He will spell Robinson from time to time, and the running game won’t suffer a steep dropoff in production.

The Jaguars’ ability to run the ball will rest on Robinson. If the Illinois State product avoids a sophomore slump, the team’s rushing attack will be in great shape and will take some pressure off rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence. Speaking of…