Josh Jacobs was drafted with the hopes of being a three-down back the Raiders have lacked for many years. Jacobs was a primary target of the Raiders all throughout the draft process, general manager Mike Mayock spoke openly about how he and Jon Gruden felt about Jacobs following the college football playoff national championship game, which Mayock was on the sidelines for.
Since 2014, the Raiders run game has ranked 32nd (2014), 28th (2015), 6th (2016), 25th (2017), and 25th (2018).
Not only should Jacobs provide a boost in the run game but he can get it done in the passing game as an option out of the backfield and in pass protection. Some are comparing Jacobs to Alvin Kamara of the Saints who is one of the top dual threat backs in the league.
Let’s take a look at Jacobs top ten plays from Alabama and a preview of what Raiders fans can expect from their new feature back.
Now let’s break down those plays from ten to one.
10. 18-yard touchdown run versus Louisville
On this play Jacobs shows off his patience and ability to make people miss. It’s all on display here as he takes the handoff, stays behind the pulling guard and current Raider Lester Cotton Sr, makes a safety miss in the hole and shows the speed to bounce it outside and finish the run for six.
9. 54-yard run versus Arkansas
What excites me most about this play is how Jacobs makes one cut and immediately hits the hole and gets to the outside. On his way to the sideline he makes a second defender miss and takes the ball all the way down to the 3 yard line.
8. Swing pass out of the back field versus Mississippi State
This is where the Alvin Kamara comparisons come into play. Jacobs shows off his natural catching ability on this play and once again demonstrates his elusiveness in the open field. Also you can see Jacobs has a check release, meaning he is checking his blocking assignment before releasing into his route.
7. Big gain up the middle in the SEC championship game versus Georgia
Check out the balance on this run. Jacobs stumbles after he takes the hand off, stays on his feet and quickly gets north and south. Throw in two more broken tackles on his way to a 60 yard gain.
6. 24 yards to pay dirt against Kent State
Despite the 4.60 forty time, Jacobs shows that he can get through a hole and get to the second level plenty quick enough. Jacobs might not have been timed as quick as some would have liked but he plays much faster than his forty time suggests.
5. Jacobs does his best Marshawn Lynch impression in the 2019 Iron Bowl
This is my personal favorite of all the plays you will find on a Josh Jacobs highlight reel. Yet another example of how he has the ability to make the first defender miss and how can you not love the way he finishes this run. Who does that remind you of?
4. Acrobatic catch over the middle for a touchdown
Wow is all I can say. What else can Jacobs show you on this play. The degree of difficulty on this catch is about an 9.5 considering as the ball was in mid flight Jacobs has to turn his back on the ball to adjust to make the catch over his left shoulder. All the while he is running down the middle of the field where safeties are lurking to put a huge hit on the receiver. Oh and don’t forget the two broken tackles before getting into the end zone.
3. Not one, not two, but three defenders to take down Josh Jacobs
In the previous clips we see plenty of quickness, elusiveness, and ability to break tackles but in play three we see the power that Jacobs possess in his 220 pound frame.
2. Big play in the CFP versus Oklahoma
Jacobs is a physical runner with the ball in his hands. On this play he doesn’t shy away from punishing the smaller defender. Defenses will have their hands full trying to get Jacobs down in the open field.
1. Kick return for touchdown
It’s unlikely he will see time as a return man but it’s nice to know that he has the versatility to not only run, block, and catch but also be a threat in the return game if needed.