Jacksonville Jaguars RB Maurice Jones-Drew hasn’t made good on his “pick me No. 1″ fantasy advice, and his outlook doesn’t look promising despite the fact that he has recovered from his ankle injury. Jones-Drew is rushing behind a Jaguars offensive line that just isn’t giving him any room, and the run blocking is only set to get worse now that the star of the offensive line, Eugene Monroe, has been shipped to the Baltimore Ravens.
Obviously nobody picked Maurice Jones-Drew No. 1 one, but some fantasy owners were hopeful that he would have a bounce-back season and approach his numbers between 2009-2011. That hasn’t materialized through the first four weeks of the regular season, as the Jacksonville Jaguars star RB is averaging a league-low 2.4 yards per carry (yes, even lower than Willis McGahee).
Blocking has been a large part of the story of Jones-Drew’s struggles thus far, but he has also looked poor as a rusher as well. His highest YPC total in one game was 3.0 against the Kansas City Chiefs, and he hasn’t made much of an impact as a pass-catcher either with just four receptions for 25 yards. MJD should be able to turn it around, but nobody should expect a strong season from him the way things are going.
While a lot of it should be blamed on his surroundings, Maurice Jones-Drew hasn’t exactly looked good himself. According to the Pro Football Focus, MJD has forced just four missed tackles this season, and he is averaging just 1.5 yards per carry after first contract. Those are bottom-tier numbers, and the 28-year-old just hasn’t looked good out there. Despite receiving roughly 15 touches per game, Maurice Jones-Drew is only getting about 41 yards from scrimmage per game. That’s not what we expect out of a player of his caliber, no matter the lack of run blocking in front of him. As the PFF numbers show, Jones-Drew can’t be devoid of some blame for the league-low yards per carry total.
The Jacksonville Jaguars and Maurice-Jones Drew are reportedly interested in getting a deal done, as MJD has just one year left on his deal but is set to earn nearly $5 million. In a contract year, MJD will have to turn it around in order to ensure that he gets as much money as possible; most touted, 28-year-old running backs with a YPC at 2.4 on an expiring contract with a bad team don’t usually get what they are looking for.
4.2 yards per carry is regarded as league-average, and that is MJD’s lowest career average in a single season.