The Las Vegas Raiders and Jacksonville Jaguars were the two teams privileged with getting that extra pre-season game, by playing in the Hall of Fame game. With that, we are able to see the two teams before the other 30 in a football setting.
While, yes, it’s just a pre-season game, these do mean something. This is the time when we get to get ready for the regular season. This is the time we get to see how well the backups play, and their backups, and their backups.
Rookie Zamir White likely won’t start over Josh Jacobs, but he did show on Thursday night that he can be valuable.
Raiders’ White showed some skills against the Jags
The Raiders blew out the Jaguars in the Hall of Fame game, and, we got to see some of the depth on this roster in the process. Jacobs started the game, and actually had five carries for 30 yards, and broke off a big 12-yard run in the process. However, the storyline was mainly about his backup, White, who finished with 52-yards on 11 carries and also had three receptions for 23-yards.
White played great, to say the least. He missed a few practices to start training camp, so there was not a whole lot to go off of yet for the rookie. But what we saw against the Jaguars in the first game of the year was electric.
The narrative this offseason after the draft was that Kenyan Drake would be the second running back on the depth chart during the regular season, and that could still be very true. However, White may give him a run for his money, and if we are basing anything off Thursday night, White would definitely be the backup running back.
Drake finished with nine yards on five carries, while White nearly had six times that on three more carries.
It’s just preseason, so none of this really matters, in the literal sense, but this is definitely something worth keeping an eye on. Especially White’s pass protection. If he shows consistent ability and improvement in that area, then he could very well supplant Drake. Pass protection is arguably the most important trait for a running back in the NFL and rookies often struggle with it. But, White comes from a pro-style offense in Georgia, so, he could certainly be an outlier when it comes to that.
Either way, there’s little doubt the Raiders have a competitive position group for that backup spot, so it’s easy to see why there’s confidence in the silver and black boasting a lethal backfield in 2022.
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