The Jacksonville Jaguars have a plan. It’s called Toby Gerhart. The team continued it’s complete rebuild on both sides of the ball this offseason, with the signing of former Minnesota Vikings running back Toby Gerhart being arguably the biggest.
Per head coach Gus Bradley, Gerhart gives them a true “workhorse back” that can handle “20-25 touches” per game. Bradley went on a hunt for his own Marshawn Lynch-esque runner after last season, and while some remain skeptical of Gerhart’s ability, it’s very possible he found him. A bruiser at Stanford, Gerhart has gone mostly wasted over the past four years thanks to a comfy bench role behind the great Adrian Peterson. Gerhart’s 2014 season is expected to be anything but comfortable, though.
Bradley and other Jacksonville coaches and teammates have ranted and raved about the former backup all summer, saying Gerhart has the ability to be a true three-down back and has looked “much faster” than they expected.
None of that should be all that surprising, either, as Gerhart has fresh legs at 27 year sold and brought a solid 4.50 40-yard dash time with him into the combine the year he was drafted. While backing up the game’s best running back, Gerhart also slowly honed his skill-set, eventually turning into a very reliable blocker, as well as a solid receiver out of the backfield.
In addition, Gerhart has remained highly effective as a rusher, as he averaged an impressive 7.9 yards per carry in 2013 and has averaged well over four yards per tote over the course of his career. It’s still entirely possible that Gerhart isn’t up to snuff, or even if he is that a so-so offensive line doesn’t do enough to help him get the production the Jaguars are hoping for.
In fantasy football, however, he’s a tremendous value. In a league where true feature backs seem to disappear each year, Gerhart is without a doubt the most complete back on his team and is slated for a massive role. Considering he’s being drafted in the third round or later on average in fantasy football mock drafts, that makes him a potential steal heading into the 2014 fantasy football season.
*Photo Credit – Homer McFanboy via Flickr