Not surprising that the Jaguars selected a running back in the draft. They need more than just James Robinson at the position. But surprising that it happened in the first round.
Robinson may have entered the league as an undrafted free agent, but he played well last year, running for 1,070 yards and 7 TDs while averaging 4.5 yards per carry. He runs hard. While every team made the mistake of not picking him last year, it’s clear now in hindsight that he should have been chosen in the second round (maybe third round, if you’re a skeptic).
Robinson also played well in the passing game, catching 49 passes for 344 yards and 3 TDs while catching 81 percent of the passes thrown his way. He played well enough that it seemed like the Jaguars could add that other running in a later round.
But the Jaguars like Travis Etienne, selecting him 25th overall. Urban Meyer mentioned that he likes Etienne’s ability to catch passes on third downs. Etienne in 14 games last year caught 48 passes for 588 yards and 2 TDs. He caught 37 passes and 4 TDs the previous season.
Etienne isn’t a real big back – 5-foot-10 and 205 pounds.
I would expect Robinson will be starting on opening day, with Etienne mixed in off the bench. They also have Carlos Hyde, who’s ran for 1,070 yards for Houston two years ago and had a pair of 900-yard seasons in San Francisco; Hyde played for Meyer at Ohio State.
I’m not sure exactly what the Jaguars have in mind offensively. Meyer underneath him has the last two offensive coordinators fired by the Seahawks (Darrell Bevell, Brian Schottenheimer), but he also says he has a vision of what he wants the offensive to look like.
When Meyer was at Ohio State, running backs were never involved much in the passing game. He was there for eight seasons, and no running back ever caught 30 passes in a season.
|500-YARD RUSHERS AT OHIO STATE (2012-19)|
|2012||Braxton Miller (QB)||227||1271||5.6||13||0-0-0|
|2013||Braxton Miller (QB)||171||1068||6.2||12||0-0-0|
|2014||J.T. Barrett (QB)||171||938||5.5||11||0-0-0|
|2016||J.T. Barrett (QB)||205||845||4.1||9||0-0-0|
|2017||J.T. Barrett (QB)||165||798||4.8||12||0-0-0|
|2015||J.T. Barrett (QB)||115||682||5.9||11||0-0-0|