10. Ty Johnson, RB, NY Jets
While most of the team’s carries were allocated to Michael Carter, Ty Johnson still proved to be a valuable asset in his second season with the Jets.
Johnson paced all Jets running backs with 372 receiving yards and was second amongst Jets running backs with 34 receptions.
His receiving ability and hard running style make him an ideal complement to Carter and allow the Jets to rotate their backs regularly without worrying about a drop-off in explosiveness.
However, while Johnson has proven himself to be a weapon out of the backfield, his struggles in pass protection have prevented him from having a more prominent role within the offense.
Nonetheless, Johnson is a young, hard-nosed runner who accounts for less than $1 million against the cap. So don’t be surprised if Johnson keeps improving and is trusted with a more significant workload next season.
9. Brandin Echols, CB, NY Jets
A sixth-round selection from last year’s draft, external expectations for Brandin Echols' rookie year were understandably low. However, the surprise release of entrenched starter Blessaun Austin cleared the path for the Jets’ young corners to receive more game opportunities, which Echols embraced.
While Echols struggled some when tasked with holding his own against top-tier receivers, he had his fair share of impressive moments. With further improvement, Echols can become a long-term solution at the cornerback position for the team as he gains more experience.
Echols’ elite athletic traits (4.35-second 40-yard dash and 42.5-inch vertical jump) and internal drive to improve give him a solid floor of a valuable depth piece in their secondary.
P.S.: It also doesn’t hurt that Echols was the recipient of Tom Brady’s final regular-season interception.