It’s next to impossible to judge running backs in training camp practices. No one is allowed to tackle them to the ground, so it can be hard to tell when the runs they make are their doing or just the defenders letting up.
That’s when these preseason games can be somewhat telling. What Saturday night’s game at Allegiant told us is the Raiders have a couple of intriguing talents at running back in Trey Ragas and BJ Emmons.
Both backs are undrafted guys who find themselves in the position to have a chance at cracking the roster with former undrafted running back Jalen Richard down with a foot injury.
What they did with their opportunity is break off one great run after another, with both getting into the end zone for scores.
Ragas scored the first touchdown and was the team’s leading rusher with 13 carries for 62 yards and a touchdown.
“How about that?” Jon Gruden said of the performance. “Ragas didn’t know how to get in a three-point stance when he got here. No one’s come farther in a shorter period of time than him. He made some really good runs, he caught the ball, he picked up the blitz. Jalen Richard goes down and another man gets an opportunity.”
Taking the baton, if you will, was Emmons, who was facing the team that originally signed him this offseason and then cut him. Emmons would average five yards per carry, with nine carries for 45 yards and a score on a dive from two yards out.
B.J. Emmons extends the lead
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“This Emmons kid, he went to Alabama. Jacobs is like his agent because Josh knew him in Tuscaloosa. And he says, ‘you better get a good look at this guy’ and boy did we get a look at him tonight,” Gruden continued. “He’s big, he’s fast, he’s elusive. And he’s got no mileage on him. He’s an unknown. He’s off to a good start also and next week is another week.”
Emmons played last season at Florida-Atlantic but the 5-star high school recruit was teammates with Jacobs at Alabama as a freshman.
There is a third running back spot behind Josh Jacobs and Kenyan Drake that could be open for the taking. These two made a strong bid for that job Saturday night. Making for a new heated training camp battle the rest of the way.