Jon Gruden Projects Big Role for Kenyan Drake on Raiders

Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden believes Kenyan Drake will have a huge role for the team in 2021.
Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden believes Kenyan Drake will have a huge role for the team in 2021. / Al Bello/Getty Images

The Las Vegas Raiders made a surprising splash in free agency by adding Kenyan Drake to join a backfield already featuring a lead back in Josh Jacobs. Why the team would shell out for Drake (two years, up to $14.5 million) with Jacobs in the fold puzzled observers.

However, head coach Jon Gruden believes Drake can have a huge role, regardless.

Gruden plans to maximize Drake's verstality, praising the RB for his ability to “run it, catch it and return it." This falls in line with other comments this offseason about utilizing Drake as a receiver within the offense while also helping spell Jacobs when needed.

Drake's receiving numbers fell in 2020 (25 receptions, 137 yards) while handing lead back duties for the Arizona Cardinals on the ground. He registered career highs in rushing attempts (239), yards (955) and TDs (10) for Arizona last season.

Prior to 2020, though, Drake had been a dual threat out of the backfield, registering 51.5 receptions and 411.0 yards per year over the 2018 and 2019 seasons. He hasn't featured much in the return game since 2018, but he did rack up 757 yards on 30 returns from 2016-2018.

Las Vegas made a sizable investment by inking Drake to a deal this offseason after coming off of a career year. The fit alongside Jacobs isn't perfect, but the Raiders seem excited about Drake's potential to impact the game in a variety of ways.

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Isaiah De Los Santos is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Isaiah De Los Santos also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username zayyy05328. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.

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