NY Jets: Michael Carter predicted to be most productive rookie RB

NY Jets, Michael Carter
NY Jets, Michael Carter / Chris Pedota, NorthJersey.com via Imagn

The NY Jets landed a number of players in the 2021 NFL Draft who they believe will be instant-impact contributors on both sides of the ball. One of those players is running back Michael Carter.

A fourth-round pick in this year's draft, the Jets were ecstatic that Carter managed to fall to them on Day 3 with many analysts projecting him as a Day 2 prospect.

In a mostly unproven running back room, Carter will have the opportunity to emerge as the team's lead back early on in his career. And it won't be surprising to see him out-produce numerous players who were drafted before him.

Chris Trapasso of CBS Sports recently released a list of the five rookie running backs who will be the most productive in 2021. And topping the list ahead of others such as Najee Harris and Travis Etienne was Carter.

Michael Carter has a chance to shine in the NY Jets offense.

This might come as a surprise given that Carter was the fifth running back selected in this year's draft. The likes of Harris, Etienne, North Carolina teammate Javonte Williams, and Trey Sermon were all picked ahead of him.

But Carter has a golden opportunity to put together a very productive rookie season.

The Jets re-shaped their running back room in the offseason adding veteran Tevin Coleman along with Carter to join 2020 holdovers Ty Johnson, La'Mical Perine, and Josh Adams.

The summer should tell more about who might be sharing the bulk of the touches, but it's widely expected that the Jets will employ a backfield-by-committee approach.

Given what we saw this spring, the leading candidates to be a part of that committee are Carter, Coleman, and Johnson with Perine and Adams fighting an uphill battle.

In fact, by the time minicamp rolled around in mid-June, Carter was the first running back out for first-team reps on most occasions.

Carter stands at just 5-foot-8, 201 pounds, but what he lacks in size he more than makes up for with his elusiveness, balance, receiving skills, and outside speed.

It might not take long for Carter to emerge as the lead back in the Jets' offense. And if given enough touches, Carter could very well become the first Jets player to rush for over 1,000 yards since Chris Ivory did so back in 2015.

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He may not have the same level of hype as some of his other draft-mates, but Michael Carter might finish the year as the NFL's most productive rookie running back.