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What to expect from Bilal Powell in 2017 with the Jets

Dec 17, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets running back Bilal Powell (29) runs the ball against the Miami Dolphins during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 17, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets running back Bilal Powell (29) runs the ball against the Miami Dolphins during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
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There is no doubt that the time has come for running back Bilal Powell to become the starting running back for the New York Jets. However, is he good enough to consistently be a top starter in the NFL?

Running back Bilal Powell has definitely been one of the best backup running backs in the NFL ever since he was drafted in 2011. However, the fans and probably Powell himself are ready to see him as a full-time starter for the New York Jets. The biggest question is, can he consistently be a top starting running back in this league?

He showed some promise late last season when veteran running back Matt Forte went down with injuries. Coming into Week 13 against San Francisco, he ran for 145 yards and two touchdowns and helped the Jets win their fourth game of the season. He also did well for the next few games, tallying up a total of 266 yards on 53 carries.

Powell also showed off his receiving ability in the last four games, gaining 141 receiving yards on 21 receptions. With all of these numbers, it’s pretty clear that he has already developed himself into a decent starting running back.

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If the Jets are willing to help him build on his strong spots and strengthen his weaker abilities, then they will definitely have a solid starter next season. However, they shouldn’t throw all of their hope onto him. If something happens, then they will need someone else to come in and back him up.

Unfortunately, Forte is no longer a solid starter in this league, which means they will need to find a younger running back in the 2017 NFL Draft. If they are able to find someone who they can coach up well enough to be a good starter just in case, and they are willing to use Forte as a mentor for both players, then the Jets should be just fine at the running back position in 2017.

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