Oakland Raiders select Alabama RB Josh Jacobs in first round of NFL Draft
Josh Jacobs waited his turn at Alabama.
Certainly he didn’t mind waiting awhile to hear his name called Thursday night.
The Oakland Raiders selected Jacobs with the No. 24 overall pick in the first round. Jacobs became just the third Alabama RB taken in the first round since Nick Saban arrived, joining Mark Ingram (2011) and Trent Richardson (2012).
Jacobs’ rise was atypical by Alabama standards. He was a modest 3-star recruit in a top-ranked 2016 recruiting class that included 17 combined 5- and 4-stars.
Jacobs was a rotational player all 3 seasons at Alabama. He left with 1,491 career yards. But the most important number is 251 — his number of carries.
He’ll bring fresh legs to the NFL and zero concern of being overworked, which also is rare for an Alabama back.
He also proved to be a capable weapon out of the backfield, totaling 48 catches for 579 yards and 11 TDs. For comparison, Derrick Henry caught just 17 balls in 3 years at Alabama. Sony Michel caught more balls at Georgia, but Jacobs nearly matched his yardage total and had 5 more TD receptions.
He’ll also bring all of the fury that made him a running back few wanted to tackle. Running angry is typically how his style is described. He explained the motivation in a piece in the Players’ Tribune.
“People say I run angry,” he wrote.
“I don’t know. I guess I do. But I honestly don’t think it’s about how I run. It’s about why I do it, and who I do it for.
“I run for my pops, the man who sacrificed so much and worked so hard to provide for me and educate me. I run for my three-year-old son, Braxton, so he can have a father he’s proud of, like I’m proud of mine. I run for my sister and my three brothers. I run for my teammates and my coaches. I run for everybody who has ever supported me, anyone who’s ever doubted me, and for anyone out there living on white rice and ramen noodles. I run for anyone who’s in a tough situation and feels like it’s never going to end — that there’s no light at the end of the tunnel.
“I run to show them that there is.”