Dave Ziegler: We want to build depth, competition at running back

NFL: JAN 15 AFC Wild Card - Raiders at Bengals
Getty Images

Given how new Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels has traditionally utilized running backs in his offense, it wasn’t much of a surprise that Las Vegas declined the fifth-year option on Josh Jacobs‘ contract last week.

Then the Raiders drafted a pair of running backs on Day Three, taking Georgia’s Zamir White in the fourth round and UCLA’s Brittain Brown in the seventh round.

Aside from Jacobs, the Raiders already had Kenyan Drake, Brandon Bolden, Ameer Abdullah, and Trey Ragas on their roster at running back.

At the end of the draft on Saturday, G.M. Dave Ziegler said selecting White and Brown was a “product of how the board fell.”

“If it would have been different, if there was other players there, if it would have been two tight ends or two receivers that happened to be there who we thought were the best available at the time, we would have taken those players, too,” Ziegler said. “But again, you can never have enough good players at any one position. We’ve talked about it from the beginning, we want to build depth in competition. That’s going to be a very important part of this program. It was an opportunity to take some swings and add two good players that happened to be at the running back position.”

McDaniels noted the Raiders will usually have six or seven running backs for training camp. Ziegler added that with the physical nature of the position, it’s worth having options.

“I think what we look at when we evaluate every position … there’s different roles to be filled,” Ziegler said. “You have sub-running backs. You have change-of-pace running backs. You have first- and second-down running backs.

“There’s different roles and there’s going to be competition for those roles, so however that ends up kind of filling out it fills out. We have a lot of talented players there, and so we always want everybody to compete. Everybody — we want to have that mentality that they’re competing for a spot and are motivated to compete for playing time and things of that nature, and running back will be no different.”

Last year, Jacobs led the Raiders with 872 yards rushing and nine touchdowns. He also caught 54 passes for 348 yards. Drake took 63 carries for 254 yards with a pair of TDs, also catching 30 passes for 291 yards.

7 responses to “Dave Ziegler: We want to build depth, competition at running back

  1. I felt worse for Mayock after doing months of draft prep and then watching Gruden crap all over the research and just pick one of the few players he saw play college football during the CFP – with a “he’s my kind a guy” to explain the reach. E-mails or no e-mails, I think Davis was going to bring in a new GM after the last few drafts produced meager results.

  2. mrbigchest says:
    May 2, 2022 at 10:34 am

    I feel so bad for Mike Mayock

    Great guy, terrible GM

    Damon Arnette, Henry Ruggs, Clelin Ferrell , Jonathan Abram.. first round busts

    Alex leatherwood.. a dud last season potential bust

    Josh Jacobs not likely to get a second contract.

  3. Better than any picks my team came up with. We drafted a one legged punter, and a deaf center with a bad back and two torn biceps, but at least our quarterback will be decent once he gets that cast off of his throwing arm. This is the season baby can’t wait!!

  4. Did the Raiders get a trophy for their fluke playoff appearance in 2021?

    This team is trending DOWN and there is no denying they got fleeced by the Bears in the Mack trade. Good luck in that stacked division, all the teams in the AFC west are miles better than the Raiders.

  5. We want to build depth at running back….
    because this is a running back league? i don’t think even FF if running back heavy anymore.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.