Measurables: 5’11”, 220
Speed/Strength: 4.64, 18
Hops (vert/broad): 35”, 112”
Mobility (3-cone, shuttle): DNC
Best Traits: Pure elusiveness, pass catching, blocking, short yardage aggressiveness
Worst Traits: Lack of breakaway speed, limited big play ability
Josh Jacobs was a rotational back up plagued with injuries for his first two years at Alabama, used mainly as a third down back and as a pass catcher out of the backfield. He made some impressive plays, even as a freshman, making defenders miss in spectacular fashion nearly any time he had the ball with room to move.
As time went on, he built up from a light 195 pounds to a much more robust 220. It signified his dedication to becoming more than just a change-of-pace back, and in his junior year, it worked. He was no longer an obvious second seat to Damien Harris, but more of an equal partner. As the season wore on, Jacobs proved his worth in goal line situations, blending his size and short area explosiveness to launch his way through the line of scrimmage before a defense had time to react. By the end of the season, Alabama had pretty much exclusively put him in a wildcat package any time they needed 1-3 yards— something not seen since Mark Ingram won a Heisman trophy doing just that.
People took notice of his meteoric improvement in year 3, and he rocketed up draft boards, with many projecting him to be the first running back off the board.
With the 24 pick, the Oakland Raiders have dubbed Jacobs to replace the retiring Marshawn Lynch. The two have somewhat similar games with a surprising amount of agility to complement an aggressive style while lacking breakaway speed.
With Jacob's, the Raiders are attempting to continue to add weapons around Derek Carr and rebuild what was a rather underwhelming offense in Gruden's first year as head coach.