Predicting the New York Jets Running Back Depth Chart


November 25, 2012; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints running back Chris Ivory (29) carries against the San Francisco 49ers during third quarter of their game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

The entrance of Marty Mornhinweg has brought, officially, the end of the days of “Ground and Pound”. The Jets are moving forward in the mold of a West Coast offense, and the roster is going through a bit of a makeover. Ironically, a position that has had more of a significant makeover than other positions is the running back spot.

Out and gone is Shonn “Three yards and a cloud of dust” Greene. In is Chris Ivory and Mike Goodson, to go along with returning incumbents Bilal Powell and Joe McKnight. Four guys that bring different types of games to the table. What is the depth chart going to look like at this spot? Here are my thoughts, without the benefit of any practices to support my thoughts at this point.


This is an obvious choice, and one that will emerge without much time passing during training camp. Here is a guy that runs what I like to call “dirty”. He runs with an attitude. He has done it to the tune of over 5 yards per carry for his entire career to date. When he had the chance to take the ball and run with it, he led the Saints in rushing. We as Jets fans have been begging for the Jets to get this guy for months, and with good reason. Take a look at some video:

Watch this guy’s feet. Look at how they keep churning forward, and churning hard. He keeps moving forward for that positive yardage, no matter what type of hit he is taking. This, Jets fans, is your lead running back for the next several years. Get used to it, I know I can’t wait.


This is a pure hunch out of me here, but I think it will be Powell. It very well could be Mike Goodson, I just personally don’t think so. Don’t get me wrong, the Jets would not go wrong with Mike Goodson as the second stringer. When he has gotten the chance to play, especially in Oakland last year, he has done quite well. When he got the chance to start in place of McFadden, the Raiders didn’t miss a beat.

However, I see the second stringer more of a short yardage guy in addition to being Ivory’s backup. That being said, the Jets have seen the improvement in Bilal Powell from year one to year two. He was significantly better in short yardage in 2012, and we saw his nose for the endzone start to come alive, to sniff out some TD’s. In the end, instead of going with an entire new crew at running back, I believe that Powell will edge out the second string/short yardage position.


Again, here is another spot that could turn into Mike Goodson as well. Both Goodson and McKnight are talented pass receivers, as well as being adept at making plays in space. Goodson would perform well in this spot as well. But, I believe that the familiarity factor, going along with the fact that he will be returning kicks, Joe McKnight will hang onto this spot as well. This should make a lot of Jets fans happy, as Marty Mornhinweg will find ways to get him on the field more often than ever. This is music to our ears.

That leaves the odd man out, by a slim margin, being Mike Goodson.

This could all change when camp opens. But at this point, this is what I see. Feel free to sound off below with your thoughts and opinions.