INDIANAPOLIS — Leonard Fournette ended up being even better than the Jacksonville Jaguars expected last season.
Fournette, who rushed for 1,040 yards in 13 games, became the kind of workhorse that drove the Jaguars to the AFC Championship Game.
But the Jaguars believe he's capable of doing even more after Fournette caught 36 passes for 302 yards last season.
"He really did everything that we thought he would be able to do from the standpoint of being the power runner," Jaguars coach Doug Marrone said at the NFL scouting combine Wednesday. "I think the one thing that probably surprised us more that we weren’t able to see was his pass-catching ability."
Fournette's receiving ability was the subject of plenty of debate during the draft cycle last year, but the former LSU star's hands — and an impressive ability to pick up pass protection — has convinced the Jaguars he's ready to handle more third-down work.
"The other thing you can see with young running backs is that it is rare that they come in on third down, and I thought that Leonard really worked hard to get himself prepared for the protection aspect of it," Marrone said. "I really thought, especially in the last game, he did an excellent job of protecting."