Jacobs Voted Offensive Rookie of Year
by Tom LaMarre
Running back Josh Jacobs of the Oakland Raiders was selected 2019 Offensive Rookie of the year in voting by the Pro Football Writers of America, the PFWA announced on Tuesday.
The 5-10, 220-pound Jacobs, selected by the Raiders out of the University of Alabama in the first round (No. 24 overall) of the 2019 NFL Draft, started all 13 games in which he played and rushed for 1,150 yards and seven touchdowns on 242 carries, in addition to catching 20 passes for 120 yards.
“He’s going to be one of the best complete backs in all of football, I believe,” Coach Jon Gruden said late in the season.
Jacobs, who missed three games and parts of others because of a shoulder injury, became the first Raiders rookie to rush for more than 1,000 yards and joined Hall of Fame running back Marcus Allen (1982) as the only players in franchise history to be named Offensive Rookie of the Year.
It took Jacobs only eight games to break Allen’s rookie record of 697 yards and his five games of 100 yards also set a Raiders record. Allen’s rookie season was cut to nine games because of a league-wide players’ strike.
Jacobs’ 1,150 rushing yards and seven touchdowns were the most of any rookie in 2019, and his 101.2 scrimmage yards per game also led his rookie class. His rushing yards total was sixth overall in the NFL and also sixth in franchise history.
In addition, Jacobs’ 1,150 yards in 13 games rank fourth NFL history, behind only Ezekiel Elliott, Edgerrin James and Barry Sanders.
Jacobs was selected Offensive Rookie of the Month in October and November, the first
player in the NFL to win the award multiple times since Odell Beckham Jr. in 2014.
According to Pro Football Focus, Jacobs forced an 70 missed tackles on runs this season, an NFL best among all rushers and the third-most since at least 2006, behind only Marshawn Lynch’s performances in 2013 and 2014.
Jacobs gained 686 rushing yards after contact, the most by anyone in his draft class and sixth-most by a first-year rusher through the first 13 games of a season during the Super Bowl. He finished with 290 more yards after contact than the next-closest rookie.
A native of Tulsa, Okla., Jacobs played in 42 games over three seasons at Alabama, rushing for 1,491 yards and 16 touchdowns on 251 carries. He also caught 48 passes for 571 yards and five touchdowns, and helped the Crimson Tide win the 2017 national championship.