We move on to the running backs as we go through the position by position analyses for the Raiders. It is a position that has seen Darren McFadden as the lead back heading into the season each of the past six seasons. That streak appears to be at an end. Here is how the running back position currently stands:
Rashad Jennings - 8 starts, 733 yards, 6 TD's, 4.5 ypc
Darren McFadden - 7 starts, 379 yards, 5 TD's, 3.3 ypc
Jeremy Stewart - 0 starts, 2 yards, 1 TD, 1.0 ypc
Latavius Murray - Placed on IR prior to the season
It isn't uncommon that a running back other than Darren McFadden get a good amount of starts for the Raiders. He gets hurt every season. But usually that running back doesn't come in and take the job from him. That's exactly what Rashad Jennings did.
McFadden had issues with his hamstring much of the season. Jennings came in and outplayed him, plain and simple. All the talk about McFadden proving he was one of the best backs in the league with the switch back to the power blocking scheme and all he did was have the exact same yards per carry he did in the zone scheme last season.
Jeremy Stewart was only on the roster because rookie round six pick, Latavius Murray, got injured in training camp and was placed on injured reserve.
Team need: High
It's a high priority because all three active running backs this season are set to become free agents. Darren McFadden will not be brought back and the team must make retaining Rashad Jennings a high priority. They have high hopes for Latavius Murray but there is no way of knowing if he can be counted on to stay healthy and/or live up to his potential. If they can re-sign Jennings, the need is somewhat lower heading into free agency and the draft. And even if they can, they must add a viable back to the mix.