Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie talked all offseason about finding a running back to pair with Latavius Murray Jerseys.
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Oakland waited until the fifth round to address the position, but McKenzie believes he’s found an answer in DeAndre Washington out of Texas Tech.
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“DeAndre, he’s more than just a third-down back,” McKenzie told KGMZ-FM in San Francisco, via the cheap wholesale team’s official website. “He can pound it up in there. The Raider Nation will find out fast just how physical he is.”
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While just 5-foot-8, Washington “is short but compact and certainly does not lack the toughness to transition into the NFL,” per NFL Media’s Lance Zierlein.
We asked on Tuesday’s Around the NFL Podcast if the Raiders did enough to complement Murray, whose 4.0 yards per carry was a full 1.2 yards off his 2014 numbers. Murray brings size and speed to the game, but his 266 totes from last season aren’t something the Raiders want to duplicate again, with McKenzie saying in March: “The way this league is with the pounding you’re taking, you can’t just have one guy getting beat up all year.”
With only Taiwan Jones Jerseys, George Atkinson and Roy Helu Jerseys behind Murray, Washington has the chance to make an impact as a rookie.
“We think he’s a complete back, and when he gets out in space, he can make you look silly.” McKenzie said. “He can catch the ball, but he can run between the tackles as well as bouncing it outside. We think he’s the total package as a runner. We really like him.”
If Washington can carry his own, the Raiders have added another weapon to an offense that boasts quarterback Derek Carr Jerseys, wideout Amari Cooper and one of the league’s finest offensive lines. The optimism in Oakland is real.