I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Josh Jacobs is proof that the whole narrative that running backs are not valuable enough to warrant a first-round pick is nonsense.
Boy was I wrong — but never have I been happier to admit it.
Jacobs immediately became the catalyst for the early-season success the Raiders offense achieved. His consistent positive runs kept the offense on the field and in control of the clock which is exactly what Jon Gruden and his scheme aim to do.
This raised questions on whether or not he could handle a full load and be a workhouse.
Well, that’s exactly what he has been for the Oakland Raiders offense.
The fact that he was never a full time back and shared the bulk of carries may actually have had something to do with his ability to play through injury and be a workhorse though.
Most running backs that get drafted were workhorses in college, especially the backs that have come out of Alabama in recent years who were run into the ground in their once old school power run offense.
That wasn’t the case with Jacobs as he came into the league with rather fresh legs. And those fresh legs rushed for 1,150 yards which is the sixth-most in a single season in franchise history, as well as the most in a single season among rookies in franchise history.
Not only that, but he finished the year eight overall in rushing yards while being the No. 2 rated running back per Pro Football Focus. He also forced 69 missed tackles which topped the league and is the most ever for a rookie.
Josh Jacobs should be a favorite to win Offensive Rookie of the Year and you could argue that he has been the best rookie on either side of the ball this year.
Jacobs has a bright future ahead of him, and hopefully that future is entirely with the Silver and Black.