Jaguars continue to retool backfield, draft Temple RB Ryquell Armstead in 5th round
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — The Jacksonville Jaguars made another move to revamp their running backs room by selecting Temple’s Ryquell Armstead in the fifth round of the NFL draft.
The Jaguars chose the 5-foot-11, 215-pound Armstead with the second pick in the round Saturday, No. 140 overall.
Armstead ran for 2,812 yards and 34 touchdowns in four years with the Owls. He had 1,098 yards rushing and 13 touchdowns in 10 games as a senior in 2018. He covered the 40-yard dash in 4.45 seconds at the NFL Combine, fairly quick for bigger back.
He joins a completely retooled position group in Jacksonville, which fired running backs coach Tyrone Wheatley and parted ways with T.J. Yeldon, Carlos Hyde and Corey Grant after last season.
The Jaguars are hoping the changes help starter Leonard Fournette become a better pro. They hired 64-year-old Terry Robiskie, who, like Fournette, was born and raised in New Orleans and attended LSU, as running backs coach. They also signed veteran Alfred Blue (another LSU alum) to be Fournette’s backup and added veteran Benny Cunningham.
No one would be surprised to see Armstead replace Fournette in the starting lineup one day, either.
Fournette was arrested earlier this month for driving with a suspended license, his latest off-the-field issue. The fourth overall pick in the 2017 draft was injured, suspended and on the bench in crunch time last season. He also was fined, criticized and admittedly not in ideal shape late in the year.
Most telling, the Jaguars voided the remaining guarantees in Fournette’s four-year rookie contract worth $27.1 million. The team made the move following Fournette’s weeklong suspension in late November for instigating a fight against Buffalo.
Fournette has since challenged the decision, which could cost him up to $7.1 million.
Fournette also drew the ire of personnel chief Tom Coughlin when he and Yeldon spent most of the season finale — a 20-3 loss at Houston — on the bench and disengaged from coaches and teammates.
Coughlin ripped both players for being “disrespectful” and “selfish.”
Fournette had a lengthy meeting with Coughlin and coach Doug Marrone after the season in hopes of clearing the air and staring anew.