Jacobs is facing less competition for carries after teammate Isaiah Crowell suffered a torn Achilles, ESPN.com reports.
Already a strong favorite to handle the lead role in Oakland's backfield, the 24th overall draft pick is now looking at minimal competition on early downs. The Raiders have Jalen Richard for passing downs and likely will add another veteran to replace Crowell, but the fallback option won't necessarily pose a real threat to Jacobs, who scored 14 touchdowns on 140 touches (20 catches) last season while splitting carries with Damien Harris and Najee Harris at Alabama. Oddly enough, the transition from college to the NFL leaves Jacobs with weaker competition for snaps and touches.
Oakland had been circled as a team that could scoop Jacobs with one of its three first-round picks, especially after Marshawn Lynch's retirement. Jacobs did end up there and immediately steps into a fortuitous position. The first running back off the board, Jacobs comes to the NFL with plenty of tread left on his tires. He had just 252 career carries during his time at Alabama, averaging 5.9 yards per carry. Jacobs had a true breakout in 2018, scoring 11 touchdowns for the SEC champs while flashing a complete skill set. Jacobs is not a flawless prospect, however. Most years, he would not be the top running back taken. His athletic testing was inconclusive; a groin injury prevented him from working out at the combine and he ran a 4.62 40-yard dash at his pro day. Heading into Year 1, Jacobs has a clear path to a starting role, needing only to overtake Isaiah Crowell.
Jacobs only visited a select group of teams in the pre-draft process and didn't hold a private workout for any of them, Chase Goodbread of NFL Network reports.
Perhaps he simply wanted to limit the number of opportunities in which he might get unnecessarily injured, but it's nonetheless interesting that Jacobs wouldn't schedule more visits with teams that hold picks near the end of the first round of Thursday's draft. It could be the case that the three teams with whom Jacobs visited -- the Colts, Eagles and Ravens -- simply represent the running back's preferred landing spots. In any case, the Alabama product could very well slip to the second round anyway given both his non-electric workout numbers as well as his lack of history as a lead runner.