4. Michael Carter, RB, NY Jets
Despite concerns about his stature (5-foot-8, 201 pounds) and ability to be an every-down back, Michael Carter showed consistent glimpses of his potential as an every-down back in the Jets’ offense.
Selected with the 107th pick in last year’s draft, Carter outplayed his draft slot, finishing with 964 scrimmage yards in 14 games. While those numbers might not jump out on paper, Carter's average of 4.3 yards per carry speaks volumes about his ability to produce despite minimal lanes to navigate behind the Jets’ offensive line.
Furthermore, Carter’s low center of gravity and change of direction skill enables him to also serve as a threat in the passing game. As a result, Carter often served as a safety valve for the Jets’ rotating carousel of quarterbacks, with 16 of his 36 receptions going for first downs.
A midseason ankle injury prevented him from an entire campaign. Still, it’s not unreasonable to speculate that Carter would’ve reached both 1,000 rushing yards and 50 receptions had he played an entire campaign.
With more experience and better overall play from the offense, Carter has the potential to develop into a special player for the Jets. Time will tell how high Carter’s ceiling is, but he's done more than enough to warrant more opportunities.