With the next NFL draft a full calendar year away, there are still some positions where the Oakland Raiders didn’t draft long-term solutions. A dominant linebacker in coverage is one that still needs to be filled for the long-term but a more pressing matter is at running back.
Marshawn Lynch is likely playing his last year in the Silver and Black, not to mention the lack of serious talent behind him. Doug Martin was brought in during free agency despite question marks regarding his mileage, but again, not a long-term solution.
The Raiders ranked 25th in rushing yards. Lynch was an outright leader with 891-yards off of 207 attempts, then the fall off is dramatic. Both DeAndre Washington and Jalen Richard combined for only 428-yards, meaning there’s room for a new starter when Lynch steps down as neither has laid down a solid marker.
Step forward the 2019 Rookies…
Bryce Love – Stanford
Staying on an extra year in college can sometimes pay off and in Love’s case, this could prove correct. The 5-foot-10, 196-pound running back is an Oakland native and rushed for over 2,000 yards last season.
But with the likes of Saquon Barkley having stolen the headlines at this year’s draft, expect Love’s stock to be at a premium when the draft arrives in 2019.
He’s explosive, elusive, and a clever player who shifts his body very well to create angles to penetrate gaps with speed. But still, he could improve his play strength and also could improve on the receiving side of the game.
Rodney Anderson – Oklahoma
Another prospect who is certain to garner plenty of attention next year is Rodney Anderson. The 6-foot-2, 218-pound running back has the makings of an every-down back at the next level.
Last year as a sophomore, Anderson was a double threat both in the rushing game and as a receiver with over 1,000-yards rushing and just under 300-yards receiving.
Anderson could be the best fit to replace “Beast Mode” due to a similar playing style, but the former is also more explosive out of the gate.
Excellent body strength with nice hips to change direction and the ability to break tackles makes Anderson one of the most intriguing prospects next year.
Myles Gaskin – Washington
If the Raiders decide to dip into the running back market after Day 1 then adding Myles Gaskin would be an excellent choice.
An “all-around style” running back who is comfortable rushing and receiving, Gaskin who stands at 5-foot-10 while weighing 193 pounds, is another prospect who opted to stay an extra year and develop further.
A strong, effective, and quick runner with a superb ability to finish the job with the ball in his hands, he plays tougher than he looks and also is very clever once he gets anywhere near the goal line.
Expect Gaskin’s stock to rise dramatically this year if he maintains his level of consistency like previous years. He rushed for over 1,300 yards in each of his last three years in college.