Raiders: Darren Waller and Josh Jacobs debut too low on NFL Top 100
Josh Jacobs debuts at 72
Josh Jacobs started his career the exact opposite of Darren Waller, as he was a star at the University of Alabama, and a highly touted first round pick. Jacobs lived up to his billing as a game-changing running back in 2019, and had one of the best rookie seasons in the history of the Raiders.
Many argued that he was the rightful Offensive Rookie of the Year, but in a QB-driven league, it’s not surprising that voters chose Kyler Murray despite not having as big an impact as Jacobs.
By nearly all of the usual stats for a running back, Jacobs was among the best in the league and as the Top 100 list mentions, was “the league’s most elusive rusher to go with a top-five grade in yards after contact” according to Pro Football Focus. In addition to the basic stats, Jacobs was able to reach this level of production against stacked boxes with regularity.
PFF graded Jacobs as the third best rusher against stacked boxes in 2019, behind only Derrick Henry and Lamar Jackson. Jacobs was the engine that made the Raiders offense go, and he did this while nursing a shoulder injury for most of the season. That same injury limited Jacobs’ impact in the passing game as the team didn’t want him to endure more punishment in pass protection.
There is only one other back listed from 100-71 and that is Seattle’s Chris Carson at 96, so there are not many players who we can compare Jacobs to on the list yet. There will likely be players listed higher than Jacobs who he outperformed in 2019, but Raider Nation can take heart that they have a bonafide star in the backfield. He may be ranked 72nd this year, but with a full offseason to learn the intricacies of Jon Gruden’s offense, and work on his body, we can expect him to be ranked much higher moving forward.