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When healthy, Darren McFadden is among the best running backs in the NFL. Obviously, he has had some trouble staying on the field over the past few seasons, but much of that can be attributed to some unlucky breaks that come with playing the position.
Either way, the Raiders and their fans have seen how important the backup running back position can be. With Mike Goodson now a New York Jet and Taiwan Jones making the transition to cornerback, two new candidates for the role were brought in.
Former Jacksonville Jaguar, Rashad Jennings, was signed to a one-year, free-agent deal earlier this offseason and brings with him an interesting talent. As a backup to Maurice Jones-Drew, Jennings averaged over five yards per carry in each of his first two NFL seasons.
Last season, while struggling with some injuries, he managed just 2.8 yards per carry. The down year was likely the main reason the Raiders were able to get him for the price they did, and Jennings will certainly be looking to show that his first two seasons were more indicative of what he can do.
The other candidate for this position is one of the Raiders’ 2013 sixth-round picks, Latavius Murray. Murray had a very successful career at UCF and has all the physical tools to have that production translate to the next level.
Whether that happens instantly or not, we likely will not know until training camp gets under way. On the other hand, what we do know is that it has seemingly become a yearly event that productive NFL running backs are found in the later rounds of the draft. Murray could easily earn himself significant playing time as Darren McFadden’s primary backup.
Projected Winner: Latavius Murray