Running back Josh Jacobs was one of the Las Vegas Raiders’ bright spots in 2019. His elusiveness was one of the main reasons why he had such an impact not only for his team, but the NFL as well.
The Raiders drafted Jacobs 24th overall in 2019 and right off the bat, he became one of the team’s featured players. Jacobs quickly became an essential player in the Raiders rushing game. Establishing himself as a top-notch back, in his rookie year. Besides toughness, there’s an attribute that helped the Alabama product produce in his first year in the NFL: Elusiveness.
In his latest article, Ben Linsey of Pro Football Focus (PFF) ranks the NFL’s top elusive running backs and Jacobs comes in second. The Brown’s Nick Chubb, gets the top place in the list, followed by Jacobs. Derrick Henry takes third while Alvin Kamara is fourth and finally, Dalvin Cook rounds up the top five.
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Why was Jacobs Second?
Linsey gave a sound reason for ranking Jacobs second in his list. “When it came to missed tackles forced per touch, his mark of 0.30 led the way by a wide margin. Jacobs coupled that withÂ 3.5 yards after contact per rushÂ and 9.6 yards after the catch per reception in limited usage as a receiver out of the backfield. That’s an area where the Raiders should continue to get Jacobs more involved. With Jacobs’ ability to make people miss, the Raiders should look to keep him on the field as much as possible.”
Knowing Linsey is taking the running backs full body of work, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Jacobs’ place rise. The sophomore has all the physical and mental tools to take his game to the next level. Likewise, he should see less stacked fronts after the Raiders offensive additions this past draft.
Looking at the ranking, it’s surprising to see Jacobs was the only rookie to make the top five. That makes his inclusion in the list even more impressive. David Singletary of the Bills, who was another first-year player, ranked eight. However, there’s a day and night difference between his performance and Jacob’s.
Jacobs was a pleasant surprise in 2019. Expectations will likely go up in his second year. Nevertheless, the running back should have no problems fulfilling them.
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Top Photo: Adam Hunger/Associated Press