Entering the 2022 Training Camp, Raiders.com will preview every position group and evaluate the players who will potentially make up the 53-man roster. Next up, the running backs room.
With new additions made to the running back room, it looks as though Head Coach Josh McDaniels wants to take a committee approach to the run game. In 2020, five different Patriots running backs had at least 30 carries under McDaniels, and three running backs did the same last season. That could mean Josh Jacobs and Kenyan Drake, returnees from last season, have some help in the backfield.
When healthy, Jacobs and Drake have been a dynamic duo. Jacobs rushed for more than 3,000 yards and 28 touchdowns in his first three seasons with the Raiders, and Drake began to shine as a vertical threat in the offense last season with 30 catches and nearly 300 receiving yards before suffering a season-ending ankle injury Week 13.
It's still unknown where Drake is in the recovery process, but getting him back on the field could be a nice piece to the puzzle. As for Jacobs, the Pro Bowler will be excited to show his talents to the new coaching staff in Training Camp and work to keep his role as a lead back for the Silver and Black.
The new running backs for the Raiders are highlighted by a contrast of veterans and rookies.
Brandon Bolden and Ameer Abdullah are two guys who bring leadership and stability to the group. Bolden played under McDaniels in New England for eight seasons and has two Super Bowl rings to show for it. The 32-year-old has made his living being a solid and versatile back, as well as an above average run blocker. Last season, Bolden had a 77.4 overall PFF grade with a 84.2 receiving grade.
Abdullah has also been a consistent force in the NFL going into his eighth season, having started 23 games in his career. After several years of being a lead back for the Detroit Lions, he's been a steady role player for the Carolina Panthers and Minnesota Vikings. Last season, he accumulated 455 total scrimmage yards.
There's a couple shiny new toys in the backfield in 2022 draft selections Zamir White and Brittain Brown. White was part of a two-headed monster at Georgia with Buffalo Bills rookie running back James Cook – helping win a CFB National Championship last season. With the impressive combination of speed and power White possess, some in the media are making early predictions for White to carve a decent role for himself as a rookie on the roster. Brown was the final draft pick the Raiders made this year and proved that he could be a lead back for two different Power 5 schools – Duke and UCLA.
The two rookies combined recorded 46 rushing touchdowns and more than 4,300 rushing yards in their college careers.
As for fullback, it seems like it's Jakob Johnson's job to lose. He's the only fullback currently on the roster and has three seasons of experience with McDaniels.
View photos of the Las Vegas Raiders running backs heading into 2022 Training Camp.