Jags RB James Robinson on verge of breaking undrafted rookie scrimmage yards record
Darkness has hovered over the Jacksonville Jaguars this season, leading to a 1-10 record and the firing of general manager Dave Caldwell on Sunday.
Amid that gloom of despair, one bright light has shown through consistently: undrafted rookie running back James Robinson.
The tailback has been a consistent force for a woebegone squad, consistently churning out yards despite sub-optimal situations. Sunday’s narrow 27-25 loss to the Cleveland Browns was the latest reminder of the rookie’s exploits. He generated 128 rushing yards and a TD on 22 carries (5.8 yards per carry average) and earned five catches for 31 yards.
In fact, Robinson is on the verge of making NFL history.
The Jags RB’s 1,170 scrimmage yards through 11 games puts him 159 yards away from breaking Dominic Rhodes’ record (1,328 in 2001) for most scrimmage yards by an undrafted rookie in the common draft era.
“He’s a special talent. How he fell to out of the draft, I have no clue,” veteran QB Mike Glennon said after his first start with Jacksonville. “We are lucky to have him because he’s one of the better backs in the league.”
Barring an injury, Robinson should set the undrafted rookie scrimmage yards recorded — he’s averaged 106.3 scrimmage yards per game in 11 contests. In 2018, Broncos running back Phillip Lindsay nearly bested Rhodes’ record, falling just 50 yards shy after missing Week 17 due to an injury.
Robinson could also earn another undrafted rookie record with a big outing in December. After earning his sixth career game of 100-plus scrimmage yards on Sunday, Robinson is one shy of tying Clark Gaines for the most by an undrafted rookie in the common draft era.
“He’s almost not human the way he, week in and week out, is able to perform and keep his body healthy,” fellow rookie Collin Johnson said of Robinson, via John Oehser of the team’s official website. “He’s a great guy for our locker room and just a beast.”
That beast has a chance to make history for undrafted players in the final five weeks.
Robinson is a reminder that even when all 32 teams miss multiple times in the draft, talent can always find a place to shine, even if the surrounding circumstances are dreary.
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