The Jacksonville Jaguars offense misfired on all cylinders last season, finishing 31st in the league, averaging less than 300 yards a game. Fixing this offensive ineptitude was the biggest priority for the Jags this offseason. They upgraded and retooled at every skills position, but the player who could end up making the biggest difference is already on the roster: Denard Robinson.
There was a lot of hype surrounding Robinson when the Jaguars selected him in the fifth round of the 2013 draft, and rightfully so.
He is the all-time leading rusher for quarterbacks with 4,495 yards. At the combine, via NFL.com, he ran a 4.43-second 40-yard dash, which ranked him third among running backs. The Jaguars selected him as a running back but listed him on the roster as "OW" for offensive weapon since they had aspirations of him playing running back, wide receiver and kick returner.
Unfortunately for Robinson, things didn't quite go as expected. He appeared in all 16 games but managed only 20 carries for 66 yards. His best run of the year resulted in a fumble just short of the end zone (see below). His very minimal impact made him an afterthought in the mind of NFL fans.
Now it's time for Robinson to really focus and become the offensive weapon he was drafted to be.
For the 2014 season, Robinson will have a more defined role, playing only running back. It is something head coach Gus Bradley thinks will help him, telling reporters, "He understands he is a running back. He's a more confident athlete and I think he is really looking forward to this."
Robinson has all the skills needed to be an explosive running back. He has a track background, and it shows on film when he is able to outrun pretty much everyone on the field. He can stop on a dime, changing direction suddenly to avoid defenders. He just seems to effortlessly slide through the gaps and through defenders.
Robinson will now have another whole offseason to learn the playbook and just focus in on the running back position. It will allow him to tap the potential he showed in college, which you can see above, that made him one of the most exciting players in the NCAA.
Robinson will be an electric change-of-pace back to Toby Gerhart's power-running style.
The offseason moves by the Jaguars already assured they will have one of the most improved offenses with the additions of Gerhart, Marqise Lee and Allen Robinson. Now it is up to Robinson to break out this year and add another piece to the puzzle.
If he is able to live up to his potential, his status as a secret will forever be gone.