The Jaguars have and will continue to be a team that wants to establish a strong running game. To do so, they'll need a strong stable of backs that can win in a variety of ways. Leonard Fournette will be the workhorse, but should he suffer an injury the Jaguars will need to be locked and loaded with backups that have the skill to pick up the slack. Behind Fournette the Jaguars currently employ David Williams, Thomas Rawls, Alfred Blue, and Benny Cunningham. Each player brings a specific trait or two to the table, but none of those backs has proven that they can be a do-it-all impact back for an extended period of time in the NFL.
The Jaguars should make sure they have that type of back on their roster by the time day two of the draft ends later this month. Luckily for Tom Coughlin, Dave Caldwell and company, this draft is loaded with running back talent that can be found after the first round.
Here I'll take a look at five backs that I believe would be able to take over for Leonard Fournette in the event of an injury. Beyond being potential replacements in the starting lineup, these runners should also be able to help Nick Foles as receivers out of the backfield when Fournette needs a breather.
1. Miles Sanders
Sanders entered the draft process as an under the radar guy, thanks in large part to playing second fiddle to Saquon Barkley before 2018. But Sanders shone brightly as a dual-threat back last year at Penn State and is worthy of a second round pick. He's got the total package when it comes to rushing ability, pass blocking, and catching passes out the backfield. He should be a starter somewhere sooner rather than later, and if he falls to the third round, the Jaguars should be quick to turn in a card reading his name at pick number 69.
2. David Montgomery
Probably the most proven receiving back in this class, Montgomery doesn't have top end speed, but he's got enough quickness to overcome that issue. His best traits with the ball in his hands are his vision, wiggle and contact balance. Montgomery proved he could do it all over the past three seasons at Iowa State. He's another player that I have a second-round grade on, and should he be available for the Jaguars in the third round, Montgomery should get strong consideration.
3. Devin Singletary
Another runner that if available in the middle rounds should be in consideration for the Jaguars. His usage as a receiver diminished every season at FAU, but he never showed any limitations in that area. He has phenomenal contact balance, vision, and quick feet that make him extremely elusive in the open field. He projects to be able to do almost everything at the next level, but at just 200 pounds he might struggle a bit in pass pro, which could give the Jaguars pause.
4. Damien Harris
I admittedly wasn't very high on Harris coming into the draft process. I believe he was overvalued by many, but as we get closer to draft day, he's a player I would feel very comfortable with the Jaguars adding in the third round. He's got vision, balance, and power as a runner. He's also got the skill set to develop as a pass protector, and he improved as a receiver during his final year at Alabama, hauling in 22 catches. Harris isn't very elusive, but he does have a certain smoothness to his game. He could easily carry the load for a few games if Fournette were to go down.
5. Devine Ozigbo
Another player that could likely carry the load for multiple games as a starter, Ozigbo doesn't have big-time long speed, but he's got just about everything else you could want from a 230 pound back. He was productive as a runner and receiver out the backfield in 2018 thanks to his power and quick feet. Ozigbo could likely be available in the fourth round and would be a welcomed addition to the Jaguars backfield thanks to his blend of toughness and pass catching ability.
With the addition of any of these runners, the Jaguars should have enough talent and depth in their backfield to maintain a strong rushing attack, even in the event of an injury. Each of these players has displayed enough dual-threat ability to help Nick Foles not only as a rusher, but also as a receiver out of the backfield.
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