The 2019 NFL Draft will be a great event for teams to start building for their future. The Game Haus will be doing scouting reports on some of the top prospects in the 2019 NFL Draft. Alabama running back Josh Jacobs was a solid contributor for the Crimson Tide for three seasons and has now become one of the best running backs in the draft class.
Position: Running Back
2018 Stats: 120 carries, 640 rushing yards, 11 rushing touchdowns, 20 catches, 247 receiving yards, three touchdown catches
Size: 5-foot-10, 220 pounds
Alabama has had a running back by committee for the last few seasons, but Jacobs has still managed to stick out over his three seasons. In his relatively limited time, he has made a big enough impression to be considered early in the 2019 NFL Draft.
As a member of the Crimson Tide, Jacobs has rushed for 1,491 yards and 16 touchdowns. He has also caught 48 passes for 571 yards and five touchdowns in his career. With that, Jacobs has the ability to play all three downs because he can run between the tackles and provide help in the passing game. While some will see his lack of huge production as a negative, he also doesn’t have the normal wear and tear on a running back’s body coming out of college.
He’ll have a lot of juice left over for the NFL level when he gets his chance. Jacobs will be one of the first running backs off the board, even if he doesn’t get picked in the first round.
Jacobs has a lot of skills that make him valuable as a modern day running back. He catches passes well, which will allow him to stay on the field for all three downs. After catches the ball, he is able to transition into a great run after the catch player, utilizing all the skills he uses as a running back.
He also has the ability to block with the best running backs in the class. Jacobs was great in pass protection and even got involved in the running game at Alabama when his teammates were running the football. His ability to catch passes and pass protect could make him one of the best third-down running backs in the NFL in just a short amount of time.
His vision and quick decision making help him run on the inside or outside. He’ll see a hole open up and know exactly how to attack it. Once he finds the hole he has the necessary power, speed, quickness and moves to elude most defenders. When there isn’t a hole, Jacobs can make room for himself with a great one-step cut. Because he runs hard, he is able to fall forward on most carries.
Jacobs has a lot of useful talents that make him a good running back, but he doesn’t do any one thing at an elite level, other than possibly his mental-processing. Specifically, he doesn’t have elite level power, speed or quickness that some of NFL’s best running backs do. He makes up for this with his ability to read the field.
While evaluators will love the fact that he doesn’t have a lot of wear and tear, it is also a double-edged sword. At Alabama, he wasn’t able to prove that he could carry the load for an offense. The 2018 season gave Jacobs the most opportunities and he still only had 120 carries. With that, he didn’t have the greatest production in college, but he did make the most of his carries.
He is a good pass catcher, but he didn’t have the most elaborate route tree at Alabama. Jacobs ran swing, wheel and block and release routes in college, but will have to add more to his route tree to be an elite receiver at the next level. Jacobs also needs to fine-tune the routes he did run in college to make his route-running even better.
Projected Draft Range: First round-Second round