When the Raiders drafted Josh Jacobs in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft, there were a number of people who were skeptical about the selection (myself included). Obviously there is a debate about how many replacement runners are in today's NFL and when you combine that with his limited production in college and athleticism, there was ample reason to worry.
But in the first seven weeks of the NFL season, Jacobs quickly established himself as one of the best games in the league. In six starts, he has gone 641 yards from scrimmage and has scored four touchdowns. He is currently No. 1 in Pro Football Focus football rankings and their rookie rating.
It is therefore easy to understand why John Gruden loves his new workhorse. In a recent phone interview with the Houston Texas media, Gruden praised Jacobs' ability and said that he would not be traded to another in the NFL:
We couldn't be happier with him. He is a great kid, has the ability to cut, can break battles, has a strong solid arm, takes care of the ball, he is a good receiver and will get better.
Although there may be other running backs that are better than Jacobs (Christian McCaffrey and Alvin Camara think), his running style is a perfect fit in Oakland. He likes to put the ball between the equipment and seems to thrive on contact.
Gruden's statement to Jacobs seems a little strange, but it's not hard to see why he fell in love with the former Alabama running back. Look for Jacobs to see a lot of work in the last 1