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Koerner: My Way-Too-Early Josh Jacobs Projections for 2019

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Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Josh Jacobs

  • See Sean Koerner's initial 2019 projections for Oakland Raiders rookie running back Josh Jacobs.

With the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft less than a day old, I’ve compiled my initial 2019 projections for Josh Jacobs.

One important thing to keep in mind: These projections aren’t a reflection of how I think the running back should be used in Oakland; I’m just trying to project how he will be used.

Josh Jacobs 2019 Projections

The only RB taken in Round 1 was not a surprise, and it wasn’t a surprise that he went to the Raiders. Considering they spent a first-round pick on him, they intend to use him heavily in his rookie season.

Looking back at the 18 running backs selected in the first round over the past decade, we see a median rushing line of 180 rushes, 735 rush yards and 6.5 touchdowns their rookie season.

As of writing, here are my initial projections for Jacobs:

  • 191 rushes
  • 804 rush yards
  • 6.7 rush TDs
  • 29 receptions
  • 210 receiving yards
  • 1.3 receiving TDs

Jacobs certainly has the potential to be a three-down back in the NFL. Despite not getting much opportunity as a pass-catcher at Alabama, he certainly displayed the skills to do so at the next level.

I’m just a tad worried that Isaiah Crowell could eat into Jacobs’ early-down work, and Jalen Richard could eat into the rookie’s passing down work. It would be fairly similar to Kerryon Johnson’s situation last year with LeGarrette Blount/Theo Riddick limiting Johnson’s potential in the run/pass game, which was frustrating to see.

Again, my projections aren’t a reflection of how I think he should be used — I’m simply trying to project how he will be used.

Right now I have Jacobs pegged as my No. 28 RB, but realize I’m being a bit conservative with my projections. His upside definitely warrants taking him a bit earlier as he doesn’t pose too much risk for a rookie.

The Raiders spent a first-round pick on him for a reason and think they give him a long leash this year.

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