|Rick Burtzel via Flickr|
In 2014, Toby Gerhart will finally get out of the huge shadow of Adrian Peterson, and be the workhorse running back for the Jaguars. Obviously, with Chad Henne projected to be the starting quarterback, and youth at receiver, the Jaguars offense won't be scoring points at ease. Because of that it makes Gerhart's outlook even brighter.
Last season, the Jaguars ran the ball only 378 times compared to 592 passing attempts. This can be mostly attributed to the fact that the Jaguars are playing from behind in most games, and are forced to air it out or score meaningless touchdowns in garbage time. This is slightly concerning, but Gerhart is going to be relied upon heavily, and should at least match the 270 plus touches that Maurice Jones-Drew got a year ago.
It is also worth mentioning that the offensive will be improved in 2014 with a healthy Luke Joeckel and the addition of guard Zane Beadles.
While there really isn't a sample size that indicates Gerhart will be successful due to the fact that Adrian Peterson deservedly hogged all of the careers in the Vikings backfield. However, for a running back being drafted in the fourth round, he is essentially the last of the projected workhorse running backs. No one will challenge him for carries.
After Gerhart, the running backs available consist of Ray Rice, Joique Bell, Trent Richardson, Steven Jackson, etc. All of those guys have concerns in the form of age or are part of a populated backfield.
Not to mention, running backs being drafted ahead of Gerbart; such as Andre Ellington, C.J. Spiller, Bishop Sankey, and Reggie Bush all have concerns over usage.
Gerhart may very well be the last 250-300 touch running back available in the fourth or fifth round, and owners shouldn't let him slide by.