NY Jets 2021 Training Camp State of the Roster: Running backs

NY Jets, Michael Carter
NY Jets, Michael Carter / Mike Stobe/Getty Images
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NY Jets, La'Mical Perine
NY Jets, La'Mical Perine / Adam Hunger/Getty Images

How will the NY Jets running backs perform in 2021 and beyond?

It's difficult to predict how this group will do this season with so much uncertainty around who makes the roster.

Johnson's 2020 production came from very a small sample size, and Coleman and Perine failed to advance the ball effectively last year. Combined with a brand new coaching regime, this running back room could look different by Week 1.

While Johnson's spot is likely the safest of these three rushers, even his role this season is a question mark until coaches can get a better sense of what each player brings to the table.

Outside of these three players, it's clear that Carter will have a significant role in this offense.

Carter has already been taking first-team snaps during training camp. With his stellar traits, Carter may prove very quickly to be one of the bigger steals of the draft. 

For the 2021 season, Jets fans will probably see a committee of rushers rather than an immediate starter, given the various lacks of experience and recent NFL production among the players in this group.

Hopefully, somebody from this group can emerge as the clear starter, likely Carter. Day 3 running backs have done well for themselves in the past in the NFL.

To name a few examples, Aaron Jones and Jordan Howard were both fifth-round picks, and Tarik Cohen and Marlon Mack were both fourth-round picks.

Evidently, long-term talent at running back can be found in the later rounds, and Jets fans and coaches alike are hoping that Carter is further proof of that statement.


Outside of Carter, the Jets have very little at the running back position. And when considering Carter, they still lack reliability. What the Jets need this season is for someone to surprise at the running back position.

With an improved offensive line and coaching staff, the rushing numbers should improve from last year's run game, which ranked bottom-10 in the NFL.

But Gang Green is still looking for that reliable top-tier running back that they have lacked since, arguably, Curtis Martin.

A productive running game can take pressure off the rookie quarterback and allow the defense to rest as the offense controls the game.

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Now, the NY Jets just need a player to provide them with that productive running game.