31-Year-Old Running Back – Free Agent
2015 Fantasy Football Outlook
There was no outlook written for Maurice Jones-Drew in 2015. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
Maurice Jones-Drew Contract Information:
Retired in March of 2015.
Jones-Drew announced on his personal twitter account that he is retiring from the NFL.
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|Rushing||Rush Distance||Big Rush Games||Receiving||Kick Ret||Punt Ret||Fumbles|
Age is determined on September 1st of each season.
|Fantasy Points Per Game||Rushing Stats||Red Zone Runs||Receiving Stats||Red Zone Targets|
Age is determined on September 1st of each season.
|Snap Count||Rushing||Rush Distance||Receiving||Fumbles||Kick Ret||Punt Ret||Red Zone Runs||Red Zone Targets|
A blank stat line is used above whenever a player was not on the field for any plays in the game that week.
Maurice Jones-Drew: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
There was no outlook written for Maurice Jones-Drew.
Now 29 years old, it appears Jones-Drew's hefty workload has finally caught up to him. He's sitting on 1,804 carries for his career, and though he played in 15 games last season after missing much of 2012 with a broken foot, he didn't remotely approach the effectiveness of past years, posting a by-far-career-worst 3.4 YPC that effectively ended his tenure in Jacksonville. The prototypical bowling-ball-type running back, Jones-Drew broke 37 and 30 tackles in his prior two healthy seasons, but saw that number dip to just 20 last year (and only nine in his six games in 2012). However, his receiving skills are still intact and he claims to be feeling "phenomenal" now that he's removed from that 2012 foot surgery. While MJD is going to have to contend with the fact that he's going to split carries in Oakland with incumbent runner Darren McFadden, that situation could actually help keep both backs healthy for the entire year, which would be good for everyone. A timeshare appears likely, with their career tendencies suggesting that McFadden will see more early-down work while Jones-Drew handles third-down situations – and perhaps goal-line looks.
A true workhorse, the 2011 rushing champ totaled 500 yards on 100 touches in essentially five games last season before breaking his foot in Week 7. Jones-Drew has proven he can thrive in an otherwise unproductive offense, but the Jaguars could be more balanced this season. With the emergence of Justin Blackmon (though he's suspended the first four games) and Cecil Shorts, Jones-Drew might even find himself with more opportunities to score and more room to run – a scary thought given what he's done with so little in the past. Jones-Drew has also been a consistent source of production through the air. Prior to last year, he caught 40 or more passes in five of six seasons. Jones-Drew underwent Lisfranc surgery in December and at press time in mid-June was still not able to run at full speed. Nonetheless, he is expected to be 100 percent healthy entering training camp. Jones-Drew is also in the last year of his below-market contract – the object of much frustration for him – so if anyone has a "contract-year" incentive, it's him.
There was legitimate concern about the condition of Jones-Drew’s knees entering last year, but he proved all doubters wrong by winning the rushing title by a wide margin with 1,606 yards. He added 43 catches, 374 receiving yards and three TD receptions as well, while leading the NFL with 952 yards after contact. Jones-Drew’s fantasy season could have been even bigger, as he converted just four of his 17 goal-line carries into scores (he’s typically been more efficient there throughout his career). Jones-Drew managed all this production despite playing for a Jacksonville team that averaged just 15.2 ppg (fourth worst in football) and an NFL-low 259.3 ypg. While rookie Justin Blackmon and free agent signee Laurent Robinson should markedly improve a WR corps that might have been the worst in the league last season, a huge question mark remains at quarterback, as Blaine Gabbert should continue to drag the offense down. Still, Jones-Drew proved beyond a doubt he can produce in an abysmal offensive environment, and while he’ll soon surpass 1,500 career carries, he looks like a safe pick, at least for one more year. At press time, Jones-Drew, unhappy with his contract – slated to pay him just $4.45 million despite his rushing crown – had skipped OTAs, though he’s expected to be present for the team’s mandatory minicamp in June.
Jones-Drew suffered a knee injury in the preseason last year that required “minor” surgery, and while he impressively played the first 14 games, totaling 1,641 yards, he was eventually shut down over the final two. The injury clearly hampered him throughout the season and required arthroscopic surgery in January. Jones-Drew, who didn’t suffer ligament damage, and is expected to be ready for the upcoming season, deserves credit for his consistent toughness and willingness to play through injuries (he had previously missed just one game throughout his career). After averaging 12.3 rushing touchdowns over his first four years in the league, with three of those coming in a timeshare, Jones-Drew recorded just five last season, thanks to just 13 goal-line carries (tied for 14th). But he was sixth in carries from inside the 10 with 28, and was on a pace to finish with a career-high 342 carries – all while playing on a torn meniscus. In short, there’s every reason to think he’ll be the team’s workhorse back again, despite the strong showing from backup Rashad Jennings.
Finally given a chance as a feature back, Jones-Drew responded with 1,765 total yards and 16 touchdowns last season. He faded down the stretch, averaging just 3.8 YPC over the final nine games (he got 5.5 YPC beforehand), but that’s hardly unexpected for someone who had never been given 200 carries in a single season. His 374 receiving yards were actually a career low, so expect that to rebound in 2010. He scored the same number of times at the goal line last year (seven) as he did in 2008 while getting eight more carries from in close, so if that normalizes, an increase in touchdowns could also be in store. Jones-Drew proved his short stature should not preclude a full workload, and with little competition on the roster, he should continue to be the rare back who gets carries between the 20s and at the goal line while also being a major contributor as a receiver. The Jaguars’ offense was a bottom-10 unit last year, and few upgrades have been made since. But the powerful back with a low center of gravity will be relied upon heavily, and even during last year’s offensive struggles, Jones-Drew‘s 67 carries in the red-zone were the most in the NFL. Be aware, however, that Jacksonville faces the NFC East this year after getting the NFC West last season, so the team’s schedule should be tougher.
