After a preseason which didn’t give Josh Jacobs many opportunities to see the field, the Oakland Raiders will finally be able to unleash their rookie running back onto the NFL. The dual-threat out of Alabama figures to be an integral part of the Raider offense, especially with Antonio Brown now in New England. Though he was able to avoid the spotlight on Hard Knocks, Jacobs is poised to be on the team’s biggest stars.
One thing that isn’t talked about much when talking about Jacobs is his speed. He has never been known as a big speedster in his day. That being said, you gotta be fast to play running back in the NFL and Jacobs certainly isn’t slow. He should get ample chances to show off his speed as a rusher and a receiver, but exactly how fast is Jacobs?
Josh Jacobs’ Speed & 40-Yard Dash Time
Jacobs didn’t run at the 2019 NFL Combine, but he did get a chance to run the 40-yard dash at his pro day. On his first attempt, he landed in the mid-4.6 range, which isn’t very good. Fortunately, he tried again the next day and improved to between a 4.52 and a 4.56.
Though Jacobs’ time isn’t overly impressive, he seems to play with much more speed than his time would indicate.
In the above clip, you can see Jacobs’ speed and power on full display. Once he catches the pass, he blazes past the Oklahoma defense. Speed isn’t necessarily the most important trait that a running back can have, but it certainly helps. Though Jacobs’ 40-yard dash time wouldn’t put him among the league’s fastest, based on the film, he should be more than fast enough to speed by NFL defenders.
Follow the Heavy Oakland Raiders page for the latest breaking news, rumors and content!
How Fast Is Josh Jacobs Compared to His Fellow Rookies?
Jacobs wasn’t at the combine, but if he was, he wouldn’t have landed in the top-10 fastest running back prospects. Justice Hill was the fastest with a 4.40 40-yard dash time. He was eventually picked up by the Dallas Cowboys in the fourth round. If Jacobs would’ve run and still got a 4.52 time, he would’ve been tied for tenth fastest running back with Tony Pollard. The fastest player at the combine was safety Zedrick Woods, who actually has already retired from football. The fastest Raider draft pick was cornerback Isaiah Johnson, who ran a 4.40.
Melvin Gordon, who was a first-round pick in 2015, also ran a 4.52 40-yard dash and he’s a pro bowl player. Other top picks like Saquon Barkley and Ezekiel Elliott showed a bit more speed heading into their drafts. Barkley ran a 4.40 at his combine and Elliott ran a 4.47. Jacobs wasn’t as highly regarded coming out of college as those two, but his power should make up for his lack of speed. He’s not slow, but he’s got a little bit of Marshawn Lynch in him. He should punish more than a few would-be tacklers during his career. What also makes him exciting is his ability as a receiver. He should bring in a large volume of catches from day one. In fact, Jacobs has a very similar skillset to Alvin Kamara and they both ran similar 40-yard dash times. The Raiders certainly wouldn’t be upset if Jacobs played to Kamara’s level.