Is DeSean Jackson the Answer to the Las Vegas Raiders Recent Struggles?

DeSean Jackson, three-time Pro Bowler joins the Las Vegas Raiders

Raiders fans, it looks like our troubles are slowly going away one pass at a time. For now, there is hope and it’s also DeSean Jackson’s moment. The free agent wide receiver is coming to Vegas.

On Monday, Nov. 8, 2021, the Las Vegas Raiders made themselves better than they were the day before, signing Jackson as a short-term replacement to Henry Ruggs III. The Raiders released the former first-round wideout, as he is now dealing with legal charges following a serious car crash on Nov 2, 2021.

About Jackson

At 5′ 10″, weighting 175 pounds, Jackson hails from Long Beach, Calif., and recently played for his hometown team, the Los Angeles Rams. The Philadelphia Eagles selected the 34-year-old in the 2008 NFL draft after playing college ball at the University of California for three-years.

Image of DeSean Jackson from his time with the Eagles (Credit: All-Pro Reels)

Besides the Eagles, Jackson played for three other teams; Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Washington Football Team, and recently, Los Angeles Rams. Jackson has played in a total of 167 games in his NFL career, starting in 167 of them. He has tallied 620 catches for 10,877 yards and 57 touchdowns. Jackson has also been used as a utility running back, compiling 459 yards on 71 carries and has scored four touchdowns.

What Jackson can Bring

While Ruggs was drafted to be the Raiders star receiver in 2020, Jackson has shown he can be a No.1 receiver on every team he has played for. He has basically the same skill set as Ruggs. He is very fast and can burn you down the field.

Jackson also has improved on running intermediate routes in shotgun formations, as he will have to show his versatility in a Raiders offense that likes to spread the field out with quarterback Derek Carr.

Critics of Jackson

When you’re a star wide receiver like Jackson has been, there are always going to be tough critics. Some have questioned Jackson’s speed and production at an older age. Jackson has proven that he still has it. His “Next Gen Stats”, showed he recorded one of the quickest times on a touchdown pass he caught in Week 3 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

He’s also battled some soft-tissue injuries during his time, but the plan right now is to have Jackson come in and hopefully produce as well as Ruggs could have, before he messed up his career.

Maintaining Jackson’s Aggression and Speed

By replacing Ruggs, Jackson will still bring the same explosiveness he had during his first few years in the league. This past Sunday, the Raiders looked squirrelly in the passing game vs the New York Giants during their first game without Ruggs. The receivers were dropping simple passes or had balls that were overthrown by Carr.

The Raiders most likely expected the pass game to be shaky as they thought they would have Ruggs still on the team catching those deep balls that he made for the Alabama Crimson Tide. But, by releasing a bad egg on the team, the Raiders can now bring in Jackson, who knows how to play Ruggs’ role, and help the Raiders play together.

What to Expect

The Raiders right now are getting their feet back on the ground after a troubled and crazy month.

Despite these crazy events, the Raiders are still 5-3, and are forming a new culture by replacing players who have bad habits with players like DeSean Jackson. Jackson is a veteran who will bring much needed leadership to a locker room that has had to deal with some friction lately.

The Raiders add Stoner to 53-man roster

Raiders Add Additional help

The Raiders have also signed undrafted free agent Dillion Stoner after releasing Ruggs last week. The team welcomed Stoner on Thursday, Nov. 4, 2021.

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