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Where is the draft day sweet spot for a running back?

When is the right time for the Jacksonville Jaguars to pull the trigger on certain positions?

A sneaky pick that I think the Jacksonville Jaguars could make as high as the third round is running back. It’s an obvious need, even before Chris Ivory left. Corey Grant is largely a special teams player who found a niche in the first half of the AFC Championship and T.J. Yeldon is a good receiver out of the backfield, but who else is there? A legitimate change-of-pace running back is needed on this roster.

And the NFL Draft has a few players worth looking at early on Day 3.

In this series, I want to look at the Jaguars’ draft needs and try to find the “sweet spot” for those positions in the draft. I want to find the lowest round where I’ll still be able to pick a better-than-average player so that I can walk away from the draft with as much value as possible.

There are seven positions the Jaguars need — quarterback, offensive lineman, cornerback, tight end, running back, linebacker, and defensive end.

In Part 5 of my series, I’m looking over the running backs and to help me organize the players I’ve used Dane Brugler’s prospect rankings published at

Running back

DS Rank Name School Proj. Round
DS Rank Name School Proj. Round
1 *Saquon Barkley Penn State 1
32 *Derrius Guice LSU 1-2
41 Sony Michel Georgia 2
49 *Ronald Jones II Southern California 2
53 Nick Chubb Georgia 2
57 *Kerryon Johnson Auburn 2
70 Rashaad Penny San Diego State 2-3
87 *Nyheim Hines North Carolina State 3
100 Royce Freeman Oregon 4
113 *Mark Walton Miami (FL) 4
124 *John Kelly Tennessee 4
134 Kalen Ballage Arizona State 5
150 Darrel Williams LSU 5
163 Justin Jackson Northwestern 5-6
176 *Josh Adams Notre Dame 5-6
173 *Bo Scarbrough Alabama 5-6
194 Akrum Wadley Iowa 5-6

I think Royce Freeman is good. Mark Walton isn’t an every down back, but he does a lot of things well. John Kelly breaks tackles well. Hell, even Alfie likes Akrum Wadley and it could be for more than the fact he’s from Iowa.


The point is, there are good running backs in the middle rounds and if the Jaguars wait until the fourth or fifth round to grab someone, there should still be an expectation of them getting a good share of touches and performing well behind what will be a monster offensive line.

Sweet spot for Jaguars at RB: Round 4-5