Jacksonville Jaguars running back James Robinson had one of the best seasons of any rookie in 2020, earning him an impressive all-rookie honor as result.
Robinson was one of two running backs selected to the Professional Football Writers of America (PFWA)'s All-Rookie team. Robinson is the only Jaguars rookie to make the team this year, one year after Josh Allen and Jawaan Taylor each made the all-rookie squad.
Robinson joins Johnathan Taylor, a second-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, as the only running backs on this year's all-rookie team. 18 running backs were drafted last April, including six in the first 62 picks. Robinson, meanwhile, went undrafted and was able to outproduce nearly every running back selected in front of him.
Robinson ranked second among rookies with 1,414 scrimmage yards (1,070 rushing, 344 receiving) – the most scrimmage yards by an undrafted rookie in the common-draft era – and became the fourth undrafted rookie with at least 1,000 rushing yards since 1967.
He had 10 touchdowns (seven rushing, three receiving) in 2020 and is the third undrafted rookie with 10 touchdowns in the common draft era, joining Phillip Lindsay (2018) and Dominic Rhodes (2001). Robinson’s 1,070 rushing yards stand as the second-most by a rookie in franchise history, trailing only running back Fred Taylor (1,223 in 1998).
Robinson entered the NFL out of Illinois State with little fanfare but quickly established himself as the glue of Jacksonville's offense. While the unit struggled weekly in the 1-15 season, Robinson was a frequent bright spot.
“Yeah, I mean, it’s a credit to him. You know, he’s been outstanding, he really has," former Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone said after Robinson eclipsed 1,000 yards from scrimmage.
"But it’s something that could be celebrated by all of us, the offensive line, receivers, the tight ends, and I said even the defensive guys and specialists. I mean, it’s something of here’s a guy that represents so much of what’s good about competition, about playing, about humility, about keeping things in perspective. He’s been a great example, even though he’s a rookie free agent, he’s been a great example for everybody. So, I said that to the team after the game and they clapped for him, when there’s not a lot to clap about really.”
Robinson—who was left out of the 2020 Pro Bowl—had seven games with at least 100 scrimmage yards this season, tied with Clark Gaines (seven games in 1976) for the most such games by an undrafted rookie in he modern era.
Robinson is also a nominee for NFL Rookie of the Year, the only undrafted player who is among the five nominations.