Jones-Drew has never rushed for 1,000 yards during his three-year career, but that’s strictly due to lack of opportunity. Despite never receiving 200 carries in a season, he’s totaled a remarkable 38 touchdowns over the last three years, including 14 in 2008. He only started three games last year, yet totaled 1,389 yards from scrimmage. His 582 yards after the catch were the third most in football and easily led all running backs. At 5-7, 208, Jones is short, but hardly small, and he often uses his height as an advantage, as linebackers have a hard time identifying him in the backfield until it’s too late. He’s extremely strong for his stature, and few running backs are more dangerous as receivers. Jones-Drew is elusive, tough to bring down on initial contact and also possesses elite long-speed. He converted seven of his 12 goal-line attempts into touchdowns last season, a fantastic rate. The Jaguars offense took a big step back last year, but that was in large part due to injuries to the offensive line. Consequently, the team used its first two draft picks on Eugene Monroe and Eben Britton, who should immediately improve that unit. With Fred Taylor finally out of town, Jacksonville gave Jones-Drew a $31 million contract, effectively making him the face of the franchise. Expect the team to finally give Jones-Drew the full workload. With a weak receiving corps and a defense that should bounce back, Jacksonville figures to be a run-heavy team in 2009. Jones-Drew has never been a workhorse, but he’s also never missed a game due to injury during his three-year career. He’s the team’s unquestioned goal-line option, and because he’s such a force as a receiver – he had 62 receptions for 565 yards last season – he actually has more yards-from-scrimmage potential than even Adrian Peterson. A soft-looking schedule featuring the NFC West certainly helps as well.
Jones-Drew regressed during his second year as a pro, as his YPC dropped from 5.7 in 2006 to 4.6 last year, and he also scored six fewer touchdowns. Still, 4.6 YPC is hardly a bad thing, and he remained extremely active in the passing game. Opportunity is still Jones-Drew's biggest obstacle, as he didn't have a single 20-carry game last season, and had 14 contests with fewer than 15 rushing attempts. Jones-Drew is compact at 5-7, but he's much stronger than his height would suggest. Tough to locate around the line of scrimmage, Jones-Drew is elusive in the open field and also possesses breakaway speed. David Garrard's (7.7 YPA) emergence is excellent news for Jacksonville's offense, but it's still a run-first team, as the Jaguars averaged the second-most rushing attempts per game (32.6) last season. Fred Taylor is the main reason Jones-Drew isn't ranked much higher, as he's managed to shake the injury-prone label and play 15 games in each of the past two seasons. Taylor averaged a remarkable 5.4 YPC in 2007, so he’s going to remain a significant part of Jacksonville's offense. Still, he's 32 and approaching 2,300 career carries, so the wheels could fall off at any moment, and Jones-Drew would instantly have top-five upside were he to carry the entire load. Last year was Jones-Drew's floor, and there's potential for much more.
The 15 touchdowns on just 212 touches will be hard to duplicate, and it’s difficult to justify ranking someone this high who isn’t even a starter on his own team, but Jones-Drew flies in the face of rationalization. At just 5-7, he was supposed to be too small to be a feature back; instead, he utilizes that smallish stature to his advantage, often hiding behind the offensive line until exploding through even the smallest bit of daylight. Jones-Drew simply never goes down on first contact, and mixes excellent speed with deceptive power. He was given 13 carries inside the 10-yard line last season, and he converted seven into touchdowns, ranking second in the NFL with a 53.8-percent conversion rate. He also scored from inside the 20-yard line at a remarkable clip, hitting pay dirt 10 times on 34 red-zone carries. He averaged a league-best 5.7 YPC and led all players with at least 200 touches in yards per touch (6.5). To get an idea of Jones-Drew’s fantasy potential, it’s best to look at his second-half numbers from last season. After receiving double-digit carries in just three games in the season’s first 13 weeks, Jones-Drew carried at least 12 times in each of the last four games. In the final eight games, he totaled 859 yards and 10 touchdowns, ending the season by scoring in eight consecutive games. Fred Taylor, who’s 31, has become an afterthought at the goal line. It’s never best to count on an injury, but if Taylor were to go down – a distinct possibility considering his history – Jones-Drew could immediately become a Top-5 fantasy running back. Greg Jones is back in the picture, but he’s coming off his second ACL tear, so he’s not likely to be a threat. Jones-Drew is capable of carrying the full load if given the opportunity, and even if he remains in a timeshare all year, Jacksonville is a run-first team that plays in an extremely poor division against the run.
Drew is already an intriguing puzzle piece for the Jaguars. He brings such different skills to the backfield that the coaching staff is going to be tempted to use him in different scenarios from time to time. He's become Fred Taylor's de facto back-up after injuries. It remains to be seen what Drew could do in that feature back role or if he could even handle a high number of carries given his small stature. Assuming no injuries, Drew will see a few carries here and there and could always contribute on punt and kick returns. Keep an eye on him throughout the season if Taylor is to go down. Otherwise, it might be a couple years before Drew gets his chance.