The Raiders have found their Marshawn Lynch replacement Thursday, and they used the first-round pick they acquired in last year's Khalil Mack trade to do it.
The Raiders selected Alabama running back Josh Jacobs with the No. 24 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.
“He’s a legend," Jacobs said Wednesday on Lynch. "He's someone I definitely look up to, on and off the field.”
Here's the breakdown of how Jacobs fits in Oakland.
Position: Running back
Weight: 220 pounds
Selection: First round (No. 24 overall)
Jacobs is a do-everything back who can run hard between the tackles and on the outside, with great balance to move in and out of traffic. He’s an impactful receiver in the flat and a bit deeper, and can make big things happen in space. He isn’t afraid pass protect, either. Such talent and versatility clearly made him the best running back in this draft class.
“Some backs have a strong lower body and others have an explosive lower body, but Jacobs has an explosively strong lower body, allowing him to make violent, start/stop cuts,” said Dane Brugler, NFL draft analyst for The Athletic. “His lack of touches in college is both a positive (wear and tear not an issue) and a negative (not a proven workhorse). Overall, Jacobs is just scratching the surface of his multi-dimensional skill-set, displaying the explosive and versatile traits to be a three-down feature weapon in the NFL with Pro Bowl upside.”
He didn’t have a ton of carries in Alabama, a school that normally overworks their runners. Jacobs averaged 5.9 yards per carry in his three seasons with the Crimson Tide, with 1,491 yards and 16 rushing touchdowns over 251 carries. He also had 48 catches for 571 yards and five TDs in three years. He doesn’t have much tread on his tires, which is why his best is likely ahead of him.
Jacobs seems like a perfect fit for Jon Gruden’s offensive scheme, and should come as the feature back and starter, even with Isaiah Crowell recently signed. He will be asked to do it all, running inside and out. He isn’t afraid to mix it up as a pass protector, which is essential playing for Gruden. He’s tough at 220 pounds, and will be a solid interior runner.
He’ll still be part of a larger committee featuring Crowell and Jalen Richard and young runner Chris Warren III. Expect, however, for Jacobs to be the lead dog right away.
He also has experience as a return man, though the Raiders have other options in that role.
What they’re saying
“Catching the ball, blocking, running the ball, being on special teams—there’s a lot of things I can do.” – Josh Jacobs, on his versatility