Chris Warren III Should Make The Raiders 53-Man Roster

Aug 25, 2018, 12:00 AM | Updated: Jan 4, 2019, 11:33 am
(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)...
(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

by Andrew Pasquini – Sports 1140 KHTK

Entering the preseason, the running back spot seemed to be set for the Oakland Raiders. Marshawn Lynch, Jalen Richard, and DeAndre Washington were already here and the Raiders signed veteran Doug Martin to share the carries with Lynch. As the preseason has gone on however, undrafted free agent Chris Warren III has emerged and may have put together a preseason to take one of the assumed filled spots.

Warren has gotten the vast majority of carries this preseason with 46 (the next closest is EJ Manuel with eight) and has averaged 5.4 yards per carry over the three preseason games so far. He has impressed with his ability to power through the line and get to the second level is something Raiders head coach Jon Gruden has praised, “He’s a good back, isn’t he? I mean he’s rushed for almost 200 yards in two weeks. And I know he’s not playing against the regulars but he’s not playing with the regulars either. He’s a big powerful back that’s taken care of the ball, he’s gotta get better without the football.”

Last night showed what Gruden was talking about referring to Warren as a “big powerful back.” With 5:09 to go in the game, the Raiders had the ball at the 1-yard line on first and goal in a tie game. Oakland came out in the traditional goal line formation, no wide, packed line, and a fullback in front of Warren. Everybody in the Coliseum knew the Raiders were going to run the ball up the middle and Warren pounded the ball through the line for the game-winning touchdown.

This is the style of play Gruden loves. The opponent knows the Raiders are going to try to punch them in the mouth and they let the Raiders do it and Warren is the style running back who can do that.

Warren leads the the NFL in rushing yards this preseason with 250 yards and also leads the league in carries. Cleveland Browns running back Nick Chubb has 40 carries, good for second in the preseason, but only has 110 yards, less than half of what Warren has.

The question to answer would be where Warren fits on the depth chart if he does make the 53-man roster. He may have done enough to pass Washington on the depth chart and maybe even Richard, who as quietly impressed in the preseason as well, but he could get stuck behind Lynch and Martin. Lynch will be the feature back in the Raiders offense but the role for Martin might still be a question mark. If Warren could continue this production in the regular season in a lessened role, Warren could surpass Martin to share the workload with Lynch.

The Raiders close their preseason on Thursday against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field at 7:00 pm.


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Chris Warren III Should Make The Raiders 53-Man Roster