JACKSONVILLE- The AFC South-leading Jaguars struck gold in the 2017 NFL Draft. Every expert and scout pegged the Jaguars as one of the teams in dire need of an exceptional running back that can plow defenders down. When a team has the fourth overall pick and two great choices to pick from, the decision is all too easy.
The Jaguars selected Leonard Fournette, the power back out of LSU.
This team hasn’t had a feared running attack since the days of Maurice Jones-Drew. It’s easy to point to T.J. Yeldon as the running back who could have been that cogwheel. However, Fournette is the Jaguars new weapon, that they have used to bludgeon themselves out to a 3-2 record.
It’s alright to point out durability risks. The decision to draft him is panning out so far.
Scouts praised Fournette’s build and brute running style. The talk was scouts haven’t seen a running back play this angry since Adrian Peterson. The concern is health due to Fournette’s ultra aggressive, plow defenders over style. He may need to develop better elusiveness to lengthen his career.
In the description, scouts use words such as violent, physical finisher. He is described as always being the hammer and never the nail. The scouts also praised Fournette’s ability to shift into second gear and accelerate. He needs to improve on cutbacks and incorporating more finesse in his running style.
Fournette also needs to make better reads. He sometimes commits to trucking defenders too early. If statistics are indicative of his career success, Jaguars fans have a reason to finally rally around this team and get pumped about a turnaround.
Fournette has carried the ball 109 times for 466 yards and five touchdowns. He averages 4.3 yards per carry. That’s not a bad average, but there is room to improve on that. These stats are already amazing but Fournette is just getting warmed up. At this current pace, Fournette should finish it with 1,000 rushing yards and ten touchdowns.
Not bad at all for the Jaguars, as they finally have unearthed a franchise cornerstone they can build around.