The Oakland Raiders selected JoshJacobs in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft, and he sure paid big dividends in Year No. 1 as the featured back.
With the 24th pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, the Raiders took a position that is usually not very valued in the first round. The Raiders took University of Alabama running back Josh Jacobs with that pick, the pick they happened to get from the Chicago Bears in the Khalil Mack trade.
With a season-ending injury to free agent acquisition Isaiah Crowell out of training camp, Jacobs was automatically thrust into the starting role, and was either set up to succeed or fail. Luckily for the Raiders, Jacobs took the ball and ran, literally and figuratively, becoming the kind of workhorse running back this franchise has been lacking.
Jacobs started the year off with a bang in Week 1, carrying the Raiders to a victory over the Denver Broncos at home with two touchdowns. From there he never let up, and in fact, despite playing the majority of the season with an fractured shoulder, and injury that cost him three games, the rookie shattered Marcus Allen‘s rookie rushing record with 1,150 yards to go along with seven rushing touchdowns.
Due to the injury to his shoulder, Jacobs was not used much in the passing game, something the Raiders will look to focus on in the offseason. He was an incredibly talented dual-threat during his time with the Crimson Tide, and at full strength, he could become not only one of the better young running backs in the league, but one of the elite.
The rookie sensation was arguably the Raiders most effective offensive weapon week in and week out. This is what eventually led to Jacobs being named the PFWA Offensive Rookie of the year. With a year under his belt and an offseason to heal, Jacobs will look to come back stronger and even more developed in 2020 as the Raiders head for Vegas.