Over the last few years, the Raiders have invested a ton into their running back position. Just this year alone, they signed multiple veterans and spent two draft picks on running backs.
We know that Josh Jacobs is going to be the starter, but how does the rest of the group stack up compared to the rest of the league?
In a recent article by Ben Linsey of Pro Football Focus, he ranked all 32 backfields heading into the 2022 season. Not surprisingly, the Raiders finished inside the top half of the NFL, coming in at No. 12. Here is what Linsey had to say about the unit going into the season:
“Las Vegas’ decision not to pick up Josh Jacobs’ fifth-year option is more of an indictment of the process that went into making him a first-round selection in 2019 rather than Jacobs’ on-field performance.
The Alabama product has been one of the most elusive backs on the ground since entering the NFL three seasons ago, recording 177 forced missed tackles as a runner since 2019.
Behind Jacobs, Kenyan Drake’s first season was cut short by a broken ankle, but he was an effective outlet in the passing game prior to his injury (82.0 PFF receiving grade).”
Drake is a good player, but he is no longer a staring-caliber running back. He is better in a complementary role and that’s where he will be used in 2022. Brandon Bolden can do a little bit of everything, including play on special teams.
But the player to watch here is Zamir White, the fourth-round pick out of Georgia. While he likely won’t play a ton this season, he could take the starting job in 2023 when Jacobs leaves for free agency.
The Raiders have a ton of depth at the running back position along with players who can complement one another. This is one of their better positional groups heading into the 2022 season.