clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

What condition Raiders position is in pre-free agency: Running back

New, comments

We check on each Raiders position ahead of free agency to give it a condition of either Strong, Stable, Unstable, Serious, or Critical.

Dallas Cowboys v Oakland Raiders Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

Starters: Marshawn Lynch, Jamize Olawale (FB)

Backups: Jalen Richard, DeAndre Washington, Elijah Hood

Free agents: None

Lynch enters the second year of a two-year deal he signed with the team last offseason. He fell short of hopes for his rushing total last season, but came on strong in the second half of the season. Over the final eight games he ran for 625 yards and 5 TD’s, averaging 4.63 yards per carry. Had he been running like that all season, he would have easily reached 1200 yards and double digit touchdowns. Those numbers showed that even approaching 32, he is still is one of the league’s best backs.

Taking a step back from promising rookies seasons last year, Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington were not major factors. Both of them had about half of the production they had in 2016. Washington averaged a pathetic 2.7 yards per carry and Richard added a serious fumbling problem, leading the league with 8 of them. Most of them were on special teams, but if they can’t trust him in that area, his value significantly declines.

The team could still get them back to something closer resembling their 2016 season in which they were valuable change-of-pace backs and receiving options, though it’s difficult to say at this point if they can turn it around.

No one knows what to expect from 7th round pick, Elijah Hood. The team’s 7th round pick last season didn’t stand out much in camp and preseason and spent all but one game last season on the practice squad. He has yet to have an NFL carry.

Olawale was a forgotten man last season, but most think, based on Jon Gruden’s history, that he could feature him more. That would be wise as Olawale is a mismatch in much the same way Marcel Reece was when he was the team’s feature fullback.

Condition: Unstable

The primary instability here is the status of Marshawn Lynch. His contract was set up basically like a one-year deal with a second year option. If he’s in Gruden’s plans, he will be back. If not, they could cut ties and find a back in free agency or the draft. Past that, it’s a matter of whether the Raiders are satisfied with what they have in Richard and Washington. There will certainly be upgrades to be had.

See conditions of: QB I WR I TE I OT I OG I C I I DI I ED I LB I CB I S

Poll

What condition would you say the Raiders running back position is in?

This poll is closed

  • 2%
    Strong
    (80 votes)
  • 18%
    Stable
    (519 votes)
  • 53%
    Unstable
    (1477 votes)
  • 18%
    Serious
    (521 votes)
  • 5%
    Critical
    (146 votes)
2743 votes total Vote Now