Oakland Raiders: Kiper Jr. likes Josh Jacobs to have an immediate impact
By Sanjit T.
The Oakland Raiders brought in a bunch of players who should impact the 2019 season via the 2019 NFL Draft, and Josh Jacobs is certainly one of them.
The Oakland Raiders had a ton of needs going into the 2019 NFL Draft, and holding three first round picks, they had plenty of options to fill those needs. While many people thought they would take all defensive players in round one, there was speculation they could take a tight end as well.
However, when it came time for the Raiders to make their second first round pick, the selection they got from trading Khalil Mack to the Chicago Bears, they decided to bring in a running back. Many were shocked when the Raiders took Josh Jacobs in the first round, but he was the best player at his position group in the draft class.
Heading into the draft, former feature back Marshawn Lynch had retired, and there was a need at running back to be filled. While drafting a running back in the first round is usually not the best idea, Jacobs is a special talent, and one media expert loved the pick.
One person who wasn’t shocked by the pick was ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. In fact, Kiper had predicted the Raiders would draft Josh Jacobs multiple times with the 24th overall pick. His exact words were:
"Leave it to Gruden to take the first running back off the board. Jacobs is a three-down, explosive player."
Mel Kiper Jr was dead on with this pick. Not only did he know that the Oakland Raiders would take Jacobs, he knew exactly when they’d take him.
In a recent piece by Kiper, he named 15 players who he believed would be instant starters. With his number one back being Jacobs, and with Crowell going out, we knew that Jacobs would make this list.
Out of the 15 players on his list, he has two running backs he thinks will have an immediate impact. One is David Montgomery, while the other is Josh Jacobs:
"This is an easy one, right? Isaiah Crowell is out for the season. Doug Martin is back, but he’s declining. Marshawn Lynch is gone. That means there’s a hole atop the Raiders’ running back depth chart. You should know by now that I don’t love taking running backs in the first round, but this was such a Jon Gruden pick. Jacobs is a grinder, a complete back who breaks tackles and can catch passes. He can play on third down. He had just 291 career touches from scrimmage at Alabama, so he has limited tread on his tires. Jacobs’ best is yet to come.It’s a different time, of course, but Gruden once gave a rookie first-round pick a whopping 310 touches. That would be No. 5 overall pick Cadillac Williams, who rushed for 1,178 yards and six touchdowns in 2005. Could Jacobs come close to that workload in 2019?"
If the Raiders lead backs in 2019 are Jacobs, Richard, and Martin, expect Josh Jacobs to get most of the carries. However, last year, the same was thought of Rashaad Penny, and he ended up struggling a lot. So a lot will depend on how Jacobs adjusts to the speed of the game.
Of course, there are other things he can do, that many fans might not think of. One is blocking. Not only is he a superb pass blocker, but he can also run block. That might be important in sets where you’d want two RBs in.
For more on Josh Jacobs, check out his film: https://bit.ly/2YgsfNk