Las Vegas Raiders: Can Josh Jacobs become the No. 1 RB in the NFL in 2023?

San Francisco 49ers v Las Vegas Raiders
San Francisco 49ers v Las Vegas Raiders / Jeff Bottari/GettyImages

The Las Vegas Raiders have question marks on the offensive side of the ball, but if he is re-signed, Josh Jacobs certainly won't be one of them.

Recently, Pro Football Focus put together a list of the top-32 running backs in the NFL heading into the 2023 NFL season, and Raiders star Josh Jacobs cracked the top-5. Nick Chubb from the Cleveland Browns took home the No. 1 spot, and rightfully so, as he is one of the more impactful offensive threats in the entire NFL.

After Chubb, the article lists Derrick Henry from Tennessee at No. 2, and Christian McCaffrey at No. 3, two more running backs who help carry their team on offense. Jacobs came in at No. 4 overall, a meteoric rise for a guy who saw the Raiders decline his fifth-year option heading into the 2023 season.

Now, Jacobs has a chance to take his game to another level, and by season's end, could he land as the No. 1 running back in football. Chubb will benefit from having Deshaun Watson back in 2023 after a shortened 2022 campaign, and Henry is the entire offense for the Titans, but Jacobs has the dual-threat ability to surpass both of them next season.

McCaffrey will be a tough player to leapfrog, as he is a threat out of the backfield in the passing game and run game as well. However, he is also someone who has missed time due to injury in the past, as he played in only ten games in the 2020 and 2021 NFL seasons combined.

Jacobs, on the the other hand, has missed only five games across four NFL seasons, with three of them coming during his rookie campaign.

Raiders need Josh Jacobs more than ever in 2023

This week, we discussed the immediate need for the Raiders to get Josh Jacobs signed to a long-term deal. Especially in 2023, where the Raiders will be moving on from Derek Carr, having an established running game is going to be key for them on that side of the ball.

Last season, even with Carr struggling mightily at times, and the offensive line in disarray, the Raiders were able to lean on Jacobs in a big way. With Jimmy Garoppolo as the starting quarterback in 2023, there is always the opportunity of him landing on the injured list, putting a huge hole at the most important position in sports.

Next. Predictions for all 17 2023 Raiders games. dark

Jacobs has done everything right since joining the Raiders, playing injured, and becoming one of the more productive running backs in the NFL. After his 2022 campaign, he is no longer just another above-average running back, he has turned into one of the best players at his position in the sport, and possibly the best overall.