The Oakland Raiders preseason schedule is in full swing and the performance in the loss against the L.A. Rams, whom the Raiders face Week 1 of the regular season, should breathe optimism around the franchise.
Once again an undrafted free agent running back is making headlines and a major case to be part of the Raiders 53-man roster for the 2018/19 NFL season.
That man is 22-year-old Chris Warren III, Warren, a former Texas Longhorn, who has been turning heads with his latest performances and could prove a suitable long-term successor to Marshawn Lynch.
Football has always been in Warren’s blood; his father, Chris Warren Jr, represented the Seahawks, Cowboys and the Eagles, earning three Pro Bowl appearances over a 10-year career.
But what does Warren III have to offer the Silver and Black?
Well solely based on what I have witnessed personally, I believe he could become a pivotal component to a running game that needed some fine-tuning.
He plays with decent pad level and once in full motion very hard to take down in one-on-one situations. He gains extra yards that he shouldn’t be allowed to and shows heart and a desire to succeed.
Also, there is room for improvement in his game. He could play more upright at times to get more acceleration out the gate, blocking on passing downs is also something we haven’t seen much of, and catching out of the backfield will become key if he is to succeed in Gruden’s offense.
Despite the level of opposition in his appearances, I truly feel Warren has warranted being included in the 53-man roster.
Warren should look at Jalen Richard as a perfect example of going the same route and becoming a mainstay of one of the biggest franchises in NFL history.
The depth chart at running back could even see Warren listed as a fullback but expect him to be utilized in many ways IF he makes the team this year.
I still feel strongly that the running back position will be addressed early in next year’s draft, adding a change-of-pace type on a long rookie deal maybe to compliment the likes of Warren, Richard, and co.
So is Chris Warren III Baby-Bo or a preseason show? That won’t be decided until he becomes a proven commodity and even then being heralded in the same breath as Bo is a long shot.
If he becomes half the player as my favorite ever offensive Raider, then we are in for a long successful period at the RB position.