Josh Jacobs had a very solid rookie season, rushing for 1,150 yards and catching 20 passes for 166 receiving yards. He scored seven touchdowns and was clearly the lead back Jon Gruden envisioned when the Raiders took him in the first round. Jacobs should benefit from an offensive line ranked seventh in the league by our own Justin Edwards, and if he can stay healthy after missing three games last season, he should be a shoo-in for 300-plus touches.
Jacobs will likely lose targets in the passing game to Jalen Richard and possibly rookie Lynn Bowden, who is a slash-type of player out of Kentucky. The Raiders also should have better luck throwing the ball with the addition of Henry Ruggs in the first round, although his speed could also potentially help Jacobs by pulling a safety into deep coverage. The only real downside with him is health. Jacobs missed three games last year, but he was often nicked up throughout the year with a questionable status. The workload he’s expected to get won’t help.
2020 Bottom Line
Gruden likes to run the ball and has provided solid fantasy seasons from guys like Cadillac Williams, Earnest Graham and Michael Pittman in the past, so Jacobs might have the highest floor of the second and third-tier backs. The injury issues are concerning, especially since he never carried a full workload in college, but his talent and usage should equate to easy top-10 numbers this season. He’s going in the mid-second round and is well-worth the investment.