The Las Vegas Raiders running game was a strenght last season and it looks like it will be even better in 2020.
The Raiders are keeping their RB core intact
Josh Jacobs had an immediate impact in his rookie year in spite of not playing in three games, he showed he can carry the load and it’s unlikely his role with the team will change this upcoming season. If anything, his snaps will be monitored to avoid missing any more matches.
Jalen Richard was recently given a two-year deal that ensures he will be part of the team’s offense this upcoming season. He isn’t by any means a franchise player but fills a key niche on passing downs. His new contract reflects the Raiders want him in that role in 2020.
The odd man out
On the other hand, there haven’t been any news about the Raiders bringing back DeAndre Washington, who has filled in nicely when called upon, but is no one opposing teams game plan for. It seems likely Las Vegas wants to upgrade the position in free agency but more likely, the draft.
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Other than Kenyan Drake and Jordan Howard, there won’t be many free agents worth signing, and the ones that might be will be either expensive or have too much wear, which makes the draft the more logical venue to address the running back position. The Raiders have a couple first round picks, and will likely be used to address other positions of major need, but they also own three third round selections, which could open their options.
Tarik Cohen, Marlon Mack, Drake and Howard are examples of running backs that can be had in later rounds and still be effective. All of them were drafted in the third round or later and because of it, their salary will be team friendly.
Last season, the Raiders signed C.J. Anderson, Doug Martin and Isaiah Crowell, serviceable backs with limited ceiling. Las Vegas could ink them once again, but if they’re goal is to upgrade their running back room, they need to look for players in the draft.
It’s a bit too early to know what the Raiders will do in the draft and free agency but based on Richard’s new contract and the inactivity regarding Washington, it sure looks like they want even better results from their running backs.
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