Alabama junior Josh Jacobs, the potential RB1 in what's widely viewed as an ordinary RB class relative to the past several years, did little to change that perception at his Tide pro day on Tuesday.
Jacobs, who measured 5-10 and 219 pounds, was clocked at 4.60 in the 40-yard dash. Of the 23 backs who ran earlier this month at the combine, where Jacobs sat out with a reported groin issue, only seven were slower than Jacobs.
PFW draft expert Greg Gabriel has Jacobs ranked as his RB2 with a Round 2 projection. He writes in part on Jacobs in the 2019 NFL Draft magazine: "Jacobs is not the most elusive guy, but he is a quick-cutter who will make opponents miss. He gets outside with his speed and burst. ... Jacobs has the traits to become a feature runner in the NFL, where backs with his skill set usually do well."
However, backs with his 40 time rarely sneak into Round 1, where many other draft analysts project Jacobs. The last back to be selected within the first 32 picks after failing to break the 4.5 mark in the 40? That'd be fellow former Tide runner and Heisman winner Mark Ingram, who has become a productive NFL back, if not a gamebreaker like former Saints teammate Alvin Kamara.
Ingram, the 28th overall selection to the Saints in the 2011 draft, measured 5-foot-9 and 215 pounds and ran a 4.62 40 in Indy. Like Ingram, Jacobs' game is built more on power, determination and suddenness than blinding speed, so it's not like Jacobs' performance Tuesday — when he also recorded a disappointing 112" broad jump, which would have been the worst among backs in Indy — should come as a complete surprise.
Jacobs also offers appeal Ingram couldn't with his low odometer reading only 299 collegiate touches — less than half of Ingram's (632) at Bama — and kickoff return experience.
But if backs are looking for a home run hitter in the mold of reigning Rookie of the Year Saquon Barkley or his former Nittany Lions teammate, PFW's RB1 Miles Sanders, Jacobs seemingly isn't that guy.