Analyzing how Israel Abanikanda fits into the NY Jets offense

NY Jets, Israel Abanikanda
NY Jets, Israel Abanikanda / Michael Hickey/GettyImages

With the 143rd overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, the NY Jets selected running back Israel Abanikanda out of Pittsburgh. Abanikanda is coming into an already stacked running back room, but he brings a lot to the table and shouldn't be overlooked.

As a true freshman in 2020, Abanikanda played in seven games at Pitt, rushing for 95 yards and a touchdown. The following year, Abanikanda played in all 13 of Pittsburgh's games, rushing for 651 yards and seven touchdowns on 123 carries. He also showed his prowess as a kick returner, returning seven kickoffs for 206 yards.

Abanikanda's breakout season would come in 2022 when he tallied 1,431 yards on 239 attempts and picked up 20 touchdowns. It's interesting to note that he is also a capable receiving back, recording 146 yards on 12 receptions and a touchdown last year alone.

So where does he fit in?

How does Israel Abanikanda fit into the NY Jets running room?

The Jets already have an incredibly talented running back group. Competing alongside Breece Hall, Michael Carter, and Zonovan Knight, Abanikanda will look to make his presence felt on the field and earn his stripes.

It's no secret that looking ahead, Hall will be the Jets' top running back. However, it's important to note that nobody really knows how he will be used in the early part of this season. Recovering from his ACL injury, Hall could very well be limited early on. He could be playing on a limited snap count.

While Carter regressed a bit last season, Knight stepped up and exceeded expectations as an undrafted rookie. That said, Knight is still an unproven commodity after having some good and some bad games last season.

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Abanikanda is an explosive runner, and he could very well come in and be Hall's primary backup right off the bat.