Raiders RB Jalen Richard expected to lose ‘good chunk’ of his targets to rookie Josh Jacobs
The Oakland Raiders’ backfield will look a bit different in 2019 after the team drafted Josh Jacobs in the first round. Jacobs will immediately become the starting running back but that could take some touches away from Jalen Richard.
In an article by Vic Tafur of The Athletic, Tafur says that Richard is expected to lose a “good chunk” of his targets to Jacobs. The article speaks about 12 players who will need to earn their keep with the Raiders once again in 2019.
“Gruden said Richard reminds the coach of Charlie Garner and is deserving of a bigger role. And then he drafts Josh Jacobs in the first round to be a three-down back. Richard will probably split backup carries with Doug Martin and will lose a good chunk of those 68 catches last year to Jacobs.”
Last season, Richard became a reliable weapon in the Raiders offense. Richard gained 259 yards on 59 carries and a touchdown on the ground but most of his work came in the passing game.
Along with his rushing stats, Richard caught 68 passes for 607 yards. Now, Richard has a decent chance to see fewer looks in the passing game with Jacobs coming into the offense.
The Raiders took Jacobs out of Alabama in the first round in hopes he can provide the offense with some firepower. At Alabama, Jacobs barely touched the ball with just 251 carries. He is also capable as a pass-catcher with 48 receptions in his collegiate career.
Oakland had the 25th ranked rushing offense in 2018 and are hoping they can improve with Jacobs next to Derek Carr. Although, Richard is likely to see fewer touches in the offense now after being a reliable weapon in 2018.