The jump from college football to the NFL can be a big one, even for first round picks coming from major programs like Alabama. Josh Jacobs, one of the Raiders three first round draft picks, has been pleasantly surprised by the pace of training camp.
“It’s actually a lot better than I thought it would be,” Jacobs said Sunday of his first NFL training camp. “It’s definitely a lot different than college. They look out for you a lot more from a body standpoint and things like that. Mentally it’s honestly been easier than I thought. Just preparing myself, going over the little off time we had meetings with coaches twice a week, just going over plays and stuff like that has helped me along the way.”
The Raiders are taking it slow with their new running back, at Alabama Jacobs carried the ball only 251 times in three seasons. It’s unknown if Jacobs can handle 15-20 touches a game as a true bell cow back.
It appears the Raiders are sticking to the plan with Jacobs, which is not to overwhelm the rookie physically and mentally.
“It’s not as physical in the league, they kind of protect your body a little more,” he continued. “You don’t have so many good on good periods and tackling each other to the ground and things like that.”
Jacobs may be the most complete back in the Raiders stable. He can do a little bit of everything, including pass protect. It will be interesting to see how long Gruden will hold back his talented rookie back before unleashing him fully into weekly game plans.
When asked if there was anything that has surprised him about training camp so far, Jacobs responded by saying, “I guess how, it’s smooth, honestly. I thought it was going to be way rougher than what it is. But I guess that’s just because I kind of like mentally knew a lot coming in but physically it feels smooth on my body.”
If there are two things that we learned from this interview it’s that Nick Saban runs a very pro like program that prepares his prospects well and Josh Jacobs is very much ahead of the game.