NY Jets 2021 Report Card: Grading Michael Carter's rookie season

NY Jets, Michael Carter
NY Jets, Michael Carter / Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Michael Carter was drafted by the NY Jets in the fourth round of the 2021 NFL Draft. Carter shined at North Carolina emerged as one of the top running backs in the country.

When he was a senior for the Tar Heels, Carter finished with 1,245 rushing yards and nine rushing touchdowns. He also had 267 receiving yards and two receiving touchdowns as well.

Carter's 1,245 rushing yards gave him the eighth most in franchise history in a single season. Overall, Carter picked up 3,403 total rushing yards throughout his college ball. That number is the fourth best in UNC history and he was named a finalist for the 2020 Paul Hornung Award.

Michael Carter's rookie season with the NY Jets

Looking back at Carter's rookie season, it is hard to say it was anything but a productive one. Carter made his first official start in Week 3 when the Jets took on the Denver Broncos in a 26-0 loss. Carter picked up 24 yards in that game. He scored his first career touchdown in Week 4 against the Titans in a Jets victory.

Carter proved to be a very solid RB1 as a rookie. Not every game was great, but he certainly showed a lot of promise given that it was only his first season. The biggest game of Carter's season came in Week 16 when the Jets took on the Jaguars.

While he didn't score a touchdown, Carter still ran for 118 yards on 16 attempts. He played a season-high 74 percent of the offensive snaps in that game playing like a true bell-cow running back..

Carter played in 14 games total in 2021. He was unfortunately injured in Week 11 and didn't make his return until Week 15, recovering from a high ankle sprain. Carter had 147 attempts for 639 yards and four touchdowns in his rookie year providing hope for a brighter future.

Grade: B+

Carter scores a B+ for a few reasons. Unfortunately, we couldn't really see his full potential because he went down with an injury for a few weeks. However, when Carter played, he showed all the makings of a standout running back.

In his rookie season, Carter played extremely well for the Jets. He showed up when he needed to, provided the explosive offense the team hoped he would, and managed to pick up some yards on the ground and in the air.

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He also showed himself to be a solid receiving back which only adds to his versatility. His future is bright.