The future in Jacksonville? Simply Devine
The move by the Jacksonville Jaguars to cut the 2017 fourth overall pick was no surprise. The writing was on the wall. From character issues to on the field violence, Leonard Fournette’s days with the Jaguars were numbered. After a failed attempt to trade him this offseason, where they apparently were offered absolutely nothing for their star running back, the Jaguars cut Fournette with a mere 10 days before the opening kickoff.
Clearly, the Jaguars had seen enough out of their young core of running backs to cut bait. The question now is who will get the majority of the carries left behind by Fournette? Many believe it will be the 2019 fifth round pick, Ryquell Armstead. I believe that a little known ball carrier who went undrafted out of Nebraska in 2019 might very well be best equipped to run with the job. Welcome to the spotlight Devine Ozigbo.
As a Prospect
As a dynasty team manager, doing your draft homework is a must. Back in 2019, I listened to an interview with a prospect named Devine Ozigbo, a running back out of the University of Nebraska. He spoke of the hard work he put in and how it paid off with an opportunity in his senior year. The young man came across humble and well spoken. He finished his senior year with 1,082 yards and 12 touchdowns as well as averaging seven yards per carry.
After watching his tape, I saw a well balanced runner with good size and speed who is also a capable receiver. Ozigbo is a downhill runner who runs hard at the line of scrimmage but shows patience when required. Ozigbo changes direction well and can get you those tough yards between the tackles. He has plenty of power and burst and appears well suited to have success at the NFL level, with plenty of tread left on the tires. Pass blocking is an element he may still need to work on, but he was always ready to take on defenders at the college level, which is a positive start.
After a stellar Pro Day, many predicted Ozigbo as a late round pick and someone who could be a huge value towards the end of the draft. He ended up not being drafted and signed with the New Orleans Saints as an undrafted free agent. While he never saw the field as a Saint, he spent time with two veteran running backs and got a feel for what it took to be an NFL ball carrier.
In early September, Ozigbo was claimed off of waivers by the Jaguars. He recorded his first action and NFL statistics in Week 17, carrying the ball nine times for 27 rushing yards and collected three receptions for 23 yards. While these are not close to earth shattering numbers, Ozigbo demonstrated enough to latch on with the team into 2020 and find a role.
A new opportunity arises
Potential starter Ryquell Armstead has been put back on the Covid-19 IR list and is out for an indefinite period. News reports say he may come back to a back up role when healthy. In that time, there is an opportunity for Ozigbo to claim a significant role on early downs. Rookie free agent James Robinson has apparently made some noise and may also have a role. Veteran runner and Jay Gruden favorite, Chris Thompson is the 3rd down back and a great presence for the younger players.
Seeing how this backfield shakes out is an intriguing storyline. As the season approaches, so does an opportunity of a lifetime for Devine Ozigbo. Grab him on your fantasy roster before it’s too late!
Fantasy Football Analyst
NORMAN BÚN WAS RAISED IN NORTHERN CALIFORNIA AND NOW RESIDES IN A SUBURB OF CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA WITH HIS BEAUTIFUL WIFE AND TWO CHILDREN. HE IS A SCHOOL TEACHER AND WRITER WHO IS PASSIONATE ABOUT HIS FAITH, GOLF, MMA AND FANTASY FOOTBALL.