Drafted by the Las Vegas Raiders last year, Josh Jacobs instantly became a playmaker, but will history look back at him kindly? Who knows, but let’s look at how he stacks up against other Raiders running backs who were chosen in the first round of the NFL Draft.
One thing to remember is that each of these backs were drafted in different eras. However, the impact of a great player transcends generations. Throughout the comparison, you’ll see Jacobs stands out by far as the most impressive.
Does this necessarily mean Jacobs will be the most successful out of the group? My opinion carry as much weight as that of the ones who imprudently said Jacobs would have no impact.
What we can do is look at how Jacobs stacks up historically with other running backs who were chosen in the first round by the Raiders. As you can see, there’s some factors to keep in consideration with this comparison. Variables such as longer seasons nowadays as well as the offensive lines each player had. Darren McFadden, for example, had one of the worst lines the Raiders have ever fielded, which also led to an injury plagued career. Jacobs, by contrast, ran behind one of the best units and features anchors Richie Incognito and Rodney Hudson.
Also, there’s an exclusion from this list and that’s Bo Jackson for two reasons. First, he was a fullback when he played for the Raiders in his rookie season. And two, he was originally picked by the Buccaneers in 1986 but declined to join the team. He then fell to the Raiders the following year, a seventh round pick with 182 players chosen before him.
Historically, none of these back had great rookie campaigns like Jacobs did, but in spite of that, Allen went to achieve legendary status while McFadden for his part, had a few successful seasons that might’ve been more meaningful had he played on better built team. We’ll have to wait and look back at how Jacobs ends up in comparison ten years from now.
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