We've heard and read a lot about what the
That expectation should happen as Gerhart consistently broke tackles over his limited reps with the Vikings since joining the NFL. In pretty much every game he had at least 10 carries in last year, Gerhart had at least one long run that involved him breaking tackles.
In a story soon to publish to CBSSports.com, I suggested Gerhart would be one of the best backs in the league if he was faster. He might have run a 4.4 in the 40-yard dash once upon a time but he doesn't have the same kind of jets as even the second-tier backs in the league. But he can and should do everything else for the Jaguars. I've warmed up to him as a middle- to low-end No. 2 Fantasy running back worth a Top 60 pick ... assuming the Jaguars don't draft another running back who could take work away from Gerhart.
Bradley said Tuesday at the NFL owners meetings that Gerhart can be a three-down back.
"He has the ability to play all three downs," Bradley said. "How many carries he gets ... we would like to run the ball over 40 percent of the time. There might be 28-30 carries in a game, and there aren't more running backs that carry more than 20 times a game. If he's a guy that is carrying it 15-16 times and with third down reps, 18 times. That's feasible. A strong possibility."
“He seems like a guy that the more he handles the ball the stronger he gets,” Bradley said. “He’ll pop one. He can make people miss. He has a toughness you can count on, can catch the ball and he’s great on third downs. He’s going to have a great opportunity.”
I don't quite understand what the
Gerhart isn't a game-changing running back, and if you're going to pay for one why not get someone with upside. Gerhart doesn't have blazing speed or the ability to make people miss. He's not going to excel in the passing game. And Jacksonville's not going to give him the chance for many touchdowns.
If Jacksonville waited until the second week of free agency they might have been able to land a desperate veteran cast-off with more ability. But spending money on Gerhart makes little sense.
Jordan Todman and Denard Robinson will still get touches, and Gerhart's Fantasy value will be a flex option at best. We'll see what he can do with a bigger opportunity now that he's out of Adrian Peterson's shadow, and Gerhart does have five games with double digits in Fantasy points in the six games he's gotten double digits in carries over the past three seasons.
I just don't understand the move to sign him so early in the process. We'll see how it plays out, but he's not someone I want on my Fantasy team in 2014 outside of a late-round pick.
As of now the primary rushing job in Jacksonville is wide open. Jordan Todman should be part of the crew and Denard Robinson might be given a chance to shine. But the Jaguars' decision to overpay for Gerhart ($4.5 guaranteed was too much) hints at just how much they value him and want him. It should lead to opportunities to at least work on early rush downs and short-yardage/goal-line situations.
Gerhart enters the fray for me as a mid- to late-round running back pick up. I fully expect Jacksonville to draft another back and push Gerhart to a 10-touch per game role. That's why he's not going to go any higher. Expect him to begin the season on your bench.
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