Throughout this past week, the NFL has been releasing their annual top 100 players list. The list is compiled with votes from current NFL players, so it should be considered very credible since the players are ranking the same guys they’re playing every week.
Last offseason, Jacobs earned himself a spot on the list after a stellar rookie year. He came in 72nd place after amassing 1150 rushing yards and 7 rushing touchdowns. He had a terrific debut season and showed why many considered him a top-10 running back at worst.
Jacobs was still able to turn in another 1,000 yard season in 2020, and gained four spots, coming in at 68th on this year’s list. Still, many consider this ranking too high, and some feel he shouldn’t be on this list at all.
In a recent article from Bleacher Report, Alex Key was critical of Jacobs being ranked as a top 100 player. “While Jacobs has done well near the goal line, he simply hasn’t added much else of value as a pro.” Key went on to claim that Jacobs is one-dimensional, and benefits from the Raiders giving him a lot of carries in the red zone.
It is true that Jacobs gets a ton of carries in the red zone, but that’s not something to fault him for. He gets a lot of carries in the red zone because he’s terrific at finding the end zone. Jacobs has done that 19 times in his two-year career.
Jacobs doesn’t get a lot of opportunities in the passing attack either, but that’s not something he’s able to control. Jon Gruden and the Raiders’ offense simply prefers to save him for the rushing attack, instead of wasting his energy in the passing game as well. This has clearly worked, considering Jacobs has rushed for at least 1,000 yards in both seasons of his short career.
As shown in the clip above, Jacobs is certainly capable of being an effective passing option for Derek Carr. He’s got the speed and agility to be a difference-maker catching the ball out of the backfield. There’s a reason many consider him among the best players in the league, and with these rankings the last two years, his peers obviously do as well.
It is also very possible Jacobs is ranked too high. Jacobs was ranked above Tredavious White, Michael Thomas, and Adam Thielen. There’s a very solid case to be made that each of those three could be better all-around football players than Jacobs. Still, it’s pretty clear that Jacobs has earned the right to be on this list.
If there’s one thing people get upset about, it’s the NFL’s top 100 list. With that in mind, it shouldn’t come as a surprise for people to be upset about Jacobs being included. It also shouldn’t be a surprise to see him on this list, however. Jacobs has now put together two straight seasons with 1,300 total yards and has cemented his status as a consensus top-10 running back in the eyes of many.
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