Hottest Rookie Storylines During NFL Offseason Workouts – Bleacher Report

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The Jacksonville Jaguars used the fourth overall pick in this year’s draft to select LSU’s Leonard Fournette, yet he’s not the rookie running back generating the most buzz at the onset of his professional career. The Washington Redskins’ Samaje Perine is. 

“You see him out there running around—were you impressed?” Washington head coach Jay Gruden asked after Saturday’s practice, per the Washington TimesNora Princiotti. “Yeah, so was I. I like guys who come in here and love football, and he does. … You can tell that he’s going to be a very hard worker and, of course, he runs hard.” 

Washington traded up in the fourth round to acquire the 235-pound back. Perine is already projected as the team’s starter, per ESPN.com’s John Keim. Such projections make sense on a couple of levels. 

First, Perine is a talented runner. During his collegiate career, the Oklahoma product ran for 4,122 yards, including the FBS single-game record with 427 yards against Kansas in 2014.

The 21-year-old runner split carries with Joe Mixon as part of the Sooners backfield, and he’ll continue to do so with the Washington backs. But Robert Kelley and Matt Jones aren’t as talented as Mixon. The franchise attempted to trade Jones during the draft, per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. Kelley, on the other hand, isn’t an explosive back, and he struggles to make an impact in the red zone. 

A clear path exists for Perine to become the Washington’s top back. 

Meanwhile, the Jaguars organization won’t guarantee Fournette a starting spot, despite its recent investment in the running back. 

“Obviously he’s shown that ability [to be a workhorse], but at the same sense, when you have the team, the one thing about a team is

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