Think that Maurice Jones-Drew is the best fit as starter in the Raiders’ backfield? So does ESPN’s Field Yates.
Jones-Drew is a work horse that has proven in multiple seasons that he can carried the load. The only curve ball is that he didn’t carry the load during the most recent season. Thus, Jacksonville let him go and he’s not a sure thing as starter at running back.
Via ESPN.com (subscription content):
MJD is the lone carrier among the trio whom we’d count on to withstand a full workload, despite his recent injury issues. McFadden is simply too injury-prone to trust, which was also reflected in the fact that his contract this offseason included just $100,000 guaranteed — is a roster spot a certainty? Murray has the most explosion of the group, but he’s raw and inexperienced.
The third option, Latavius Murray is a second-year player out of Central Florida. The 24-year-old has not recorded a single NFL carry. It’s hard to understand why Yates bothers mentioning him.
The other two will battle for the starting position until one gets injured — then if the Raiders are lucky, the other one won’t get injured. Darren McFadden has yet to 16 games in a season. In fact, he’s yet to play more than 13. It seems that every year it’s not a matter of “if” the explosive running back will combust, it’s “when.” Hence, the Raiders brought in an equally talented running back in Maurice Jones-Drew.
While Yates seems to be leaning towards Mojo, it’s got to be McFadden. As long as he’s healthy, he’ll be on the screen sundays saying something like, “Run DMC, THE University of Arkansas.”