Running backs need to be fast and strong with great balance and impeccable vision for breaking through gaps in the defense. It’s one of the most important positions on the field, and no NFL team is complete without a reliable running back.
Just ask the Las Vegas Raiders.
Since the ‘60s, the Raiders have had some key running backs come up through the ranks, some of which played an important part in helping the team achieve their three Super Bowl wins, four AFC championships, and 15 division titles.
And with the NFL picks right around the corner, why not run through the best running backs to ever wear a Raiders jersey?
These are the top 5 Las Vegas Raiders running backs of all time, based on their speed, strength, and achievements with the team!
Josh Jacobs is the current Las Vegas Raiders RB, despite the fact that the Raiders just re-signed Ameer Abdullah – a decision that’s definitely affected the latest NFL betting odds!
But Jacobs isn’t going anywhere. He’s a key Raiders player for his powerful running style and strength, along with his ability to break tackles and make defenders miss.
Jacobs was drafted by the Raiders in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft and quickly established himself as a dynamic and powerful runner.
He’s since proved himself to be a strong and reliable running back for the Raiders, with a notable performance in the 2020 season where he rushed for over 1000 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Marcus Allen was the Las Vegas Raiders running back from 1982 to 1992 – and he’s considered the best Raiders player to ever grace the position.
Throughout his decade-long Raiders career, Allen earned a ton of impressive accomplishments with the Raiders. One of these is the memorable Super Bowl XVIII win in 1984, a game in which he was named MVP.
Allen started his NFL career at the Raiders and played a total of 11 seasons, racking up a total of 8545 rushing yards. In 2003, it came as no surprise to anyone when Allen was rightly inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame for his incredible career.
Napoleon Kaufman had big shoes to fill after Marcus Allen left the Las Vegas Raiders. But he didn’t disappoint the Raiders Nation fanbase. He was drafted by the Raiders in the first round of the 1995 NFL Draft and it didn’t take long for him to prove himself as an explosive running back.
In his rookie season, Kaufman rushed for 1294 yards and six touchdowns, making the NFL All-Rookie Team in the process. He then followed that up with three more 1000-yard rushing seasons in 1996, 1997, and 1999, earning Pro Bowl honors twice in consecutive years 1996 and 1997.
Ask any Raiders fan and they’ll agree that Kaufman was one of the Raiders’ best rushers. He was known for his leadership qualities too, serving as the Raiders team captain before earning the Raiders’ Commitment to Excellence Award in 1999.
Mark van Eeghen
Mark van Eeghen is one of the longest running backs the Raiders have ever had, playing for 12 seasons from 1974 to 1981. He’s definitely one of the most memorable Raiders running backs as well, due to the simple fact that he helped the team to two Super Bowl wins in 1976 and 1980.
Mark van Eegan was drafted by the Raiders in the third round of the 1974 NFL Draft. After his rookie season, he achieved 1000-yard rushing seasons in both 1976 and 1977, seasons in which he displayed agility, toughness, and reliability as a running back.
He’s also known for his franchise record of the most consecutive regular season games, which totaled at 145 between 1975 and 1983.
Across his 12-year career at the Raiders, Mark van Eeghan delivered a total of 5907 rushing yards.
Last but not least: Bo Jackson. Jackson only played four seasons for the Las Vegas Raiders, but it’s fair to say that he proved himself to be a star running back for the team, rushing for over 2780 yards and 16 touchdowns.
Jackson started his Raiders career in 1987. And in his rookie season, he rushed for 554 yards and five touchdowns, averaging an impressive 6.8 yards per carry. The impressive performances only continued, and he’s still remembered for his incredible power and speed as a running back.
Despite that, Jackson didn’t have the best end to his career. He suffered two hip injuries in 1988 and 1990, after which he retired. But fans still remember him as one of the best Las Vegas Raiders running backs the team has ever seen.
Running backs are important players on any football team that need to be dynamic, fast-thinking, and quick on their feet. They have to be super versatile in their role, and are key to gaining yardage and unlocking any team’s offense.
And those traits are exactly why the above players are the 5 best Las Vegas Raiders running backs of all time!