Many were scratching their heads when the Oakland Raiders took running back Josh Jacobs in the first round of the NFL Draft back in April, but obviously, they saw something in him that they liked.
On Thursday night, Jacobs showed flashes of his potential, rushing for 21 yards on four carries in what ended up being a 33-26 preseason victory over the Arizona Cardinals, with 20 of his yards coming on the first three plays of the game to help spur a touchdown drive.
Afterward, Jacobs spoke on how he feels about his progress.
“It’s slowing down for me already,” Jacobs said, according to Vic Tafur of The Athletic. “That’s the only way I can really explain it.”
As for whether or not Jacobs was completely happy with his performance? Not particularly.
“I was mad at myself because they should have been bigger runs,” Jacobs said. “But I was just knocking off the rust and things like that.”’
The rookie also said that head coach Jon Gruden actually asked him what plays he wanted to run, which Jacobs said “made it fun for me.”
Jacobs, who played his collegiate football at the University of Alabama, was selected by the Raiders with the 19th overall pick. He is coming off of a junior campaign in which he rushed for 640 yards and 11 touchdowns while averaging 5.3 yards per carry.
Because Oakland has a crowded backfield that also includes Doug Martin, Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington, Jacobs isn’t guaranteed a starting job, but it seems pretty obvious that the Raiders view him as their running back of the future.