UPDATE Thursday 10:03 a.m.: The Jaguars have signed Dare Ogunbowale and placed Devine Ozigbo on injured reserve due to a hamstring injury.
UPDATE Tuesday 7:29 p.m.: James Robinson is listed as the #1 running back on the Jaguars depth chart, but he it sounds like he and Devine Ozigbo could be splitting carries in the early going.
The release of running back Leonard Fournette by the Jacksonville Jaguars wasn’t that surprising, as the team didn’t pick up his fifth-year option and had suspended him a game in the past. But, his release could elevate some surprising backs not named Ryquell Armstead, who was the Jaguars backup running back last season. The back who might be having the best training camp and be worth a fantasy football stash, is Devine Ozigbo out of Nebraska.
Ozigbo got to show off his wares early in training camp as Armstead was on the Covid-19 list to start. Reports showed he has consistently made positive plays, including as a receiver. Armstead has the straight-line speed of the two, but Ozigbo has shown enough short-area burst to be a real contender.
Greg Cosell of ESPN’s NFL Matchup and scouting guru, has great things to say about Ozigbo in his evaluation sheet of the second-year player:
Ozigbo is a fascinating prospect due to his size/speed/power profile, but he’s a little more than that as a runner, with his darting, slashing style once he clears the first level of the defense. Ozigbo predominately ran zone concepts out of shotgun at Nebraska and he showed the needed traits (patience/vision/short area burst) to be successful in that scheme. Ozigbo is an urgent, at times violent downhill runner with deceptive foot quickness and highly competitive finishing power. There were times when Ozigbo reminded me of Todd Gurley with enough agility to work through gaps and his downhill velocity and power to finish runs.
This is a great opportunity for Ozigbo to win touches and prove himself with Fournette out of the picture. For fantasy football this season, we could easily have a committee between Armstead, Ozigbo and Chris Thompson that would hurt their fantasy upsides. The Jaguars are also going to lose a lot of games this season, putting them in situations where they won’t have a big number of rushing attempts. If those attempts are split, the fantasy upside for these backs will be slim. But, if Ozigbo can win the lead job, he is a good enough receiver to win work in that capacity as well. Ozigbo is someone who, if things all fall his way, could end up a useful fantasy option at a very cheap price.