Raiders Sign Former Redskins & Vikings Running Back

Jon Gruden

Getty Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden

The moves keep on coming for the Oakland Raiders, as they’ve now acquired former Washington Redskins and Minnesota Vikings running back Mack Brown. Not to be confused with the coach for the University of North Carolina football team, Brown has yet to find a stable team since he entered the NFL in 2015. He is likely just a training camp body for the Raiders and his chances of making the team will be very slim.

Brown has played in 13 games over the two seasons he’s spent on an NFL roster. He was most recently a member of the Redskins’ practice squad, where he was coached by Jon Gruden’s brother Jay. It was his second stint with the team but he didn’t make it through the whole season. Mack has rushed for 111 rushing yards in his career and also found himself on the rosters of the Vikings and Houston Texans. He has only scored one touchdown in his career.

Offensive guard Lukayus McNeil was waived to make room for Brown. McNeil was an undrafted rookie out of Louisville but apparently didn’t impress enough to warrant a longer look during training camp. With the reveal that offensive guard Denver Kirkland’s injury was not as bad as originally anticipated, the Raiders don’t have a major need at guard.

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Raiders Running Back Depth Chart

*Denotes expected starter

RBs: Josh Jacobs*, Doug Martin, Jalen Richard, DeAndre Washington, James Butler, Mack Brown

Oakland has quite a crowded backfield this offseason. While it’s possible the team keeps four backs heading into the year, the fact that Gruden likes to keep a fullback on the roster could lead to there only being spots available for three.

James Butler and Brown are the obvious expected odd men out. One of them could be a practice squad body for the team. Doug Martin is probably set as Josh Jacobs’ backup. An interesting battle to watch will be between Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington. Richard has outplayed Washington during their careers for the most part. The latter hasn’t done much to impress since he was drafted by the Raiders. This could be his swan song in Oakland.

Josh Jacobs’ Outlook

While Gruden is playing coy and making it seem like Jacobs hasn’t locked up the starting job just yet, it’s his to lose. Jacobs has more talent and upside than any player in the Raiders backfield. Martin will get his fair share of carries while Jacobs is eased in, but the rookie is going to get a strong workload from day one. He’s a very popular pick for the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year award and could very well wind up taking home the hardware.

Gruden likes to use his running backs both on the ground and through the air as well. Jacobs will get plenty of chances to make plays as a pass-catcher. It would be a big surprise if he didn’t surpass 1,000 all-purpose yards in his rookie season. There’s even talk of the team lining him up as a receiver potentially. Rookie running backs have made big impacts for their team in recent years, so don’t be surprised if Jacobs is one of the most important offensive players for the Raiders in 2019.

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