The Jacksonville Jaguars have happened upon a league changing running back in Leonard Fournette. He has been clocked at 22 mph on the run, and he could become the catalyst for an offense that is based on breakaway speed. We could see someone like David Johnson or Kareem Hunt have the same kind of speed, but those guys play with really good passers. Blake Bortles is the worst of these quarterbacks, and that is why the Jags might consider basing their offense around their running back.

Does speed matter?

Speed is the only thing that matters in the NFL.

It is such an important part of the NFL roster that every team that is trying to improve talks about getting faster. The Falcons spent a couple of years doing that, and they got to a Super Bowl based on speed. That is all Dan Quinn talks about, and it is why you see teams like the 49ers and Browns trying to find fast players. Speed on offense helps you get away from defenders, and defending teams are terrified of someone running by them. If Fournette can get into the second level of defense, he can run right past them. That is why it is important for the Jags to decide if they want to base their offense on Fournette.

Their window gets smaller

Leonard Fournette probably cannot play as long as Blake Bortles can.

If all things were equal, we would see Bortles stay in the league far longer than Fournette. Running backs tend to break down, and that would mean the Jags have to be as fast as possible in building a team around Fournette. That might not be the smartest move, and it could backfire if he ever gets hurt.

Teams will figure it out

The NFL is a league of tape, and all teams will get tape on Fournette, figure out how to defend him, and stop him from getting deep into a defense. That will not stop Fournette from having good numbers, but he might not be the scoring machine that the Jags need for more than a year or two. This means that the Jags need a new quarterback, have to see Bortles improve a lot more, or they need to keep investing in their defense.

This is why building rosters is hard because you have to make a choice and go with it. The Jags might be sitting in their facilities deciding how many picks they want to trade to get a better quarterback, or they might be doubling down on defense because they are going to run the ball and stop the run. They might not win a Super Bowl like that, but they could be a lot better than they have been of late. Jacksonville has a decision to make, and running 22 mph is not the only thing to consider.

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