The hype train for Oakland Raiders rookie running back Josh Jacobs was already moving pretty quickly and it only got picked up steam after Monday night’s performance against the Denver Broncos. Jacobs had 113 all-purpose yards and scored two touchdowns in the win. It’s just one game and he didn’t shoulder a heavy workload at Alabama, so he still has work to do in order to prove capable of being a consistent bell-cow back, but it was a great start.
Jacobs is only the fifth running back the Raiders have taken in the first round in their entire 60-year history. Tony Lorick, Marcus Allen, Napoleon Kaufman and Darren McFadden are the other four. Only one of those four players ever made the Pro Bowl and he opted to give some serious praise to Jacobs.
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Marcus Allen Praises Josh Jacobs
Few could argue that Marcus Allen isn’t the greatest running back to wear the silver and black. He holds every major Raiders rushing record and it’s not even close. The former Super Bowl MVP has been a fan of Josh Jacobs for quite some time.
“I’m really looking forward to seeing him,” Allen said about Jacobs back in June. “I followed him at Alabama and getting to know him, I think he’s a great individual too. So I’m looking forward to him getting off to a great start his rookie season and playing as well as I think he’s going to play.”
The Hall-of-Fame running back apparently wasn’t done praising the rookie. He took to Twitter to reiterate his love for Jacobs after the game against the Broncos.
“I said it once and I’ll say it again, [Josh Jacobs] is destined for greatness,” tweeted Allen.
It’s only one game, but saying Jacobs is “destined for greatness” is seriously high praise. One could argue that the Raiders have never found an adequate replacement for Allen. Kaufman had some really good years, but he didn’t stick around for long. Charlie Garner was impressive for a short time in Oakland. Darren McFadden was one of the most hyped running back prospects in recent memory but definitely didn’t reach those lofty expectations.
The Raiders have had one, 1,000-yard rusher since 2010 and haven’t had anyone post back to back seasons with 1,000-plus rushing yards since Allen did it in the early 80s. The team has seemed to utilize a few different running backs who split a decent number of the touches, so they rarely have a bell-cow.
Jacobs doesn’t have a lot of competition behind him, so he’s going to see quite a few touches this season. He could very well become that consistent 1,000-yard rusher the Raiders have been longing for. What’s also exciting about the rookie is that he appears to lack a big ego. It’s still too early to know for sure, but the Raiders may have found their running back of the future.