Starters: Josh Jacobs, Keith Smith (FB)
Backups: Doug Martin, Jalen Richard, DeAndre Washington, Chris Warren III, Alec Ingold
The Raiders had a great back come available to them this offseason. When the Jets signed LeVeon Bell to a monster contract, they let Isaiah Crowell go and the running back needy Raiders scooped him out. Then he tore his Achilles, prompting them to re-sign last year’s late season starter, Doug Martin.
Martin averaged a decent 4.2 yards per carry last season at the age of 29 after taking over for Marshawn Lynch as the feature back. He was originally the complementary back until he was forced into duty.
This year he figures to share the backfield with first round pick Josh Jacobs. The top back int he 2019 draft is pegged as the starter perhaps right away, but with Martin in house, there is no rush to make him the workhorse — a role he never filled at the college level.
Jalen Richard was the receiving threat out of the backfield last season, tying for the team lead with 68 catches.
Many fans have high hopes for Chris Warren III after leading the league in preseason rushing yards. He was stashed on IR last season and will get another shot in this year’s camp. If he can have a repeat performance in this preseason, you’d have to think he would not only make the team, but could be that bruising back Gruden likes ala Zack Crockett or Mike Alstott.
DeAndre Washington has managed to hang around for a few years, but if all goes well with the other backs, he may not make the team again.
Keith Smith showed good hands but caught just 5 passes for 23 yards. Most of his work is done on special teams. His only competition at
Jacobs may or may not be able to take a feature back role at the NFL level. He never did in college, so we just don’t know. If Martin can run as well as he did last season, Jacobs won’t have to handle the load by himself. Richard proved he can be a weapon out of the backfield and Chris Warren III is an intriguing wild card. It’s not exceptional, but it’s also not a bad....stable of backs to head into camp with.
What condition do you think the Raiders running back position is in heading into training camp?
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