Maurice Jones-Drew, who is lovingly known around these parts as MJD, released his RB1 rankings heading into the 2020 NFL season. Who better to rank today's runners than one of the best RBs in recent memory?
The top of the list is littered with the usual suspects: Christian McCaffery, Zeke Elliot, Nick Chubb, Alvin Kamara, Joe Mixon, and Saquon Barkley (who should be higher).
But where does Jacksonville's own Leonard Fournette land?
Let's take a look:
13. Leonard Fournette
The 13-15 range is precisely where Fournette should be. Sure, the LSU product hasn't lived up to his lofty draft status, and he has some issues with vision. But to discount what he's done while facing loaded boxes his entire career would be folly. Despite facing the fourth most eight-man boxes of any runner in 2019, Fournette still finished with the season with 4.3 yards per carry and developed into a weapon as a receiver.
Fournette is a slightly above average starting running back. And that's exactly why the Jaguars didn't pick up his fifth-year option. He's not been good enough to earn that kind of payday, and he certainly hasn't earned a significant long-term contract. But his lack of security heading into 2020 could be a blessing for the Jaguars. We see it every year — players going into the final year of their contract have career years with regularity.
What will Fournette's future hold? It remains unclear at this point, but reports out of Jacksonville suggesting that coaches don't want him around, and the fact that the team tried to shop him before and during the 2020 NFL Draft, suggests that he'll be searching for gainful employment elsewhere in 2021.
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