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Jacksonville Jaguars 2022 Positional Review: Running Back

NFL: MAY 23 Jacksonville Jaguars OTA Offseason Workouts Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

As Jacksonville Jaguars fans start gearing up for the heart of the 2022 NFL offseason now that the NFL Draft has concluded and for the most part free agency is done, we can start taking a look at the team’s positional groups and what to keep an eye out for in training camp and the preseason. The Jaguars offseason OTA workouts take place May 23rd and 24th, May 26th, May 31st and June 1st, June 3rd and then end with a session from June 6th through Junes 9th. After that the team will have a mandatory mini-camp from June 13th through the 15th with the official start of training camp shortly after that, which will be taking place at Episcopal High School in Jacksonville, due to the construction at the team’s practice facility, which will not be completed until 2023.

Moving into looking at the position groups we will take a look at a very interesting position, running back.

Expected Starter: James Robinson, Travis Etienne Jr.

This might look puzzling for some since Travis Etienne Jr. missed all of last season with a foot injury, but with how Doug Pederson seems to run an offense and the skillset that both James Robinson and Etienne provide, one would think there would be a heavy rotation between the two and it would be kind of a “shared load” situation. Robinson is more of the grind ‘em out type of running back who can pick up chunks of yards late in the game and punch the ball in the endzone where as Etienne is someone who should provide a big boost catching the ball out of the backfield and adding an explosive home run threat out of the backfield. It would seem like the perfect mix for the backfield, so it will be interesting to just see how much of a split there is and how much they’re used together at the same time.

Expected Backup: Snoop Conner

The backup in this case for the Jaguars is actually more like a third guy. The default here is likely going to be the Jaguars fifth-round pick Snoop Conner, for now. Connor is more comparable to James Robinson in the fact that he is more of the bruiser type of back and was known for being the go-to guy to punch the ball in the endzone at Ole Miss. I don’t expect Conner to end up someone with a ton of carries, but he is an option to like-for-like substitute with Robinson, which will actually be beneficial if the Jaguars end up in situations where they want to grind out the other team late in the game.

The Rest: Ryquell Armstead, Nathan Cottrell, Mekhi Sargent

The rest of the field is kind of a mish-mash of options for the Jaguars. Cottrell is a potential specials teams fit, but unlikely to really see much actual playtime as a running back. Armstead on the other hand is someone who could push his way onto an actual spot and would also be an amazing comeback story. As for Sargent, he’s someone who is probably more similar to Snoop Conner, so it’s likely he’s going to have to find a spot as a special team’s player more than anything else.