NY Jets: Analyzing the running backs after the first wave of free agency

NY Jets (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
NY Jets (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /
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NY Jets (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
NY Jets (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

Looking to stick with the NY Jets: Ty Johnson, Josh Adams, Pete Guerriero

On paper, nobody in the running back group is safe. All have their strengths and weaknesses, and nobody stands out. Meaning that the offensive scheme LaFleur will run will be a major factor in who makes the roster, and who does not.

Two players to watch that would make excellent complementary backs in the committee are Ty Johnson and Josh Adams. Both spent this past season with the Jets, and in limited usage, proved they belong.

Johnson, a former sixth-round pick in 2019 by the Detroit Lions, was extremely encouraging. Picked up off waivers mid-season, it was not expected for him to be much more than a depth piece.

Instead, Johnson averaged five yards per touch on his way to 353 yards from scrimmage, doing so on only 17 percent of offensive snaps.

Like Johnson, Adams did not see much time on offense, playing on only eight percent of snaps. Yet, he managed to rush for 157 yards and two touchdowns on 29 carries, earning a 77.7 overall grade from Pro Football Focus.

Adams also has proven in the past he can handle a larger role, having rushed for 511 yards with a 4.3 average back in 2018 for the Philadelphia Eagles.

Adams is a bigger back at 6-foot-2 and 225 pounds compared to Johnson’s 5-foot-10 and 210-pound frame, but both deserve a shot at more snaps in 2021. Meanwhile, Pete Guerriero simply needs a  chance to prove himself.

The Monmouth product has excellent speed and accelerating ability, though has not yet broken into the NFL. At 5-foot-10 and 190-pounds, he has a different build than the other Jets running backs on the roster.

Nevertheless, with the zone running scheme taking shape for the Jets, Guerriero’s speed could come in handy.

Next: The veteran of the running backs