No. 4 Jaguars best pairing – RBs James Robinson and Travis Etienne
Even though James Robinson had totaled the most yards from scrimmage by an undrafted rookie in 2020, the Jaguars used the 25th overall pick on Travis Etienne in the 2021 draft. While selecting a running back in the first round is debatable, the former Clemson Tiger was set to become a dual-threat in Jacksonville. However, a Lisfranc injury derailed his rookie season before it started.
Etienne was a full participant in the Jags’ minicamp. Meanwhile, Robinson is recovering from a torn Achilles he suffered towards the end of the 2021 season. Although he’s already resumed running and doing some light work, he’s still not ready to return. In fact, he might not be available for training camp, leaving Etienne at the top of the depth chart.
In Robinson’s absence, rookie Snoop Conner and Ryquell Armstead will compete for carries and the chance to back Etienne up. There’s a chance Robinson won’t return until the regular season but once he does, the Jaguars will have a one-two punch at running back. It’s uncertain if they will go with the hotter hand or a backfield committee but the coaching staff will have a couple of talented players at the position.
The value of running backs has decreased over the last 20 years and they’re no longer a focal point of the offense in today’s NFL. But they still play an important role and the Jaguars have a couple of good ones. It will be a while before the Jaguars see Etienne and Robinson take the field together but it will be worth the wait.