Last season, Michael Bush was on his way to being the Oakland Raiders' starting RB, until an injury in preseason kept him out of action for the first couple of weeks. While Bush was out, Darren McFadden became the player Al Davis envisioned when he drafted him fourth overall. Darren McFadden started the season strong and never looked back. It is safe to say that Run DMC is the unquestioned starting RB for the Oakland Raiders.
Michael Bush will be second on the depth chart, behind McFadden and ahead of Jones. However, he might not get as many opportunities as he thinks he's going to get. The player behind him on the depth chart has the same skill set as RBs like Chris Johnson and Jamaal Charles. I am pretty sure this kid is going to get his fair share of touches.
In the fourth round of the 2011 NFL Draft the Raiders were more than happy to see Taiwan "Juice" Jones still available. They wasted no time picking up the speedy play-maker from Eastern Washington who was projected by some to go as high as the second round.
I know McFadden and Bush combine to be a mean one-two punch, but Juice Jones just might impress the coaches so much that he actually steals away some of the touches Michael Bush would get. Go on YouTube and check out Jones' highlight reels. The kid is very elusive and is quite possibly faster than McFadden. You know Hue Jackson is going to want to get the ball in this kid's hands as much as he can.
Last year it was rookie WR Jacoby Ford that broke out and played a key role in the Raiders return to respectability. I think Juice Jones can provide the Raiders with a "spark" just at the right time, similar to that of Jacoby in his rookie season.
I think he will take over as the primary punt returner this year. We haven't had a real threat at PR since Johnnie Lee Higgins lost his swagger. Taiwan Jones gives the Raiders a legit threat at that position. I also see him being used as a third down RB/WR. He has the skill set to do both.
Once this kid shows the coaches that he is a play-maker I believe he is going to get more and more touches on offense. It won't be Darren McFadden losing any opportunities. It is going to be Michael Bush that will be watching a few more plays from the sideline. Bush is going to have to make the most of his touches and I see him being more of a short yardage RB this year.
What do you think Raider Nation? Will the speedy rookie take some of Michael Bush's touches this year? Is Hue Jackson going to favor the lightning over thunder when it comes to the #2 RB?