Josh Jacobs is the clear cut starting running back for the Las Vegas Raiders in 2020. Is it possible that rookie Lynn Bowden Jr, might end up as his backup?
The Raiders’ running back stable is an interesting one all things considered. Behind Jacobs, you have Jalen Richard, Devontae Booker, and Bowden. The Raiders have already have seen what they have in Richard, a reliable veteran whose primary contribution is in the passing game. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing though. Richard has chemistry with Derek Carr, and the quarterback still goes to him out of the backfield quite often.
Richard might not be the traditional running back up in 2020 though. He’ll likely be in a more situational role, and Booker won’t see a hefty amount of snaps unless Jacobs suffers an injury. In fact, Booker only saw 26 snaps in 2019, but as we’ve seen, head coach Jon Gruden loves his veteran running backs. At the same time, Gruden doesn’t shy away from giving heavy workloads to rookies regardless of the position. This could all mean Bowden ends up as RB2 in his rookie year.
Lynn Bowden Could Be More Than Just A Running Back for the Raiders
Bowden’s impact will go beyond that of a backup running back despite of what his spot is. His all-world talent has been covered ad nauseam, but it’ll be up to Gruden to maximize that talent. One of the most accurate comparisons for Bowden was by Ryan Hawks here at The Raider Ramble:
“A more accurate projection might be Tarik Cohen, who has been one of the top gadget players in the league during his three years in the NFL. He’s never had less than 600 yards from scrimmage and even made first-team All-Pro as a punt returner his sophomore season in the NFL. That same year, he also totaled over 1,100 scrimmage yards.”
We won’t know for a while who’ll be the clear cut backup despite training camp underway. The current Covid-19 restrictions and the modifications that have resulted because of it are making things difficult. Booker was placed on the COVID-1 list, which caused the team to sign Jeremy Hill only to release him days later. Without the preseason to properly gauge players, especially rookies, everyone will be keeping an eye on Bowden’s potential role.
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*Top Photo: Drew Brown/Sea of Blue