Lack of targets could hurt MJD's value

Updated: October 13, 2011, 4:22 PM ET
By Eric Karabell

It's tough to complain too much about Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew, though clearly I'm about to do so. Consider that prior to the season he was, quite possibly, the biggest risk among the first-round running backs. Jones-Drew had a strong but uneven 2010 campaign, offseason surgery on his meniscus and a potentially bad team around him, especially when longtime starting quarterback David Garrard was unceremoniously punted to the side days before the season began.

The Jaguars are predictably losing games and scoring little, their young quarterback is struggling but … Jones-Drew has overcome this to a degree, at least on the surface. He's tied for 11th in standard running back scoring through five weeks (with BenJarvus Green-Ellis), averaging more than 12 points per game, and is fourth in the NFL in rushing yards. However, Jones-Drew isn't scoring many touchdowns and isn't catching many passes, which is why he's not the guy we all used to really love. Now we only mostly love him.

I ranked MJD 11th at running back for Week 6 for what really isn't that difficult a game at the Pittsburgh Steelers (they rank 16th against the run), but I see the other rankers have him top 10. The bottom line is this: Is Jones-Drew still a RB1, or has he slipped some?