Raiders: Revisiting the 2019 NFL Draft class and where they stand
Cashing in on both the Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper trades, the Raiders had three 1st round picks to work with. They chose Clemson’s Clelin Ferrell(4), Alabama’s Josh Jacobs(24), and Mississippi State’s Johnathan Abram(27).
Taken with the 24th pick in the 2019 NFL draft, Josh Jacobs’s rookie story is a lot more cut and dry than Ferrell’s. Jacobs was good; Real good.
The 5’10 running back led the entire NFL in forced missed tackles in 2019 (via runs) according to PFF. In fact, his 69 forced missed tackles were the most by any rookie since 2006. As such, the race for offensive rookie of the year came down to two; The Raiders’ 24th overall pick and the eventual winner of the award, QB Kyler Murray.
Jacobs has effectively taken steps in the passing game to be a threat. This last season, he put up a career-high in receptions, receiving yards, yards after the catch, and first down catches.
The rushing numbers were down this year compared to the past, but the biggest reason for this was the poor offensive line play. Per PFF, the Raiders offensive line ranked as the 28th best in 2021. In years past, the 3x Pro Bowler Rodney Hudson could be found dominating at the center position, but even that was gone following a trade that moved him to Arizona.
Overall, Jacobs continues to be the same player he was his rookie year, earning him a trip to the Pro Bowl in 2020. He’s tough as nails and slips out of tackles with ease. The total rushing yardage might’ve dropped this past year, but he still finished top 6 in broken tackles in addition to his 9 TDs.
On day 1 of the 2022 NFL combine, newly crowned Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels expressed his interest in working with the shifty runner, claiming Jacobs was one of the guys that intrigued him on draft day in 2019.