The Jacksonville Jaguars 2021 running backs room will be deep in terms of pure talent. Returning starter James Robinson broke onto the scene last season as a rookie and finished with a phenomenal year. Veteran Chris Thompson is also on the depth chart. During the 2021 NFL Draft, the Jags selected former Clemson Tigers running back Travis Etienne with the 25th overall selection.
As training camp nears, Jacksonville has a ton of depth to work with at the position. While Robinson will all but certainly be the starter to begin the season, both Thompson and Etienne are expected to contribute heavily in 2021. The Jaguars may be a rebuilding team, but the franchise is on track to be playoff contenders at some point. The running backs could be a big factor in the team’s success in 2021.
Jacksonville Jaguars 2021 Running Backs Full of Promising Talent
James Robinson became the Jaguars full-time starter in the backfield last season and took the league by storm. In his rookie year, Robinson carried the ball 240 times for 1,070 yards and seven touchdowns. On the ground, Robinson is a shifty tailback that fits Jacksonville’s running scheme perfectly. He could certainly work his way up to one of the best backs in the entire NFL. While he will share playing time, Robinson is the clear cut starter entering Week 1.
Veteran tailback Chris Thompson ran the ball seven times for just 20 yards in a Jaguars uniform in 2020. But entering 2021, those numbers should drastically improve. Thompson will battle with rookie Travis Etienne for the second string spot during camp. But even if he is third on the depth chart, Thompson could still see solid playing time. Although he isn’t the favorite to be the starter, the veteran has the most experience in the running back room.
Thompson isn’t a player that will give Jacksonville a lot of touchdowns, but he could be a great mentor for both Robinson and Etienne.
The 25th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, Etienne is a powerful tailback that can have a lengthy NFL career. The only catch is that he has been talked about as a potential wide receiver in Duval. But at running back, Etienne runs with power and can muscle his way through defenders. Head Coach Urban Meyer stated during the off-season that Etienne will be used as the third-down back.
Using a first round pick as a third-down running back seems like the wrong move. However, Robinson and Thompson are the first and second down backs presumably entering the season. But, Etienne could work his way up the depth chart and take the backup role behind Robinson. With former Clemson teammate Trevor Lawrence under center, Etienne can help make football fun again in Jacksonville. To the point of being a wide receiver, Etienne has great hands to be a potential pass-catching tailback. However, the thought of him being a full-time wideout is a bit outlandish given the depth of the receiving room for the Jaguars.
As the season nears, the running back depth chart is something to keep an eye on. The Jacksonville Jaguars 2021 running backs will certainly be fun to watch just based off the talent that is there.
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