5. Battle of the Rookie Running Backs
Both the Raiders and the Bears selected running backs early in the 2019 draft. In fact, the Raiders used the pick they acquired in the Khalil Mack trade to select Josh Jacobs with the 24th overall pick while the Bears took theirs in a pick obtained from Detroit via New England. Both are very talented and come from two strong college football conferences known for producing strong running backs — the SEC and the Big 12.
Jacobs, an Alabama product has carried the football 62 times for 307 yards (4.95 ypc) and two TDs while also catching three passes for 37 yards. Montgomery has 200 total yards (3.45 ypc) on 58 carries and eight catches for 61 yards. Both backs are quite similar but Montgomery’s draft stock dropped thanks to his somewhat average 40 time (4.64) at the combine. Jacobs’s didn’t despite his 4.60 time. Both almost seem interchangeable so it seems it’ll take some time to decide which back turns out to be the best.
Jacobs faces a defense that shut down league rushing leader, Dalvin Cook, last week, holding him to just 35 yards on 14 carries. The Raiders just gave up 39 rushing yards to Marlon Mack on 11 carries this past week. It’s a coin toss which back will break out, but the two both have bright futures ahead of them in the NFL.