With little else going for them, the Jaguars fed Leonard Fournette last season. To go with 265 carries for a career-best 1,152 yards, he also had a clear career-high 76 receptions on an even 100 targets. Perhaps most importantly, he played 15 games before missing Week 17 with an illness.
But if the Jacksonville brass had their way, an offseason offloading of veterans would have already included the fourth overall pick in 2017. Fournettte was shopped around the draft, with no takers or at least no one willing to give up much to get him. Then the Jaguars, however obviously, did not pick up his fifth-year option for 2021.
Head coach Doug Marrone and general manager David Caldwell are on the hot seat, and Marrone may not last the season if things go as badly as expected for the Jaguars. The rebuild has been started in Jacksonville, but in 2021 a new general manager and head coach seem likely to be taking it down the road.
If the shine falls off Gardner Minshew this year, the Jaguars will be primed to take a quarterback (Trevor Lawrence? Justin Fields?) with a pick in the top-5 range of the 2021 NFL Draft. But circling back to get a new top running back, as soon as early in the second round, should be another part of the plan–perhaps paired with a well-reasoned free agent addition out of the gate.