The Las Vegas Raiders made a flurry of moves during NFL free agency this year to upgrade both sides of the football. One unexpected move was the signing of veteran running back Kenyan Drake to join Josh Jacobs in the backfield for the Silver and Black.
Raiders head coach Jon Gruden recently opened up about why the team chose to sign Drake and his plans for the 27-year-old. Gruden plans to use Drake quite a bit next season due to his big-play ability, via Pro Football Talk.
“Doug Martin had 190 touches three years ago when [Marshawn] Lynch went down,” Gruden said. “DeAndre Washington had 144 touches when Jacobs went down two years ago. And this past year, Josh went down and DeVonte Booker got 110 touches. So we’re going to try to circulate the touches Kenyan Drake’s way. He’s a guy that’s made big plays.”
The addition of Drake to the Las Vegas backfield could create a potential lethal one-two punch. Jacobs and Drake could become one of the best backfield duos in the NFL if both players can stay healthy and live up to expectations.
In 15 games with the Arizona Cardinals last season, Drake racked up 955 yards and 10 touchdowns on 236 carries. A solid season from the veteran back that obviously drew the attention of Gruden and the Raiders.
At this point, there’s no telling exactly how Gruden and company will use Drake, but it’s clear he’ll play a big role next season as Las Vegas tries to become that much more improved offensively.