When the Las Vegas Raiders signed Kenyan Drake, they had big plans for him. All that ended earlier this week when the Raiders released him. The Raiders wanted to trade Drake, but nothing ever came of it. As a result, the organization decided that they had seen enough and simply cut ties. Drake himself didn’t seem all that concerned; rather, he mentioned that the team was going to have to pay him regardless. On top of that, he stated that the Raiders didn’t give him a fair shot once he returned from his injury.
At this point, Drake will be paid $2.5 million by Vegas; the last offseason, he signed a two-year deal worth $11 million guaranteed. But that was under former general manager Mike Mayock and head coach Jon Gruden. The new regime, spearheaded by Dave Ziegler, decided to move on. Drake ran for 254 yards and scored two touchdowns. He also caught passes for 271 yards and scored once through the air. However, it never seemed that Drake took off, whether you want to blame Gruden’s less-than-inspiring play calling.
Looking ahead, with Drake gone, the Raiders still have a lot of capable running backs. With the current stable that the Raiders have, Drake should not be missed much. So, what does the future hold for those that Drake leaves behind?
Will Josh Jacobs and Zamir White carry the load moving forward?
Josh Jacobs will be the primary running back, and he looked like it in the Hall of Fame game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Last year, Jacobs was a big reason why the Raiders made the playoffs with his tough running down the stretch. The running back figures to be a critical piece in the Raiders’ offense.
The rookie, Zamir White, ran hard in the preseason and should be able to get the tough yards for the Raiders. White is strong and could be the short yardage back for Las Vegas. When Jacobs needs a break, the rookie could step in.
Rookie Brittain Brown has also looked good for the Raiders. He leads the Raiders in rushing this preseason with 124 yards with one more game to go. With a loaded backfield, the Raiders will not miss Drake at all.
How does the rest of the depth chart come together with Kenyan Drake gone?
Ameer Abdullah will probably win a roster spot thanks to a strong training camp. Abdullah is a shifty running back that can catch out of the backfield and could also help in the return game. His successful camp outing is one of the reasons why Drake is no longer with the Raiders.
As soon as he signed, Brandon Bolden was a lock to make the Raiders’ roster. He is familiar with McDaniels’ system from their time together with the New England Patriots. Bolden is good at catching passes out of the backfield; he caught 41 passes last year and can block as well. Bolden is also an excellent special team’s player; simply put, he is very versatile.
*Top Photo: Rick Scuteri/AP