NY Jets seal Israel Abanikanda's fate with confusing Isaiah Davis pick

What does the future hold for Israel Abanikanda?
Isaiah Davis
Isaiah Davis / Samantha Laurey / Argus Leader / USA

The NY Jets addressed running back in a big way on Saturday, drafting Wisconsin's Braelon Allen in the fourth round before doubling down to select South Dakota State's Isaiah Davis one round later.

Davis joins a suddenly crowded running back room that also features the likes of Breece Hall and 2023 draft pick Israel Abanikanda. Unfortunately, Davis' arrival is likely a strong indicator of how the team feels about last year's fifth-round pick.

Abanikanda carried the ball just 22 times as a rookie, rushing for 70 yards on a lowly 3.2 yards per carry. He spent much of the year as a healthy scratch behind Dalvin Cook, which should've already been a sign of how the Jets viewed him.

The Jets didn't trust Abanikanda as a pass blocker and the rookie had issues with ball security throughout the summer. If you can't block and you have fumble concerns, it's going to be hard to see the field as a rookie.

Isaiah Davis might take Israel Abanikanda's spot on the NY Jets' roster

Davis might feel like a weird fit for the Jets — and he is — but it's hard not to like him as a prospect. A three-year starter at South Dakota State, Davis was a dominant running back at the FCS level, racking up over 3,000 rushing yards over the last two seasons of his college career.

At 6-foot, 220 pounds, Davis is another well-build, between-the-tackles runnerwho runs hard and rarely goes down on first contact. He also has above-average vision for the position, with the ability to find holes and weave his way through running lanes effectively.

Davis genuinely has three-down potential at the next level and was viewed by many as one of the small-school sleepers in this draft class. He might struggle to see playing time early in New York, however.

Davis will have to compete with Allen and Abanikanda for reps behind Hall, who remains the Jets' bell-cow back. He's older and a little more experienced than Allen, but the Wisconsin product projects as the team's more likely RB2.

As for Abanikanda, he might have to fight his way onto the Jets' roster in his second training camp. Davis doesn't have the same explosiveness that Abanikanda does, but he can contribute more on special teams and is already a better pass blocker.

The Jets will have some serious competition in their running back room this summer. Unfortunately, there's a chance Abanikanda could already be the odd man out. As for Davis, this is a confusing pick, but I like the player enough to give the Jets a little benefit of the doubt.

Grade: C+