I criticized the Raiders for taking Josh Jacobs in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft. Especially when he is now one of the biggest parts of the Khalil Mack trade. I didn’t see Jacobs as elite enough to be a first round running back but so far, so good. Jacobs was really good as a rookie.
However, the Raiders want more. The former Alabama product needs to take his game to another level and stay healthy according head coach Jon Gruden:
“He’s gotta stay healthy,” Gruden said Friday, via Jon Becker of Bay Area News Group. “We need our feature back down the stretch. We were in a playoff stretch last year, didn’t have him. I think he’s gotta stay wire-to-wire healthy. We’ve gotta get more out of him in the passing game. Get him more on the field on third downs. He had a great year last year. We expect more from him this year.”
Last season Jacobs missed 3 games but was able to rush for 1,150 yards with a 4.8 yard per carry average. In the passing game, Jacobs had just 20 receptions for 166 yards. Gruden brings up a lot of points here I find interesting.
A: They want Jacobs to be a workhorse back and carry the load on all 3 downs. 300 touches doesn’t seem out of the realm of possibility.
B: How much more will Jacobs be involved in the pass game? The fantasy value for Jacobs would go through the roof if he’s adding 500 yards in the air.
Fantasy owners might want to move Jacobs up in their rankings. From a workload standpoint, Jacobs is getting a ton of touches. Jalen Richard and Lynn Bowden are the only depth behind him too.