Last season, the Silver and Black acquired Kenyan Drake, who was expected to give a strong one-two punch alongside Josh Jacobs. During his debut season with the Las Vegas Raiders, he was inconsistent, as there were games where he made an impact and others where he didn’t appear to be on the field at all. To be fair though, how much of that falls on Drake is debatable. It did appear at times that the Raiders’ offensive play callers didn’t know how to use him properly.
Unfortunately, Drake’s season was cut short due to an ankle injury, but he’ll be back in 2022. With a whole new coaching regime for the team now in place, he has a chance to make up for last year in a big way.
Is a comeback season in store for Kenyan Drake?
During the offseason, the team added a slew of excellent running backs to the squad. This resulted in instant competition on the depth chart. One advantage that Drake has is his versatility. That special trait allows him to receive passes in the open field as well as run. That attribute alone will provide numerous opportunities to be included in specific packages. After hurting his ankle against the Washington Commanders, you can expect to see a player who is more hungry and ready to dominate and fight hard to get a W.
With a bit of momentum on his side, I, personally speaking, could see him doing well, if not very well, in this system compared to the last. Since the team has a running back by committee, here’s a modest prediction. 2022 Prediction: 650 rushing yards, 380 receiving yards, and eight touchdowns (four receiving and four on the ground).
The Raiders’ running back needs to move forward
As previously said, his year with the team was not the finest, as he only carried for 63 yards, resulting in two touchdowns and 254 receiving yards. With him working closely with running backs coach Kennedy Polamalu, expect him to improve significantly this year. On top of that, new head coach Josh McDaniels has consistently made use of the run game as a play caller. Everyone is talking about a potential MVP year for Derek Carr. However, the running game will be just as vital to the Raiders’ success. Drake has a chance to live up to the big contract he signed. McDaniels will help him do that in his offense.
If he outperforms last season’s output, it will be demonstrated that he was underutilized in Jon Gruden system (big surprise). There is definitely some redemption in that regard for the running back. If that happens, he’ll regain some of the luster that he had during his time with the Arizona Cardinals.
*Top Photo: Sporting News