While a lot of the media are going to focus their attention on OTAs and training camp on the Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback situation with Blake Bortles and Chad Henne, one of the more intriguing battles will be at the running back position, as the spots behind Toby Gerhart is murky, at best.
Gerhart is the clear cut starting running back for Week 1, barring injury. The Jaguars gave him a decent three-year deal and him not starting would be a massive shocker heading out of training camp. That's settled.
What's not settled is what's behind him.
Most would seem to assume Jordan Todman is a lock to be the backup behind Gerhart, but I don't think it's that easy. While Todman was a fan favorite in the preseason last year, his production as a whole on the season left a lot to be desired. He finished the season with just 256 yards on 76 carries for a yards per carry of just 3.4 yards.
Todman started just two games, one of which he went for over 100 with 4.4 yards per carry, but on the whole of the season he was just as ineffective as Maurice Jones-Drew was. The offensive line was a big issue all season long, but Todman hasn't yet to do near enough to secure a roster spot in 2014, especially with Gerhart locked in as the starting running back.
The closest to a lock at the position on the roster in my opinion is seventh-round pick Storm Johnson, because he's very similar to Toby Gerhart and is a workhorse back. While Johnson needs to improve his pass blocking skills, he's an every down runner who can also make plays catching the ball out of the backfield. He offers just as much as Todman does, but as mentioned he's a bigger back who can also pound the ball on short yardage.
The other "x-factor" at the running back position is Denard Robinson, who's up about 15 pounds from where he was last season. Robinson was a flash player in training camp and in the preseason, but he had issues holding on to the football. He had some big flash plays in the regular season as well, but one was called back due to a penalty and the other in the Buffalo Bills game he fumbled before crossing the goal line.
If Robinson has shored up his ball security issues and can show some things in the preseason, it's more likely Dave Caldwell keeps his project over someone like Jordan Todman, given they offer very similar things out of the backfield in terms of running style. Both are slash/cut runners with speed. Todman offers a little more catching the ball, but overall they're both very similar players.
Then you have the logjam of undrafted guys who are always a threat to make a roster if they can play on special teams. By all accounts, Ohio running back Beau Blankenship looked good in mini-camp a few weeks a go and Terrance Cobb, who many noted as a great undrafted pickup.
Ultimately I think the Jaguars keep four running backs and a fullback, which will be a battle unto itself with Brady Ewing and Will Ta'ufo'ou.