Las Vegas Raiders: Ranking the running back rooms in the AFC West
1. Las Vegas Raiders
- Projected Starter: Josh Jacobs
Ever since the Raiders selected him in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft, Jacobs has been one of the most productive running backs in the entire NFL. Still, he has never had a season quite as dominant as the one he had last season.
With a league-leading 1,653 rushing yards, he added a career-high 400 receiving yards to give him the most yards from scrimmage in the NFL. In addition, he scored 12 touchdowns on his way to not only a Pro Bowl nomination but was named a first-team All-Pro as well.
Most importantly for Jacobs, this career-best season came in a contract year after the Raiders elected not to pick up his fifth-year option. Now, the team is in a bit of a contract dispute and Jacobs has almost no incentive to sign the franchise tag as he seeks a long-term deal.
In the somewhat unlikely event that Jacobs does not play for the Raiders in 2023, the second-year back from Georgia Zamir White would likely split snaps with Brandon Bolden and Ameer Abdullah.
Clearly, the Raiders cannot afford to play this season without Jacobs in the backfield. As such, look for Las Vegas to either get a long-term deal done or add a runner in free agency if they are forced to trade him away.
Regardless, at this point, Josh Jacobs is quite clearly the best running back in the AFC West giving the Raiders the best backfield overall.