The Las Vegas Raiders have bigger holes to fill in the 2021 NFL Draft, but a RB tandem of Josh Jacobs and Michael Carter would be deadly.
Fans and writers alike know that the Las Vegas Raiders need defensive reinforcements, there’s no denying that. Thankfully, there’s plenty of talent that Raiders brass can choose from as far as interior defensive linemen and defensive backs. However, what if the Raiders had the opportunity to elevate their offense and put together an even better rushing attack?
First, the offensive line would have to return to pre-2020 form and be a dominant run-blocking unit again. Second, they need a second running back that can truly share the load with Jacobs.
Devontae Booker turned out to be a serviceable backup but nothing special in the grand scheme of things. Accumulating 423 rushing yards and three touchdowns while averaging a little more than 26 yards a game is solid but does not mean the Raiders are set at the position by any means.
Having Booker should not deter the Raiders from potentially drafting a running back that would add another dimension to their offense, and UNC star Michael Carter would be an excellent fit. The North Carolina Tar Heel totaled 2,248 over 24 total games these past two years, and he did this while averaging eight yards a carry last season alone.
Should Raiders pull the trigger on Carter?
Pro Football Focus also spotlighted Carter’s dependability and ball security over that two-year span. The team could certainly use a pair of secure hands in the backfield, but he’s not just a good runner either, his receiving game skills are noteworthy as well.
Carter amassed 656 receiving yards in four seasons at UNC, scoring six touchdowns in the process. Per PFF, his grades for the 2020 season are eye-popping, 91.1 in the run game and 88.6 in the receiving department.
Having a running back that’s light and shifty who can break off long runs at any moment would be a welcomed addition. Pairing Carter’s speed with Josh Jacobs‘ bruising and power running style would absolutely demolish opposing defenses.
Head coach Jon Gruden wants a power running game circa 1998, well, this would be even better.
Not to mention, such a dimension would remove tremendous pressure from quarterback Derek Carr. The signal-caller wouldn’t be relied on to win games so much, rather, he could manage games more effectively.
The question will be whether Raiders brass is willing to use a pick on running back. What say you, Raider Nation? Jacobs and Carter in 2021?