A fourth-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, Carter quickly emerged as the Jets' top running back last season and put together a very impressive rookie campaign. Carter rushed for 639 yards and four touchdowns while averaging 4.3 yards per carry.
But it's not just his raw numbers that make his rookie season impressive. Pro Football Focus has a metric called "missed tackles forced per attempt" which essentially measures the frequency of broken tackles.
Carter's 0.265 rate ranked third in the entire NFL behind former North Carolina teammate Javonte Williams and Kareem Hunt. A remarkable 77.46 percent of Carter's yards came after contact last season.
As a result, PFF dubbed Carter the third most elusive running back in the NFL last season. Yet, he's currently penciled in as the Jets' RB2 behind rookie Breece Hall — something that speaks to the talent the Jets have in their running back room.
Breece Hall and Michael Carter create quite the RB tandem for the NY Jets
The Jets surprised many when they elected to trade up and draft Hall with the 36th overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. Widely viewed as arguably the best running back in his class, the Jets saw Hall as a first-round talent who had slipped to Day 2 of the draft.
Not only was the Hall pick unexpected because of the presence of Carter on the roster, but it also directly opposed the team-building strategy that general manager Joe Douglas had employed throughout his career.
Since 2000, Douglas' first year with an NFL organization, his teams had only selected a running back in the top-40 once — that came back in his very first year (2000) when the Baltimore Ravens drafted Jamal Lewis fifth overall.
The Hall pick bucks that trend and shows just how high the Jets are on the former Iowa State running back, but it's important not to forget how talented and efficient Carter was last season.
The Jets believe they have one of the best young running back duos in the NFL. They believe that both Hall and Carter have the potential to be top-10 running backs in this league.
And while much of the attention will undoubtedly be on Hall this season, Carter will do his best to remind everyone just how good he is as well.