On the second stop on our trip down Speculation Avenue, we take a look at the Las Vegas Raiders running backs (and Alec Ingold). This group features what appears to be potentially one of the more interesting training camp position battles: Who will spell Josh Jacobs?
Read the first installment, quarterbacks.
1. Josh Jacobs
2A. Lynn Bowden Jr.
2B. Jalen Richard
Practice Squad: Rod Smith
1. Alec Ingold
Jacobs is clearly the workhorse for the Raiders and will get the bulk of the snaps. That being said, he had some injury issues last year, which could prompt the coaching staff to lighten his workload a bit. This offseason, Las Vegas made a significant investment in Richard, inking him to a two year deal with about $4 million guaranteed. However, on the second day of this year’s draft the team pounced on Bowden. When the pick was announced, the Raiders made it a point to designate the former wideout turned dual-threat quarterback as running back.
Bowden and Richard are very similar players both in terms of size and skillset. The Wildcats running back is a couple of inches taller than the veteran, but they both weigh around 205 pounds. Also, both backs have the ability to be dangerous in the passing game. If Bowden can add a little more mass to his larger frame, he will likely see more of the carries between the tackles than Richard. With that in mind, if Bowden also proves to be just as or more effective than him as a receiver, Richard’s days with the Raiders could be numbered. I doubt that this happens before the start of the season but he should definitely feel threatened by the rookie out of Kentucky.
I don’t see the Raiders keeping a fourth back on the initial roster since Bowden and Richard can both contribute on special teams. Rod Smith will likely get the nod over William Stanback for a spot on the practice squad. Alec Ingold is a lock to return as the team’s fullback. After emerging as one of the best in the league at his position in his rookie campaign, Ingold may lead the team in job security.
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So that wraps this installment of Way Too Early Roster Projections. Six spots down, 47 to go.
Top Photo: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images