The career of NY Jets running back James Robinson has been one that, from the outside looking in, has been extremely eyebrow-raising. Throughout his career, he has recorded 2,200 rushing yards, 600 receiving yards, and 23 total touchdowns.
After going undrafted in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Jacksonville Jaguars decided to swoop in and give the Illinois State product an opportunity to showcase his worth.
He instantly made an impact and over his first two seasons with the Jaguars, recording 1,700 yards on the ground to go alongside 500 receiving yards. Not only could he be successful on the ground, but he could also be an effective receiving back for teams.
It seemed to be a general consensus around the league that the Jaguars had their next consistently solid running back. They also would not have to pay him a huge contract due to him going undrafted in 2020.
That consensus would not last long as, in the 2021 NFL Draft, the Jaguars selected Clemson running back Travis Etienne Jr., a college teammate of franchise quarterback Trevor Lawrence.
Although they selected Etienne, the front office reassured Robinson that he would stay a part of the game plan. Before the 2021 season could begin, Etienne would go down with an injury, sidelining him for the entirety of the year, and giving the reigns strictly back to Robinson.
Once again, he played well as the RB1.
Robinson finished the season with 767 rushing yards, eight touchdowns, and 222 receiving yards proving that he could be the number one back on any given roster. However, he would go down with an Achilles injury in Week 16.
Fast forward to the current NFL season, Robinson would be flushed out of the game plan as the Jaguars decided to utilize sophomore back Etienne as the primary ball carrier. With that, he would be traded to the NY Jets after rookie Breece Hall went down with an ACL tear.
James Robinson is already impressing with the NY Jets
In his short time splitting the reps with Michael Carter in the Big Apple, Robinson has clocked 65 yards on the ground on 20 carries alongside one receiving touchdown.
As the season rolls on, he will most likely continue to get receiving back reps to grow him as a reliable pass-catching running back.
While this trade has been a good pickup for the Jets as they replace Hall who will be out the remainder of the season, the situation is eerily similar for the undrafted running back. He takes over for an injured young star, then gets replaced the following season.
This season will be extremely important for him to continue to showcase his talent and grow in the passing game. He's consistently been a reliable running back, but in the passing game, at times, he's inconsistent.,
After being traded from the Jaguars, there's no doubt he has a chip on his shoulder and will look to prove his doubters wrong.
For the Jets, it does not make much sense to bring him back after this season. They have a reliable back in Michael Carter and a very impressive rookie back in Breece Hall. That said, they could bring the restricted free agent back on an affordable contract.
One scenario would see Robinson heading into free agency and ending up as a split-rep RB1 on a contending team. Hall will move into the RB1 role and Carter will be an impressive RB2 to help give Hall a break.
Either way, the Jets are certainly glad they have James Robinson now.