As questions loom over Beast Mode’s future in Oakland with his unpredictable personality and large contract, the Oakland Raiders should be looking for a long-term replacement.
Oakland’s 2016 rushing-attack was bolstered by Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington as they combined for 958 rushing yards providing a unique one-two-punch. But to the dismay of Raider Nation, those numbers dwindled down to 428 combined rushing yards in the 2017 season.
The Raiders currently boast 11 draft picks to their name heading into this April’s 2018 NFL draft. As such, it could prove to be a wise move for general manager Reggie McKenzie to consider adding more talent to the Oakland backfield on draft day. Here’s a look at two candidates that fit the bill for the Silver and Black.
Rashaad Penny, San Diego State
San Diego State’s Rashaad Penny stands at 5-foot-11 and 220 pounds displaying a solid NFL frame. Penny had an exceptional senior season as he ran for a career-high 2,248 yards and 23 rushing touchdowns. With his prolific stat line, Penny has first-round talent, but with this being a deep RB class, he could end up going as late as round four.
Penny is not a one-trick pony either, he has very solid pass-catching ability as he nabbed 19 receptions for 135 yards and two touchdowns through the air in his final collegiate season. The abilities of Penny go beyond his skills as a running back as he is a threat in the return game as well.
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As the return man for the Aztec’s, Penny averaged 30.6 yards per return and took two for touchdowns as well. Penny may have only returned two punts in his final year with SDSU, but one was brought back to the house. As Penny is a clear-cut multifaceted talent, the Raiders would reap all the rewards if they select him come April.
Ronald Jones II, USC
Ronald Jones II out of USC is another impressive running back and is an intriguing option for McKenzie to consider drafting. Jones II has a taller frame than most RB’s standing at 6-foot and weighs 200 pounds. In his Junior campaign with the Trojans, Jones II started 13 games and rushed for 1,550 rushing yards while averaging an eye-popping 5.9 yards per carry.
Jones II also displayed a nose for the end-zone as he scampered for 19 rushing touchdowns. In the receiving game Jones II may not have been the most consistent threat, he made the most of his opportunities catching 13 passes for 165-yards and one receiving touchdown.