- Kenyan Drake is among the top free agent running backs
- Free agency of Drake will be a test of team’s interest in running back spending
- Which teams could target Kenyan Drake this offseason?
In recent years, running back additions in free agency have been mostly cosmetic. Most teams aren’t willing to spend big dollars on their backfield because either they have a dynamic bellcow, or are content to go with a committee at that position. It will be fascinating to see how the offseason treats free agent Kenyan Drake, and whether the Arizona Cardinals will be interested in retaining him.
Drake’s stock in recent years has been volatile. At certain times, fans could argue that the former Alabama running back deserved to be a featured back in the league. During other stretches, Drake would be written off as a part time player who could only contribute in niche circumstances. But he’s still just 27 years old, and his lack of previous heavy usage could work in his favor this offseason.
Which franchises would be interested in bringing free agent Kenyan Drake into the fold? Let’s take a closer look at three teams who could sign the talented running back.
With the team recently having moved on from reliable starting quarterback Alex Smith, Washington is going to need all the help it can get on offense. They don’t figure to be a primary destination for star quarterbacks rumored to be on the block. As a result, they will need to bring in talent to make life easier for whomever is under center in 2021.
Running backs with the most carries in the red zone in 2020:
1) Derrick Henry 65
T2) Dalvin Cook 64
T2) Josh Jacobs 64
4) Kenyan Drake 56
5) Todd Gurley 53#FantasyFootball #Titans #Vikings #Raiders #Cardinals #Falcons #NFL #NFLTwitter @MyFantasyLeague pic.twitter.com/vplqP3vqY2
— FantasyData (@FantasyDataNFL) March 2, 2021
Antonio Gibson had a solid rookie season in the nation’s capital. He scored 11 touchdowns on the ground on 795 yards rushing. The other running backs in Washington are currently J.D. McKissic and Peyton Barber, who are less than inspiring players. Adding Drake into the mix would give them a respected 1-2 punch. Drake is also valuable as a receiver coming out of the backfield.
Los Angeles was ready to hand over its backfield to Austin Ekeler in 2020, but a nagging hamstring injury caused him to miss notable time. It’s unclear whether the new coaching staff will expect or want him to handle that big of a load in 2021. It might be a good idea for the team to bring in some insurance.
This Kenyan Drake truck 😳
— B/R Gridiron (@brgridiron) October 20, 2020
That’s where Kenyan Drake’s free agency comes in. While he’s not quite the elite receiver Ekeler has been, Drake can more than hold his own catching passes. Additionally, Drake has been more of a weapon in the red zone running the football in his career, which could add a dimension to the Chargers’ offense once they get in close.
After the performance of “Playoff Lenny” Leonard Fournette in the 2020 postseason, the Bucs might all of a sudden have been priced out of his market. They have a bunch of other high priority free agents to try and re-sign, and may not view Fournette as the offseason’s most pressing priority.
Ronald Jones had his best season as a pro in 2020, but it seems unlikely Tampa Bay will be comfortable giving him the vast majority of carries. Drake would be an excellent, and dangerous (for other teams) fit with the Buccaneers. He still has the speed to make defenses pay, and would often be overlooked with the Bucs plethora of other weapons.