Las Vegas Raiders: Grading Year 2 of the 2019 NFL Draft class
By Nico Di Fede
Josh Jacobs – RB
Josh Jacobs had a spectacular rookie campaign, and followed it up with an okay, but nothing special of a sophomore season. Jacobs’s rushing yards total went down from 1150 in 2019 to 1065 in 2020, and his yard per carry average went down from a solid 4.8 to a poor 3.9 this year.
The low average can definitely be pinned on the offensive line, however, as Jacobs showed last year he is great at making the first man-miss and did the same this year. No matter how good of a running back you are, you are not going to be able to do much when there are multiple guys in the backfield so often and so consistently.
Jacobs’s improvement in the receiving game was a bright spot for him. He finished with 33 receptions for 238 yards through the air, which was something we wanted to see more of during his rookie season.
The bell-cow has also shown he can handle a large work-load, with 273 carries on the season, which was the 3rd most in the entire league. This is another contributor for his low average, as Jon Gruden would clearly be trying to run out the clock towards the end of games, and so the defense stacked the box and knew exactly who the ball was going to.
That being said, his production was up and down through the entirety of the season, though he did finish strong with a two-touchdown game against the Broncos to end the season. Even Raiders fans who are against drafting running-backs in the first round probably can’t be upset at the selection.
2020 Performance Grade: C+