New York Jets rookie running back Elijah McGuire showed plenty of progress during the 2017 season. He should be a key part of next season due to everything he brings to the table.
With veteran running backs Bilal Powell and Matt Forte exceeding 30-years-old, the New York Jets have to start thinking about rebuilding the running back position. Rookie running back Elijah McGuire gave the coaching staff a lot to be happy about this season. He should have done enough to warrant more playing time in 2018.
McGuire successfully showed that he could find running lanes with ease this season. He had 315 rushing yards with a touchdown on 88 carries in 2017, which averages to 3.6 yards per attempt. He also had 177 receiving yards and a touchdown reception.
These stats are not great, but seeing as he was a rookie and is still learning how to play in the pros, it shows that he may be able to get better and more versatile with another offseason coming up. If the Jets coaching staff is wise, it will look to use Powell and Forte as mentors for the young dual threat.
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As stated earlier, the team needs to think about rebuilding the running back position since the vets are getting old. However, seeing as McGuire did so well, it may not have to be done immediately through the 2018 NFL Draft.
The smart way to do this could be to keep Forte and Powell until they retire, and have them teach everything they know to McGuire. Then, when the time comes, they could start McGuire and get two young guys to back him up.
The bottom line is the Jets should not disregard McGuire and actually give him more opportunities to showcase his skills next season. Give more reps to do what he does best, McGuire could be everything and then some when it comes to a quality starting running back. He has a lot of talent and potential, and if this team wants to properly build up the position in the coming years, then coaching up McGuire with this method may be the smartest decision for a bright future at running back.