The Las Vegas Raiders have a star in running back Josh Jacobs and should look to ride him during the 2021 NFL season.
Jacobs improved greatly from his rookie year and earned his first Pro Bowl nod in the process. Jacobs is a talented runner who can gain extra yardage after contact and make defenders miss when he can get loose on the field.
Although Jacobs dominated the backfield snaps last year, he will cede some of those touches to newly acquired back Kenyan Drake. Although there is more competition, Jacobs revealed he was urging the front office to sign him in free agency.
“Man, Kenyan. So, I was fighting for the dude to get him over here when I found out that Book [Devontae Booker] was leaving,” Jacobs said. “Man, I’ve known Kenyan forever, since Alabama days. He used to come back and train with me all the time. His game speaks for itself. He’s very versatile. Can play inside and very good in open space. He can take the top off, so he’s going to be a great addition.”
Las Vegas signed Drake to a two-year, $11 million deal, and while it was a questionable decision to spend money on a running back with Jacobs in tow, it does give head coach Jon Gruden options depending on game flow. Jacobs is at his best when he is given multiple opportunities to pound the rock, but Drake is arguably a better route runner and receiver, so that he will add another dimension to the offense.
The other benefit to having Drake is it keeps Jacobs fresher throughout the regular season, and that is important because Jacobs has been knicked up each year. Drake has shown he can be productive when given touches, and Gruden can even have him an entire series or two in order to give defenses a different look.
The Raiders’ one-two running back punch will be fun to watch, and it should only help the team in the long term.