Raiders News: Josh Jacobs Ranked No. 1 Rookie Through First Quarter Of Season By ESPN

Oakland Raiders running back Josh Jacobs has proven to be as good as advertised after seamlessly transitioning into his role as the workhorse on offense so far in the 2019 NFL season. Because of that, he came in at No. 1 on ESPN’s rookie rankings for the first quarter of the season.

The Raiders made quite the investment when they cashed in on Jacobs with one of their first-round picks in the 2019 NFL Draft. regardless, it became evident that head coach Jon Gruden was looking forward to bringing in a player that can serve as the central force out of the backfield.

Jacobs has registered 307 yards and two touchdowns on 62 carries through the first four games. Although he still has yet to show his prowess as a receiver, Gruden insists that it is the product of the current offensive scheme as opposed to his ability to catch passes.

Regardless, Jacobs is still plisted at the top of the rookie rankings and has not been overwhelmed by the NFL so far, via ESPN:

“It’s not what everybody told me it was going to be, just to be honest,” Jacobs said. “Since camp, I feel like I got the pace of the game. And I know there’s levels — the playoffs come and things like that — it speeds up. But right now, it’s smooth.”

It is undoubtedly encouraging to see that Jacobs is acclimating well to the speed of the NFL. While he had been taken with the 24th overall pick in the draft, however, he now finds himself at the top of this list just a month into the season.

Of course, the rankings are subject to change throughout the rest of the season and the onus will be on the 21-year-old to maintain his status as the best rookie in his class. Fortunately, he has given little indication of slowing down any time soon.

Gruden acknowledged that he needed to find a way to get Jacobs involved more in the passing game as a potential checkdown for quarterback Derek Carr. He was able to get a start on it after hauling in two receptions for 29 yards against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 4.

The Raiders have already somewhat determined a recipe for success after four games and it is largely predicated on Jacobs’ involvement on offense. He managed to touch the ball at least 19 times in both of their wins while garnering 12 or fewer touches in each of their losses.

His effect on the outcome of games in Oakland could very well be the reason why he was No. 1 on this list so early on.

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