Rashad Jennings
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New York Giants running back Rashad Jennings ran the ball 195 times last year for 863 yards on a 4.4 yards per carry basis. He scored three rushing touchdowns. Jennings added 29 receptions for 296 yards and another score. Will the departure of Andre Williams bolster Jennings’ fantasy value?
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My initial though is yes.
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Andre Williams had 88 carries last year for 257 yards (2.9 ypc) and one score. With the big back gone, Jennings should see additional goal-line carries, which helps his fantasy stock immensely.
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Jennings was a force down the stretch last year averaging 130.3 total yards and 0.5 touchdowns during the last four games of the year. His success came against the likes of Carolina and Minnesota so it wasn’t like he just took advantage of the bottom feeders of the NFL.
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Jennings is 31 so you have to temper your expectations a little. The presence of pass catching specialist Shane Vereen also impacts Jennings value.
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Still, Jennings is a borderline RB2. I have him inside the top twenty for the first week of the season.
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Meanwhile, Williams landed in San Diego. He’ll work behind Melvin Gordon and Danny Woodhead. He could eventually carve out some fantasy value for the Chargers.
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The job of backup RB for the Jaguars was a lot like being the backup Vikings QB last year. There was not a lot of activity after Maurice Jones-Drew (312 carries) and David Garrard (77 carries) had their say. After the 363 touches that MoJo endured last year, one would imagine that the Jags would like to reduce his workload some in 2010.

 

That should play right into the hands of Rashard Jennings, a 6’1, 235 lb second year back. Jennings did not get a lot of work last year, but made the most of his opportunities by running for 5.2 yards per carry (39 carries for 202 yards). He also caught 16 passes for 101 yards and had a rushing TD.

 

Jennings will get some competition from rookie Deji Karim, but Karim is probably better suited for third-down duty at 5’9″, 209 lbs. Karim has blazing 4.37 speed and should serve as a change of pace back. Jennings would be more suited to carry the load if MJD went down. Even though MoJo is basically a sure thing at the stripe, Jennings could steal some of his short TDs.

 

Jennings has an ADP of 256 according to Mock Draft Central, which puts him as the fourth pick in the 22nd round, meaning he’s likely to go undrafted in most fantasy leagues. While I wouldn’t recommend stashing him on your bench, I would suggest keeping an eye on Jennings to see what kind of playing time he’s getting.  If nothing else he should get more work in than last year.

 

Prediction:  500 total yards (375 rushing), 4 TDs

 

What do you expect from Rashad Jennings?

 

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I conclude the Running Back portion of my NFL Draft Preview with Liberty’s Rashad Jennings.  The four-year back ran for 1507 yards on 264 carries (5.7 ypc) with 17 TDs.  He added 24 receptions for 190 yards and 2 scores.  His production improved every year.  He did not play against top competition, but he has the intangibles to make the transition to the pro game. 

He’s a big back at 6’1″, 230 Lbs with OK speed (4.59 forty time).  He has good hands out of the backfield for a bigger back.  He put on a show while on the Senior Bowl team.  According to Frank Cooney, The SportsXchange, NFLDraftScout.com ”Jennings commanded the attention of scouts with some stunning plays, showing startling bursts of speed on short catches. Based on his performance there against top talent from big schools, it seems apparent he might have starred anywhere.”   Jennings is tough to bring down and has a nose for the endzone.  He’d be a nice compliment to a team with a shiftier feature back.  Character is not an issue with Jennings.  He transferred from Pitt to Libert to be closer to his family as father is dealing with diabetes.

Here’s a look at where some of the experts have him pegged:
Scott Wright’s Draft Countdown:  101st best prospect, 7th RB

WalterFootball.com:  #92 to the Indianapolis Colts

Consensus Draft Services:  #77 to the Houston Texans

The Football Expert:  #70 to the Cincinnati Bengals

War Room Report:  65th best prospect, 6th RB

NFL Draft Scout:  76th best prospect, 7th RB


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