Longtime NFL veteran running back Kenyan Drake is the latest big-name player to be in search of a new team. On Monday afternoon, news broke that the Las Vegas Raiders had decided to go in a separate direction and parted ways with the dual-threat runner. Drake might not be the player he once was, but he can still be a valuable part of a committee for a team with a need at the position.
The Best Kenyan Drake Team Fits, Ranked
1. Baltimore Ravens
The 2021 Baltimore Ravens suffered more injuries than any other team in the league, and they’re still not completely recovered from that onslaught of ailments. Presumed starter JK Dobbins might not be ready for Week 1, and presumed backup Gus Edwards is still on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list. This leaves Mike Davis as the de-facto starter, and that is not good news for anybody.
Drake may not be a special player, but he’s unquestionably better than Davis. He’s certainly good enough to hold down the fort while Dobbins returns to health, and he could be a nice complementary part of the backfield once Dobbins reclaims the starting job. The Ravens have a strong roster that should compete for the postseason, and a player like Drake is a good short-term investment for a run-heavy attack like Baltimore.
2. Seattle Seahawks
The season hasn’t even started yet, and the Seattle Seahawks are already battling injuries at the running back position. Second-round rookie Kenneth Walker suffered a hernia, and head coach Pete Carroll said that there is no timetable for the promising youngster. Rashaad Penny, meanwhile, suffered a groin injury earlier in August and has battled injury throughout his professional career. Nobody loves running backs more than Carroll, and he certainly doesn’t want to risk entering the season with Travis Homer as his starter.
If Penny can stay healthy throughout the offseason, then Drake would be a perfect addition as a change-0f-pace runner and third-down pass-catcher. If, however, injury strikes again, then Drake can step in and be an adequate starter in this below-average offense.
3. Atlanta Falcons
The Atlanta Falcons are in the midst of a full-on rebuild, which means they didn’t have the resources to properly address the running back position. Cordarrelle Patterson had a phenomenal year in 2021, but can he really be expected to do that again? If he can’t, then that means the Falcons will have to turn to some combination of Damien Williams, Tyler Allgeier, and Qadree Ollison.
It should go without saying that Drake is considerably better than any of the aforementioned players. Additionally, signing Drake would probably allow Patterson to be even better. The do-everything jack of all trades is at his best moving around the formation, and having Drake serve as the traditional running back would only make it easier for Patterson to line up all over the field.
Kenyan Drake is not going to take Joe Mixon’s job, but he could easily take over the backup role. Mixon is one of the NFL’s better running backs, but the rest of Cincinnati’s depth chart leaves a lot to be desired. Should something happen to Mixon, the Bengals would have to turn to the underwhelming Samaje Perine or the unknown Chris Evans. Signing Drake would give the reigning AFC champions yet another reliable pass-catcher and a strong insurance policy in case of a Mixon injury.
New Orleans Saints
Nobody knows what is going to happen to Alvin Kamara. The running back is currently awaiting trial for a felony battery charge but said trial likely won’t come before the start of the season. While he should be ready for Week 1, there is a chance that he receives a suspension midway through the season. If this happens, the Saints would have to make an aging Mark Ingram their starting running back. Now entering his age-33 season, Ingram is too old to handle starting duties anymore, but he could split the load with somebody like Drake.