In 2019, Josh Jacobs had a successful rookie season in spite of playing with an injured shoulder most of the year. However, if the Las Vegas Raiders want to ride the running back, they have to lessen his workload and give him some help.
The Raiders found their Bell-Cow Running Back
The Raiders running game in 2018 was non-existent. As a team, Oakland had 1,628 yards and nine touchdowns, good for 25th and 27th in the league respectively. Willing to upgrade the position, Oakland selected Josh Jacobs with the 24th overall pick of the 2019 NFL Draft. Head coach Jon Gruden couldn’t hide his fondness for the running back and drafted him with the idea of him becoming a focal point of the team’s offense, this despite the fact he was never a full-time player for Alabama.
The running back soon erased whatever questions there were about his durability and rose to prominence quickly. Nonetheless, he got hurt and even though he played through injuries, he ended up missing three games.
Related: Raiders News Roundup: GM Mike Mayock’s interview and more
In 14 games last year, Jacobs had 242 carries for 1,150 yards and seven touchdowns despite the fact he only played in 13 games. If the Raiders want the running back to have similar success or even a better year than the one he had last season, they need to get someone who can spell him and complement him on a constant basis.
DeAndre Washington and Jalen Richard have always given their best when they have had their names called, but their ceiling is limited and are far from the solution if Jacobs were to miss more than three games in the future. Washington had 85 yards on 23 carries in his best outing of the season and Richard was a reliable target in passing downs.
Moreover, both running backs aren’t signed past March and will become free agents. They could sign team friendly needs but the Raiders could improve the position either through free agency or the draft.
What the Raiders and Jacobs need
They could draft a player with more upside with one of the third round picks they hold as it’s unlikely they would select another running back in the first round after drafting Jacobs last year. On the other hand, the Raiders could add a proven veteran such as Carlos Hyde or Jordan Howard, who wouldn’t be expensive and have started games at some points in their respective careers.
If general manager Mike Mayock is serious about upgrading the Raiders roster and adding better depth ahead of Las Vegas, he must add another playmaker to the running back corps, where Jacobs is a superb member but should get a helping hand to have an even bigger impact.
You May Also Like: The greatest second pick in Raiders history