Many scoffed at the Las Vegas Raiders signing running back Kenyan Drake this offseason. However, his versatility could end up bolstering his new team.
Running back is arguably one of the toughest positions to play in the NFL. One year you could have a game-changing player, the next, you’re battling injuries never to recover your previous shape. It happens all the time and the Raiders don’t want that happening to Josh Jacobs. This is where Drake’s signing will pay dividends. Rather than asking ’28’ to carry the whole load alone, the team got itself a one-two punch.
The Raiders’ offensive line battled injuries all of last year, which surely affected the running game. You could see Jacobs’ toughness on display but his yards per carry dropped to 3.9 as a result. Drake coming in will add another element to the running game which in return will help Jacobs stay fresh.
What will Drake do for the Raiders?
Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal recently discussed what Drake could bring to the table. He highlighted the fact Drake accumulated 3,130 yards on 695 carries in his six NFL seasons along with an average of 4.5 yards per carry.
â€œThe 2018 use in Miami is of particular note. That season of Drake’s 53 catches 23 resulted in first downs.”
In particular, Drake’s will truly make a difference in the passing game. During his 2018 run with the Miami Dolphins, Drake caught 53 passes which translated into 23 first downs. Fortunately for the 2016 third-round pick, quarterback Derek Carr like to target his running backs out of the backfield. While Jacobs hasn’t been used a lot in this manner, Jalen Richard flourished with ‘DC4’, targeting him 222 times since 2016. Considering Drake’s talent, we could see him be targeted early and often, barring injury.
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*Top Photo:Â Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports