Maurice Jones-Drew's Updated Fantasy Outlook After Reported Eugene Monroe Trade
Update: Ravens are sending multiple third-day draft picks to Jacksonville in exchange for OT Eugene Monroe.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 2, 2013
That makes the fantasy football outlook for Jags superstar running back Maurice Jones-Drew all the more ominous.
Credit Jones-Drew for his loyalty to a franchise that has made the playoffs just once since his arrival as a second-round pick in the 2006 draft, but his patience has to be wearing thin at this point.
The 28-year-old is approaching the unenviable age of 30, where many top-flight backs begin to decline. Behind a lackluster offensive line and a horrific complementary passing game in 2013 thus far, he has run for just 138 yards on 2.4 per carry with one touchdown.
Monroe's departure compounds the problems Jacksonville is having offensively.
As long as Blaine Gabbert or Chad Henne start at quarterback, things aren't going to get better for Jones-Drew or the Jags' offense as a whole.
The only saving grace may be the return of wide receiver Justin Blackmon in Week 5. It should help open up Jacksonville's passing game at least a little bit, perhaps giving Jones-Drew better running lanes.
Should Maurice Jones-Drew still be considered a No. 1-caliber fantasy running back?
Then again, head coach Gus Bradley is still sticking with Gabbert, who has a total QBR of 1.4 this season. Jones-Drew is an established receiving threat, yet he is on pace for a mere 16 receptions and 100 yards this year.
Even the St. Louis Rams' 30th-ranked rush defense won't be enough to get him back on track.
Absent of any threat to pass whatsoever, the Jags' Week 5 opponent can stack the box to stuff Jones-Drew all afternoon in the Edward Jones Dome. Entering this week's slate of games, none of the teams remaining on the 0-4 Jaguars schedule have a losing record, either.
Jones-Drew is in a nightmarish situation. He's probably thankful that his 2012 holdout didn't result in a contract extension, because he will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason, per Spotrac.com.
It's likely Jones-Drew will never succeed in the Jags' backfield ever again. 2013 looks as though it will be his worst season yet, and he is liable to depart before next season given the putrid state of the team.
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