clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Raiders Free Agency 2016 wish list: Running back

New, comments
Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

It became apparent late last season that the Raiders didn't have the change-up back they needed to complement Latavius Murray in the backfield. They have all the means necessary to add the lightening to Murray's thunder this offseason. There aren't a lot of viable options out there, but they only need one.

These look to be the top options to give the Raiders that one-two punch they need out of the backfield:

Doug Martin, Buccaneers

Doug Martin's had a bit of an odd time with the Bucs. He had an outstanding rookie season and was even better this past year, but his second and third seasons were so bad that the Bucs didn't feel the need to pick up his fifth-year option this past season. That wasn't just injuries and poor offensive line play: for two years, Martin strangely lost vision, patience and the ability to make people miss in space. So every team that signs him is going to have worry a little bit about him reverting to that form.

When Martin's at his best, he's a terrific and consistent running back. He can turn nothing into something and something into big gains, though he doesn't quite have the speed to produce real breakaway runs. His small size helps hide him behind the line, and he manages to consistently squeeze through small holes and get a short stiff-arm to pick up extra yards. He's also a quality receiver out of the backfield, and an adequate pass-blocker. Really, he's an all-around running back with few weaknesses, though he's not quite dominant at any one thing either. - Sander Philipse, Bucs Nation

There may not be a back in the league who would be more ideal to come to the Raiders than Doug Martin. He is the quick, shifty scat back the Raiders desire to complement Latavius Murray. His receiving ability gives the Raiders what they were hoping to get when they signed Roy Helu Jr last offseason. Martin is also originally from Stockton, so signing with the Raiders would be a homecoming for him.

However, those two down seasons in 2013 and 2014 are a bit concerning. Exploding onto the scene as a rookie, disappearing for couple year, and then reappearing in a contract year is quite suspect. How suspect? Well, that will be up to the Raiders to decide. That is, of course, if he even hits the market.

Chris Ivory, Jets

He burst onto the scene as an undrafted rookie in 2010 for the Saints. He then played in just 12 games over the next two seasons before signing with the Jets in 2013. Since going to New York, he has been as dependable as they come, missing just two games the past three seasons.

Ivory is also coming off his first 100-yard season in which he led the AFC in rushing en route to his first Pro Bowl nod. It was also the first time in his career he was given more than 200 carries (247). Also last season he saw career highs in yards per game (71.3) rushing touchdowns (7), catches (30) and receiving yards (217). Basically a career year across the board.

He has averaged 4.6 yards per carry over his career and at 27 years old, has probably a 3-year contract left in him with plenty of mileage ahead due to being part of a running-back-by-committee most of his career. Adding him would give the Raiders the top two AFC running backs from last season.

Bilal Powell, Jets

Speaking of complementary backs, this former 4th round pick has averaged just 80 carries a season in his five-year NFL career. While is yards per carry has gone up each of the past three seasons, his number of carries has not. He went from a career high 176 carries in 2013 down to 33 carries in 2014 and then 70 last season.

He was, however, a threat as a receiver out of the backfield last season, catching 47 passes for 388 yards and two touchdowns. It's that kind of receiving threat the team hoped to get when they signed Roy Helu Jr last offseason before having him inactive for seven games and touch the ball a total of 26 times all season.

Without a lot of running back options on the market, Powell could be a nice addition as a change-up to Latavius Murray and give the Raiders 5-10 carries per game.