20/20: Josh Jacobs

Kyle Pollock

Welcome to the 20/20 series. As part of our continued Dynasty Scouts coverage and in preparation for the NFL Combine, we will be profiling 20 of the top incoming rookies of the class of 2019 by giving you 20 facts you must know.

1.) Player NameJosh Jacobs

2.) College – Alabama

3.) Height/Weight – 5’10, 216 pounds

4.) Birthdate – 2/11/98 (21)

5.) Class – True Junior

6.) Basic college stats

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2018: 120 carries/640 yards/11 touchdowns, 20 catches/247 yards/3 touchdowns, 14 kick returns/428 yards/1 touchdown

2017: 46 carries/284 yards/1 touchdown, 14 catches/168 yards/2 touchdowns, 4 kick returns/86 yards/0 touchdowns

2016: 85 carries/567 yards/4 touchdowns, 14 catches/156 yards/0 touchdowns

7.) NFL Draft round projection – Jacobs is considered one of the top prospects at the running back position in this year’s class, and is commonly seen going in the first and second rounds of mock drafts.

8.) Current NFL comparison – Alvin Kamara has been the name I’ve seen thrown around the most for Jacobs, but I think that might be a bit too far. I see Devonta Freeman with Aaron Jones’ athletic ability. Both backs are slightly on the smaller side with compact builds, and excel in the passing game. They are strong for their size, and Jones’ offers top-end short area quickness and burst. Both players are also very good receivers. Overall, all three of these players have been successful at the NFL level, and I believe that Jacobs will be as well.

9.) Best possible destination – Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs have the most exciting offense in the NFL. They have the reigning league MVP on a cheap rookie contract. They have one of the best offensive minds in the NFL at head coach. And while Damien Williams played admirably, they released Kareem Hunt midway through the year and could stand to upgrade the position. Jacobs has shown to be an above-average weapon in the passing game at the college level, and would stand to take over a pretty large target share in the team’s offense.

10.) Worst possible destination – New York Giants. Obviously, the biggest issue with any running back going to the Giants is reigning rookie of the year Saquon Barkley. With a player of his caliber ahead of him, Jacobs would get little-to-no playing time. He would also be behind a subpar offensive line, while working with either a rookie or washed up Eli Manning at quarterback. Couple this with the fact that the Giants will be trailing a lot and Barkley will be the primary pass-catching back, and Jacobs would have almost no situational value.

11.) Best current skill – Jacobs’ combination of competitive toughness and short-area quickness make him a unique prospect. It takes a lot to bring Jacobs down in general, but he really makes the first defender struggle, whether it is by powering through contact or making him miss. Putting these two together make him a major threat from the goal line. Together with his strong hands, his skills give him high upside in the passing game as well.

12.) Skill that needs to be improved – Daniel Jeremiah noted in his write up of Jacobs that his pass blocking is lacking, and I agree. He needs to be able to square up and take on a defender better, and I think with the leg strength he shows in his runs, he can definitely do it. He also suffers from limited pass blocking reps, which doesn’t help him.

13.) Past/current rookie ADP – Fourth overall, first running back (one of three players to go first overall in the last ten mocks).

14.) Projected dynasty value – Like much of this rookie class, I think Jacobs’ value is mainly tied to his situation. I like him a lot as a player, but if he goes to an offense like the Chiefs, then he could potentially be a low-end RB1. However, if he ends up in a place like Oakland (where Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller has him mocked), he would likely be an RB3-type player. As long as he goes in the first two rounds, you’ll see a player in line for a lot of touches, which will keep his floor pretty high.

15.) Late Riser – Two weeks before National Signing Day in 2016, the only two offers Jacobs had were New Mexico State and Wyoming. Once his father and coach started sending out his highlights over social media, his recruiting blew up. Alabama, Oklahoma, and Missouri all offered, and Jacobs ended up signing with the Tide a few weeks later.

16.) Engineering Major – Here’s a quote from Jacobs on what was important to him when deciding on a school:

“My dad and I talk about it all the time. It isn’t just the next four years for me. It is about the next 40 years. There is life after football and that’s what this is all about for me.

When I was in the seventh grade I talked with an engineer from Williams Companies. That’s when I decided I wanted to go into engineering. What I do in school, and in football, is all geared about the long view of life.”

According to this article in the Tulsa World, Jacobs said his educational interests include natural gas, both exploration and management.

17.) Athletic Marvel – Entering his sophomore season, Jacobs posted the following numbers during Alabama’s winter workouts:

  • 4.50-second 40-yard dash
  • 35.5-inch vertical (top on the team)
  • 405-pound bench press
  • 500-pound squat

Jacobs is one to keep an eye on at the Combine, as he could be the most athletic back in this class.

18.) As a Recruit – Coming out of high school, Jacobs was a three-star recruit ranked 469th overall in the country. He was the number 11 All-Purpose Back and the number four player in the state of Oklahoma. 247 Sports was even higher on him than their composite ranking, having him as a four-star and the 260th player in the class of 2016.

19.) DLF Ranking – Jacobs is currently the number six overall player and number two running back according to our rankings, behind only Iowa State’s David Montgomery. Jeff Haverlack is the highest on him, having him first overall among running backs. Dan Meylor is the lowest, having him fifth at the position.

20.) HighlightsGo check out Jacobs’ highlights!