2015 NFL Draft Player Profile: T.J. Yeldon

T.J. Yeldon, running back out of Alabama was taken by the Jacksonville Jaguars early in the second round of the 2015 draft. The talented running back was very consistent and productive during his three years at Alabama. Yeldon put up big numbers in college despite always splitting carries with other starting-level backs. Yeldon had double digit touchdowns in all three seasons and averaged more than 5 yards per carry each year as well. He also averaged right around 1,000 yards per season. He split carries each and every year but still got his fair share of touches each game. He is an explosive back that is able to be productive on few carries.

Yeldon can also hit a home run on any play. He has good size for his position but also possesses good enough speed due to running track in high school. He is the perfect duel threat as a powerful yet shifty back. The Jaguars are expecting big things out of the first year back. Yeldon is likely to start as a rookie. Last year Jacksonville had Dennard Robinson at running back but he was transitioning to the position, while Yeldon is a natural. The team and staff have already raved about his intelligence as a football player and believe he will be able to pick up their system very quickly. The Jaguars also have a young quarterback in Blake Bortles, which could mean plenty of touches for their running backs as they ease him into the job. One thing Yeldon will need to work on is his ball security. He fumbled too many times in college and tends to run in an upright position that enables big hits from the defense.

Graphic via cbssports

Some scouts believe he also is not quite fast enough to be a top tier running back but part of that was due to injury. Yeldon played through a vast array of injuries in college, which hurt his speed some, but also showed his toughness. He is a tough player that is almost always available. Overall, Yeldon is a talented and smart running back who will make plays in the NFL. He can read holes well and hit them at the perfect time to earn extra yards. He has a chance to start right away for the Jaguars but could also split carries such as he did at Alabama. Some teams doubt his upside as a running back but Jacksonville obviously is not one as they took him early in the second round. He is a very skilled back that has the chance to be productive in the NFL for a long time to come. The question will be whether he can prove himself as an every down back or a rotational one.

Graphic via bleacherreport

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