After becoming a First Team All-Pro in 2011 as a kick returner the speedy McKnight is poised to contribute more on offense in the upcoming season. He has increased his weight by roughly ten pounds which can help him take the pounding significant carries in a run first system can inflict on a running back. The absence of screen plays in Brian Schottenheimer’s offense always baffled me, but if McKnight can catch passes out of the backfield on screens, he can add another dimension to the offense and help take pressure off of Mark Sanchez and the passing game. Nothing makes a quarterback happier than a 50 yard touchdown pass on a 3 yard screen, and if Tony Sparano can add a few of these to the mix nobody would be happier than Sanchez himself.
While nobody yet knows the role the Jets have for Joe McKnight I would speculate that he will have a much larger role than in previous seasons. McKnight should have no problem getting 8-10 carries a game and a handful of catches if he remains healthy throughout the preseason. Should he get hot during the season Tony Sparano will not hesitate to stick with him, hoping his increased weight and stronger frame can take the abuse NFL defenses will be trying to inflict. Overall I feel McKnight will be the biggest surprise for the Jets in 2012 and could be a late blooming star just as running back Darren McFadden has become for the Oakland Raiders.
Joe McKnight 2012 Offensive Predictions
650 Yards Rushing
375 Yards Receiving