The Jaguars have one of the best collections of talent at the running back position of any team in the NFL. The team's depth was tested a season ago when Maurice Jones-Drew was bothered by a bad knee, and Rashad Jennings played well in his absence.
Will the Jaguars use more of a two-headed monster in the backfield to keep less wear and tear on MJD?
Although the tandem style of backfield appears to be the current trend in the NFL, the Jaguars have one of the truly elite runners in Maurice Jones-Drew and every carry you give to a Rashad Jennings, Deji Karim or Greg Jones is one less chance Jones-Drew has to take it to the house. Although the team is concerned about the fatigue and pounding that MJD will take, it's simply in their best interests to have him touch the football as much as possible as long as the team is in contention for a playoff spot.
MJD prediction: Maurice Jones-Drew will have his best season as a pro in 2011 and win the NFL rushing title.
What about the other places on the depth chart?
Rashad Jennings has claimed the backup running back job with his fine play a season ago, but don't expect an increased role unless MJD is somehow injured....Deji Karim will have to earn a roster spot all over again as his contributions on kickoff return will be largely negated with the new kickoff rules. Karim will have to compete with some undrafted rookies as well as Brock Bolen who can contribute on special teams and at fullback.
Prediction: Both Jennings and Karim earn roster spots
Will the Jaguars make a change at fullback?
Greg Jones has been a fixture at fullback since being drafted in 2003 and he has earned the respect of his peers and coaches. Although Jones is an elite fullback, his $3.1 million salary will work against him as the fullback position is going the way of the newspaper and Jacksonville is a cash poor team. Brock Bolen is a capable player who will again make a push for a roster spot. Jones will need to beat out Bolen in camp to retain his position as Bolen and special teams ace Montell Owens can all contribute at fullback.
Prediction: Greg Jones will be a Jaguar in 2011, but not at his current salary.
Will there be any other players added to the position?
The Jaguars will bring guys in to compete, and they will get a fair shot at earning a roster spot. Montell Owens is one of the best undrafted success stories in team history, as he earned a Pro Bowl selection a year ago.
Charlie Bernstein is the host of "The Sports Crunch" on the Aquarius 7 Broadcasting Network (national), and Editor-in-Chief of Sports Media Interactive, covering multiple teams in the National Football League, NCAA, and National Basketball Association. Charlie covers the Jacksonville Jaguars for FoxSports and has been featured on the NFL Network and Sirius NFL Radio. Charlie is also a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. You can follow Charlie on Twitter @nflcharlie
Jaguars Positional Analysis- Running Backs
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