How Will Kenyan Drake + Joshua Jacobs Effect the Raiders’ Offense?

The Las Vegas Raiders made a surprise move acquiring Kenyan Drake during the offseason. Smart decision?
How Will Kenyan Drake + Joshua Jacobs Effect the Raiders’ Offense?

Options, options, and more options.

That’s what the Las Vegas Raiders need on offense this season- and that’s exactly what the combination of Kenyan Drake and Joshua Jacobs brings to the table.  Whether it be by giving the running game another layer or being a reliable option for Quarterback Derek Carr in key situations, this duo could be unstoppable. In fact, they might even help the Raiders rise to a top-four offense.

Not only is that evident by both players having an average catch rate of 70% when targeted, but also by how effective they are at moving the chains when it counts. Of course, Jacobs hasn’t recorded a touchdown in the air yet, but Drake could easily fill the role until his younger teammate becomes more comfortable. The Raiders could also utilize both backs during passing plays, forcing the defense to cover one or the other. Maybe they could even force the defense into double coverage to help get other receivers open and move the ball.

The “It” Factor

While Kenyan Drake does seem like an x-factor player that the Raiders need, some fans are upset the team didn’t focus on finding a more reliable safety during the offseason.  The supposed thinking behind this is that the Raiders are suffering on defense, and need to fill holes there before moving to the offense. The problem with that is how the strategy would keep the offense relatively untouched and not try to improve on what they did last season.

“Once my name kind of got going, Coach Gruden was just head and shoulders above everybody, in terms of interest in my ability to kind of come in and be a playmaker in a lot of facets of the game,” Drake said. “And I really relished in that opportunity to kind of come here and be able to play with Josh because I respect his game a lot, and I’m sure the feeling is mutual … so I feel like I had to jump at the opportunity to play with him and to be used in a multitude of ways to be able to just get the ball and make plays for this team.”

Think about it1! The Raiders defense was definitely a problem in 2020, especially after giving up 474 points in the regular season, but the offense never really was able to step up either. For example, the game against the Atlanta Falcons last year was one of their worst of the season, and a lot of that had to do with their lukewarm offense. It just didn’t seem like Carr had any reliable receivers during the game, and it repeatedly resulted in failing to move the chains. That’s why giving Carr more options needs to be a priority too, which is what the Kenyan Drake move was.

Doug Martin had 190 touches three years ago when [Marshawn] Lynch went down, Gruden said. Deandre Washington had 144 touches when Jacobs went down two years ago. And this past year, Josh went down and DeVonte Booker got 110 touches. So we re going to try to circulate the touches Kenyan Drake’s way. He s a guy that s made big plays.

What is most striking about the Drake/Jacobs is its sheer versatility. Seriously though, between Drake being a solid playmaker when it counts and Jacobs rushing for over 1000 yards in the past two seasons, this could be a tandem to watch.

I was fighting for the dude to get him over here when I found out that Book(Devontae Booker) was leaving, Josh Jacobs said of Drake. I ve been knowing Kenyan forever, since our Alabama days, he used to come back and train with me all the time. His game speaks for itself. He s very versatile, he can play in the slot, is very good in open space, and take the top off. He s going to be a great addition.

Ultimately, the Raiders need to turn the tide, and Drake and Jacobs might help them do it.

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