Getting Value From the Draft: Rashad Jennings

 

In 2009, the 250th pick of the NFL draft was Rashad Jennings. Jennings is the backup RB, and with the Jaguars, that's a pretty big role. In 2 seasons of work, Jennings has carried the ball 123 times for 661 yards and no fumbles. His yards total isn't all that impressive, but his average of 5.4 yards per carry is very impressive. Maurice Jones-Drew played a backup role to Fred Taylor. Jones-Drew proved his worth before it was time for him to become the man at the running back position. I'm not suggesting that Jennings will take over in the next couple years, but it's never hurt anyone to have 2 very good running backs.

 

Jennings was one of Gene Smith's famous small school guys. He came out of Liberty University, and he represents a whole lot of bang for your draft buck. Now, I don't know if Gene Smith thought that Jennings would play as big a role as he has, but Jennings has had some big moments. In the 3rd quarter of the game against the Raiders, the Jaguars trailed by 10 points when Jennings ripped off a 74 yard touchdown run.

That run turned the game around for the Jags, and they were able to pull out the win in the fourth quarter. Most of Jennings' work has been as a supplement to Maurice Jones-Drew. It's important to have a great backup RB when you want to run the ball as much as the Jaguars, and Jennings has provided that kind of depth.

Gene Smith is one of the most respected general managers in football. His knack for getting value deep in the draft is remarkable. Here's a quick run down of the draft class of 2009 in order of being picked: Eugene Monroe, Eben Britton, Terrance Knighton, Derek Cox, Mike Thomas, Jarett Dillard, Zach Miller, Rashad Jennings, and Tiquan Underwood. You can evaluate the draft class as a whole by answering one question. Do these players contribute to the core of the team? Yes.

The Jaguars depth doesn't end with Jennings. Deji Karim gives the Jaguars a great returner and a great third string RB. In an offense like the Jaguars, it's important to have as much depth as possible at the running back position. Maurice Jones-Drew may be the face of the franchise, but it's guys like Jennings in Karim that championship football teams are built upon.

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