In the first three games of his NFL career, Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette hasn’t broken the kinds of big plays that were expected of him as the fourth overall pick in the draft. He says that has to change.
Fournette, who is averaging 3.5 yards a carry and hasn’t broken a run longer than 17 yards, said he thinks he can be a better player than he’s shown so far.
“At the end of the day, it’s up to me whether I want to break a tackle and want that 60-yard run or 50-yard run. At the end of the day, I put it all on myself because I know I can do better. I expect better out of myself,” Fournette said.
Despite his lofty draft status, Fournette hasn’t been the best of this year’s rookie running back class. Chiefs third-round pick Kareem Hunt is head and shoulders above the rest, with 401 rushing yards, while Vikings second-round pick Dalvin Cook has 288 yards and a 4.7-yard average. Bears fourth-round pick Tarik Cohen and Seahawks seventh-round pick Chris Carson have both been more effective than Fournette on a per-play basis.
In the NFL, where good running backs can be found later in the draft, a running back has to be truly special to justify going fourth overall. Fournette hasn’t been truly special yet.