During a 2020 season where the Jaguars only managed one win, there wasn’t much to write home about. That said, undrafted running back James Robinson was one of the rare bright spots for Jacksonville over the course of the year. The rookie became just the fourth undrafted back to rush for over a thousand yards and finished with 1,414 yards from scrimmage and 10 total touchdowns.
Given that production, Robinson appeared earmarked to be the feature back with the club for the foreseeable future. While that could still be the case, the 22-year-old will be stepping into a much more crowded backfield in 2021. The Jaguars didn’t stay stagnant at the position this offseason, adding veteran Carlos Hyde in free agency and drafting Clemson back Travis Etienne in the first round earlier this spring to work alongside Robinson. Despite Robinson showing that he has what it takes to carry a significant workload, it looks like he may see a decrease from the 289 touches he saw in 2020.
“It’s really just I have to go out there and control what I can control and once I get my opportunity, just make the most of it,” Robinson told reporters Thursday when asked about the club adding more backs.
Robinson has kept a positive approach to these additions even though it could very well cut into his production. He noted that all of the talent in this Jaguars backfield should “mesh very well.”
“We’ve all just been trying to learn the offense right now, but as we get into training camp, we’ll see. I’m sure it will work out well,” he said.
Of course, Robinson’s presence in the backfield won’t entirely disappear. This has been the plan of attack by the organization dating back to the very early portions of the offseason. Back in March, first-year Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer noted that they wanted to build a strong running back room with Robinson “being an integral part of it.”
That plan has since come into clearer focus and the club will now use these next few summer months to carve out specific roles for these players to create a more dynamic backfield in 2021.