Will Josh Jacobs Be the Next First-Round RB to Ball Out as a Rookie?

Sep 01, 2019 11:29 AM EDT

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Josh Jacobs

  • Ian Hartitz analyzes what to expect from Oakland Raiders rookie running back Josh Jacobs and where he should be going in 2019 fantasy football drafts.

We’re in the thick of the NFL offseason and it’s officially time to start fantasy football prep. I’ll be answering the biggest questions heading into the 2019 season; this is part of that series.

The Raiders shockingly traded star pass rusher Khalil Mack to the Bears just before Week 1 of the 2018 season. So far only one additional piece of the trade has revealed itself after the 2019 draft:

  • Raiders got: Alabama RB Josh Jacobs, 2020 first-round pick, 2020 third-round pick, 2020 sixth-round pick
  • Bears got: Mack, 2020 second-round pick, 2020 conditional fifth-round pick

Expectations are high for Jacobs entering the season, as running backs aren’t typically selected in the first round unless their team plans to feed them the ball.

What follows is a breakdown of what to expect from Jacobs as a rookie as well as where he should be going in fantasy football drafts.

Josh Jacobs Has a Three-Down Skill-Set

The Alabama Crimson Tide have rolled out a (mostly) impressive crop of running backs over the past decade: Derrick Henry, Kenyan Drake, T.J. Yeldon, Eddie Lacy, Trent Richardson, Mark Ingram and Glen Coffee were all drafted within the first three rounds over the past 10 years.

Jacobs’ Alabama career doesn’t match-up with pretty much any of his predecessors at first glance. He converted 251 carries into 1,491 yards (5.9 yards per carry) and 16 touchdowns on the ground to go with 48 receptions for 571 yards and five scores as a receiver. The former three-star running back battled ankle and hamstring injuries in 2017 that limited him to just 60 touches on the season.

The reason for optimism comes down to the fact that he does everything well while possessing the type of size (5-foot-10 and 220 pounds) and speed (4.6-second 40-yard dash) of a featured back.

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