The Las Vegas Raiders raised some eye browns when they signed running back Kenyan Drake in NFL free agency back in March.
After all, they already have a bona fide workhorse in running back Josh Jacobs that has emerged as a focal point of the offense. The former first-round pick is coming off consecutive 1,000-yard rushing campaigns and a Pro Bowl nod.
Regardless, the Raiders were adamant about shoring up as much firepower on this side of the ball as possible. This meant that the opportunity to add another versatile weapon to the mix was all too good to pass up.
Despite enjoying an impressive stretch as the featured back for the Arizona Cardinals, Drake has embraced his role as a complementary option to Jacobs in the 2021 NFL season. With the early portion of offseason workouts now in the books, he is still all in on learning the system and how to play his part.
“Yeah, I’m fully engulfed in it, man,” Drake said. “I’m living it, breathing it right now. Just trying to make sure I get all the basics down, especially right now. When everything starts to really open up, we have a good base and then you can kind of move on from there add on top of that and continue to work toward our goal, that’s obviously being a top offense in this league. So, I feel like I can definitely help in that facet.”
It is certainly encouraging to see that Drake continues to embrace the process of acclimating to the offense. The quicker he gains a grasp of the scheme, the better chance he has at making an immediate impact on offense.
The Raiders potentially have a lethal 1-2 punch brewing if they play their cards right and find a way to utilize their skill sets to the fullest this season. Fortunately, the respective track records of productivity from the fellow Alabama alums leave good reason to be optimistic.
Drake enjoyed quite the resurgence as the primary option in the backfield for Arizona over the last two seasons. He finished the 2020 campaign with 955 yards and 10 touchdowns on the ground while hauling in 25 of 31 targets for 137 yards.
Although it may have been a quiet receiving year for Drake, he had been coming off consecutive 50-reception seasons up to that point. Not only that, the touchdown-savvy veteran should give the Raiders another intriguing option to work with in the red zone.