With putting aside as much bias as I could, Maurice Jones-Drew should be the sixth pick in drafts this year. He has been the focal point of the Jaguars’ offense the past two years and will continue to be their feature back this year. Over those past couple of seasons he has compiled 2,715 yards and 20 touchdowns which are good for the second and third most over that span. If it weren’t for him coming off of knee surgery and having doubts as to whether he will hold up the whole season, he would no doubt be a higher pick.
That knee is a scary subject for Jaguars fans and MJD’s fantasy prospects but the rest of his career should help to temper some of those fears. Before last year’s final two games, the only other game Jones-Drew ever missed was a week 17 game back in 2007. He only missed this game because the starters were given the game off due to the team already clinching a playoff spot. Everybody seems to be making MJD out to be somebody who has a lengthy injury history who misses games but last year was the first time in his career that he has ever missed a game due to injury.
The team is being very cautious with him and his knee. He will be held out of Friday’s preseason game against Atlanta and head coach Jack Del Rio will try and get him "to the season as healthy and prepared as possible" which could mean holding him out of all four preseason games. He is now a full participant in practice though and he says he has no pain in his knee.
"There's just no pain at all, I think that's the biggest thing. No matter how tough it is or how sharp the pain is or dull the pain is, it's pain. This year there is no pain."
If that is true, hopefully he can get back on track to what he was doing last year before his knee finally gave out. Before the Indianapolis game in week 15 he had run the ball over 100 yards six games in a row after starting the year off a bit slowly. He ended the year fifth in rushing with 1,324 yards despite missing those final two games. Before going down with injury his 1,324 yards was second in the league behind only eventual rushing leader Arian Foster who had just 21 yards more at the time.
Rashad Jennings doesn’t pose as much as a threat to Jones-Drew this year as some would have you believe either. He should get a slight bump in carries this year to help lessen the burden on Jones-Drew but this is a run-first, run-second offense and there are plenty of carries to go around. They finished third in the league last year in rushing attempts with 512. Jones-Drew is also hands down one of the best goal line backs in the league as well, he’s averaged 12 touchdowns per season, and will get those all-important goal line carries. Jennings, to me, is nothing more than a handcuff at this time. If healthy for a full season, Jones-Drew will outperform his draft position for sure this year.
So that brings an end to this series and to recap, here’s my first six picks for fantasy drafts this year:
1. Adrian Peterson
2. Arian Foster
3. Chris Johnson
4. Jamaal Charles
5. Ray Rice
6. Maurice Jones-Drew
Who’s your top six?