When reviewing any player or position group it’s important to look at what the expectations were heading into the season and determine if he or they met those standards. For the Raiders’ running backs, the results are a bit of a mixed bag.
After Oakland spent their 24th overall pick on Jacobs, many people had their doubts about the selection. While his talent was never in question, the value of his position is, because the passing game has become much more important in today’s version of the NFL. With the emphasis on the aerial attack, running backs are viewed as interchangeable and typically, not worthy of a first-round pick.
However, Jacobs proved the doubters wrong and was well worth the significant investment. His accolades have already been mentioned and he was arguably the team’s most valuable offensive player. To say he exceeded expectations is an understatement.
Heading into 2019, there weren’t very many expectations for Ingold. A practice squad spot appeared to be the ceiling for him so just making the roster was a significant accomplishment.
The undrafted free agent did more than just put a jersey on, on Sundays, he became a significant contributor. Out of his 16 touches, 12 resulted in either a first down or touchdown and finished the year as Pro Football Focus’ third-highest graded fullback. It’s safe to say Ingold exceeded expectations in year one.
This past season was a pivotal year for Washington. He was playing on the last year of his rookie contract and whether his future is with the Raiders or somewhere else, he needed to prove that he can handle the responsibilities of a number two back. Especially after a couple of down years, meeting expectations was of the utmost importance for the Texas Tech product.
Washington set career-highs in receptions, receiving yards, and rushing touchdowns – 36, 292, and three – while also compiling 387 rushing yards and 4.7 yards per touch, both of which were the second-most of his four-year career. Those numbers certainly don’t jump off the page but the veteran fulfilled his role as the team’s number two option.
Similar to Ingold, there were little to no expectations for Richard when he entered the league a few years ago. He ended up climbing up the depth chart quickly and became a significant contributor for the Silver and Black. After finishing 2018 with 866 total yards, the perception heading into this season was that the former undrafted free agent was going to blossom into a legitimate weapon for Oakland and much like Washington, potentially take over as the number two running back.
However, Richard fell short of those goals. With a mere 468 total yards and 3.7 yards per carry, both of which are career-lows for the versatile back, the coaching staff turned to Washington more frequently to give Jacobs a breather. It’s safe to say that the former training camp standout failed to meet expectations in 2019 and is trending in the wrong direction.