The Oakland Raiders are becoming one of the premiere teams in football. They have a franchise quarterback in Derek Carr. They have a stellar offensive line. They also have Amari Cooper who is a fantastic route runner. To complete the set, the Raiders need a running back in order for them to be dynamic on all fronts. This offseason, they traded for Marshawn Lynch who came out of retirement just to play for his hometown team.
Lynch has it all. He has quick feet, strength, vision, and a great ability to find cutback lanes. His patience to set up blocks made the Seahawks’ offense click back in 2014.
During the offseason, the Raiders did not re-sign Latavius Murray. While he definitely has power and a large frame to handle the workload, he is not the best at breaking tackles. According to Football Outsiders, Murray was 36th out of 58 eligible running backs for broken tackles per touch. For reference, Lynch was top 15 in 2015 even while dealing with injuries.
From a scheme standpoint, the Raiders main running plays are Duo, Inside Zone, Outside Zone, and Counter Trey. The Seahawks, on the other hand, primarily ran a large portion of zone running plays in 2014. Usually, zone running backs are taught to get up the field quickly after their initial cut. In a power running scheme, the running back has to be good at setting up his blocks with creativity to make holes. Lynch has consistently shown he can do both even though he barely ran any power in Seattle.
Overall, Marshawn Lynch is definitely a good pick up as long as he stays healthy. He signed a two year – $9 million contract with the Raiders and if he plays like he did in 2014, he should be an immediate upgrade for this team.