When the Dallas Cowboys spent an early first round draft pick on Ezekiel Elliott in 2016, many questioned it because most teams no longer value running backs like they used to. When Elliott won the NFL rushing crown as a rookie and helped lead Dallas to the playoffs, heads turned. When the Jacksonville Jaguars drafted Leonard Fournette in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft, some fans pegged him as the next Ezekiel Elliott. Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone has tried to temper people's expectations.

Leonard Fournette has to earn his spot in Jacksonville

Ezekiel Elliott was expected to come into Dallas as the backup to Darren McFadden and earn his reps.

Thanks to an injury to McFadden and an explosive start by Elliott, Ezekiel cemented his position as the starter in Dallas. Much like the Cowboys originally planned with Zeke, the Jacksonville Jaguars and Doug Marrone want Leonard Fournette to earn his spot in the lineup.

This was something that Doug Marrone emphasized when talking to reporters earlier this month. According to the Jacksonville Jaguars head coach, the team knew that they were getting when they chose him in the first round but at the same time, everyone must earn their spot in the lineup. Leonard Fournette is competing with T.J. Yeldon and Chris Ivory for the starting running back role.

Leonard Fornette earning his keep

Leonard Fournette has done a lot to impress Doug Marrone and the Jacksonville Jaguars so far in training camp.

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Fournette said that he expects to come in and learn everything he can from Ivory and Yelden and just get better by working with them. In 2016, Jacksonville ranked 22nd in the NFL in rushing yards but that was also partially because of the Jacksonville offensive line woes.

Not only has Leonard Fournette come in and started to learn from Chris Ivory and T.J. Yelden, but he has turned heads with his own skill set and game breaking abilities. According to Doug Marrone, Fournette is not only running hard, which the Jacksonville Jaguars knew he would, but he is also catching the ball extremely well.

Marrone said that Fournette has only dropped one pass thrown his way since he joined the Jacksonville Jaguars on April 27. That dropped pass came this past Friday, which seems amazing. Marrone said that is one thing that he is really excited about.

In three seasons at LSU, Leonard Fournette ran for 3,830 yards and 40 touchdowns but he only caught a total of 41 passes in college. That makes the news that Fournette can do more than just run a huge boost for the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2017.