Free-agency needs: Running backs

Here is the second of a 10-part series breaking down the Jacksonville Jaguars’ free-agency needs, position by position:

Running back

Who is on the roster: Toby Gerhart, Storm Johnson, Denard Robinson, and Bradie Ewing (FB).

Players scheduled to become free agents on March 10: Jordan Todman and Will Ta’ufo’ou (FB).

Analysis: The group performed better than it did in 2013, but the Jaguars finished 21st in rushing (102.1 yards per game). Robinson was a surprise, while Gerhart was a disappointment in 2014. Robinson, in just his first season as a running back after playing multiple spots in 2013, led the Jaguars with 582 yards and four touchdowns rushing before suffering a fractured bone in his foot and missing the final three games of the season. The nerve damage in his hand healed, and Robinson fumbled just twice in 158 touches after fumbling three times in 20 touches in 2013. When the Jaguars signed Gerhart last March, many thought he would be the team’s feature back but injuries affected him throughout the season and limited him to 326 yards rushing on 101 carries and 3.2 yards per carry, the lowest average of his career. He suffered a foot injury when he was brought down by a horse collar tackle in the season opener but didn’t miss any time in the next three games. He re-injured the foot in the Jaguars' loss to Pittsburgh on Oct. 5, and he sat out the next two games. He suffered a rib injury in Week 16 and that limited him to just four carries for 8 yards in the season finale against Houston. Todman averaged 6.7 yards per touch on offense, but his real impact came as a kickoff returner, where he was fifth in the AFC and eighth in the NFL with a 25.6 average. Todman and Ta’ufo’ou are restricted free agents, and the guess is that Todman returns and Ta’ufo’ou, who was on the field for 219 out of a possible 987 offensive snaps, doesn’t. Johnson, the team’s seventh-round pick, played in only six games and was unsure of his assignments in pass protection. Ewing spent the entire season on IR.

NFL free agents of possible interest: The Jaguars aren’t expected to make running back a priority in free agency but will examine the position. DeMarco Murray headlines any running back list but other names to watch are Mark Ingram, Shane Vereen, and Stevan Ridley.