The wild card: La’Mical Perine, RB, NY Jets
Former Jets head coach Adam Gase made many questionable decisions this past season, and snap distribution at running back was one of them.
Johnson and Adams were effective in little usage, while an aging Frank Gore held 38 percent of offensive snaps. Meanwhile, fourth-round pick La’Mical Perine only saw 20 percent of offensive snaps in 2020.
Taken with the 120th pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, Perine’s usage this past season was rather peculiar. At 5-foot-11 and 216-pounds, Perine is a bigger back who is capable of making an impact whether rushing or receiving, as displayed by his 64 carries to 11 receptions on only 200 snaps.
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Then again, Perine did not exactly show anything special when he got the ball. He averaged 3.6 yards per carry, only taking the ball to the house twice. He also only had 63 yards receiving as well.
Of course, no running back could succeed in Gase’s offense, as proven by the ineffectiveness of Bell and Gore.
That said, it would have helped Perine’s case for a larger role this season should he been on the field more. The Florida product dealt with an ankle injury that saw him only appear in 10 games in 2020.
At the end of the day, Perine is a powerful and versatile back that is only one year into his NFL career. No, Perine may not be the most dynamic runner. But he, like every other running back currently on the roster, brings talent to the table that can be utilized in the team’s new offense.
Chances are the Jets are not done adding to their running back unit this offseason. But one thing for certain is that there is promising talent already residing on the roster to form a quality committee backfield for Mike LaFleur’s offense.