New York Jets running back Elijah McGuire recently drew a comparison to a Pro Football Hall of Fame player by his position coach. Can McGuire become as legendary as LT?
The New York Jets backfield is crowded heading into training camp with five running backs in total. Isaiah Crowell is expected to be the starter this season while Bilal Powell, Elijah McGuire, Thomas Rawls, and Trent Cannon battle for playing time. Every practice will be crucial to these backs as one of them try to carve out a role next to Crowell.
Powell is the longest-tenured running back on the Jets and is penciled in as the passing down back going into camp. But, he may face some stiff competition for that role as second-year back Elijah McGuire drew some Pro Football Hall of Fame comparisons from a member of the Jets coaching staff.
The starting running back position is up for grabs as the Jets likely want to launch a rotation to cater to the strengths of each player. McGuire is already getting major praise all throughout organized team activities and mandatory minicamp.
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According to an article by Zach Braziller of the New York Post, running backs coach Stump Mitchell had some Pro Football Hall of Fame praise for McGuire after the team’s last minicamp practice on Thursday. Here is what Mitchell had to say according to Braziller:
“He has the skill set to be a LaDainian Tomlinson, if he was given that opportunity. That’s not what presents itself to him at this point in time. The skill set, he can do it all. He can catch, he can run as a running back and he can run routes as a receiver. He just happens to be here, and I’m glad we got him.”
The Ladanian Tomlinson comparisons may be a bit much, but Mitchell has been around some talented running backs during his time in the league. From 2013-2017, Mitchell served as the Arizona Cardinals running backs coach and helped turn David Johnson into an All-Pro back. In 2016, Johnson recorded over 2,100 scrimmage yards and 20 touchdowns.
McGuire was third on the depth chart last year, behind starter Matt Forte and Powell, but did come on strong later in the season as Forte battled injuries. McGuire recorded 492 scrimmage yards with two touchdowns, one receiving and one rushing. McGuire’s rushing touchdown came against arguably the best defensive team in the league, Jacksonville Jaguars, and showed just a taste of what he can become.
It is too early to tell what kind of running back McGuire will develop into ultimately. However, if McGuire is anything close to LT then the Jets could have a future Pro Football Hall of Fame running back in their backfield.