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NY Jets roster: Analyzing the state of the running back room

By Noah Nobert
New York Jets Mandatory Minicamp
New York Jets Mandatory Minicamp / Mike Stobe/Getty Images
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After wrapping up OTAs and mandatory minicamp, the NY Jets seem to have found themselves in a comfortable spot, with multiple players capable of being productive this coming season. 

The first one would be Michael Carter. Carter was taken with the 107th pick of the 2021 NFL Draft and has quickly looked like a potential diamond in the rough. In college, Carter played in a dual-back offense alongside second-round pick Javonte Williams.

However, that didn’t slow Carter’s production down, where he averaged 8.0 yards a carry and 11.0 yards per reception, finishing the season with 1,512 total yards and 11 total touchdowns. Thus proving he can be effective in a two-back system.

Carter has shown plenty of upside throughout OTAs and the sky is the limit for the young running back. With his ability to make defenders miss and catch out the backfield, he could be a great 'Robin' to Zach Wilson’s 'Batman' for years to come. 

The NY Jets have a few running backs competing with Michael Carter.

Secondly, we have the six-year veteran, Tevin Coleman. Coleman could prove to be an excellent signing for the Jets this offseason for multiple reasons.

First, his fit within new offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur’s scheme is a perfect match, partially due to the two being paired together in both Atlanta and San Francisco.

Next, Coleman's veteran leadership will be desperately needed in the long season to come. With a collection of inexperienced backs and a rookie in the running back room, LaFleur will lean on Coleman when times get tough.

Finally, Coleman’s ability to get to the second level on outside zones (which is used heavily in this LaFleur’s scheme) and his reliability as a receiving back give the Jets versatility in the backfield and provide a comfortable outlet for Wilson when needed. 

Next up is third-year back Ty Johnson. Johnson was used sparingly last season with his best game coming against the Raiders, in which he posted a stat line of 104 yards and a touchdown on 22 attempts.

However, that was the only game Johnson would record over 50 yards rushing and would be his lone rushing score on the season. Johnson has the ability to accelerate quickly and burst through gaps. Johnson could be used as a situational back this season until he proves he can be more.

Finally, the last back that could be a part of the rotation is La'Mical Perine. Perine’s 2020 campaign wasn’t inspiring, to say the least.

Perine averaged 3.6 yards a carry on 64 total attempts, a small sample size for a player in his rookie year. With that being said, Perine seems to be the odd-man-out this year after general manager Joe Douglas drafted Michael Carter and signed Tevin Coleman.

It makes you wonder what the Jets might be thinking for the second-year back out of Florida. 

With OTAs and mandatory minicamp finished, the Jets have many interesting depth chart questions they need to ask themselves.

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However, the backfield should be much more productive this season no matter what the rotation looks like.

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