The Las Vegas Raiders had Twitter in a frenzy during the 2021 offseason by signing Kenyan Drake. Former Alabama running back was offered $11 million guaranteed with Josh Jacobs already as the lead back.
Jon Gruden saw Drake in his joker role when he signed with the Raiders. Drake was heavily a part of the passing game early before blocking issues saw his third downs snaps decrease. When his carries started to rise later in the season, it ended with a broken ankle and a trip to IR.
Drake is back in a familiar system where he performed well early in his career. Adam Gase learned under Josh McDaniels and ran his offense in Miami with the Dolphins. The former second-round pick produced 13 touchdowns and 1895 total yards with 81 receptions.
During his press conference Wednesday, Drake talked about his ability to help this team in multiple ways.
“Throughout my entire career, I’ve predicated my game on versatility,” Drake said. “So, being able to do anything and everything that the coach asks me, whether that’s catching the ball out of the backfield, running between or outside the tackles, special teams, ball in my hand, without the ball in my hand.”
That mindset with a crowded backfield is why Drake will get plenty of opportunities in this offense. His ability to win downfield will be used with McDaniels loving to call wheel patterns out of the backfield. The matchup will create nightmares for linebackers in coverage.
Drake's contract was expensive for the Raiders and wasn’t made by this front office. He can still add an element to the running back corps to help this team succeed.