Ranking the AFC East RB rooms: Where do Breece Hall and the NY Jets stand?

Do the Jets have the best RB room in the AFC East?
Breece Hall
Breece Hall / Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
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2. The Miami Dolphins and their speedy backfield by committee

The depth chart: veteran Raheem Mostert leads the way, but plenty of carries will also be given to second-year speedster De'Von Achane who may end up usurping Mostert when all is said and done. Rounding things out are rookie fourth-round pick Jaylen Wright and veteran Jeff Wilson Jr.

Mostert spent the first couple of years of his career bouncing around from practice squad to practice squad before latching on with the San Francisco 49ers. While he got some limited run as a member of the 49ers running back committee, he didn't fully break out until 2019, his fifth season in the league.

That's when he arrived and generated national attention, slicing and dicing vaunted defenses during the 9ers Super Bowl run. In particular, he gashed Aaron Rodgers' Packers for 220 yards and four touchdowns in the NFC Championship game.

After the 2021 season, Mostert moved on to Miami where he's enjoyed the best two years of his career from 2022-2023. 2023 saw him top 1,000 yards for the first time while leading the league with a whopping 18 touchdowns, chipping in three more through the air.

Now 31 years old, injuries have been a problem for Mostert at points, being limited in 2020 to just 8 games, and then suffering a knee cartilage tear in the 2021 season opener, that cost him basically the entire season. He's been mostly healthy since, playing in 31 of a possible 34 games for Miami.

That said, after 30 running backs tend to break down, and while Mostert has lower mileage than most, it is something to be considered.

Mostert might not even end up as Miami's top rushing option in 2024. That might go to 2023 third-round pick De'Von Achane. In 11 games last season, Achane rushed 103 times for 800 yards posting a whopping 7.8 yards per carry. That average is basically unheard of, especially at that volume.

Achane dealt with a nagging knee injury that he later aggravated causing him to miss time. At just five-foot-nine and 188 pounds, injuries and durability will always be a concern. His blazing speed, evidenced by his 4.32 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine, will make him a home run threat any time he touches the ball, however.

Despite the prolific production of their top two backs, Miami went back to the well once more during the 2024 NFL draft, selecting Tennessee product Jaylen Wright in the fourth round. In his final year for the Vols, Wright put up his own video game-like numbers rushing for over 1000 yards on 7.4 yards per carry.

Another speed demon, Wright posted a 4.38-second 40-yard dash, but at 210 pounds has proto-typical running back size. His combination of speed, strength, and agility have some believing he could eventually be a starter in the league.

As with all rookies, we'll have to see how they fare under the bright lights of regular-season action. Wright has the physical tools, but he has some questions about vision and pass protection that may hold him back.

Lastly, we arrive at Jeff Wilson Jr. perhaps the most over-qualified fourth running back in the league. Another former 49er, Wilson is another experienced wide-zone back familiar with the Shanahan system that Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel employs.

Acquired in a trade during the 2022 season, Wilson put up his best season as a pro splitting time between the 49ers and Dolphins. He rushed 176 times for 860 yards and five touchdowns on 4.9 yards per carry.

Last season saw him take a reduced yet still productive role, rushing just 41 times for 188 yards, but still averaging a healthy 4.6 yards per attempt.

It's unknown whether Miami will carry four backs on their final 53-man roster, but if they do, Wilson provides excellent depth to weather any injury setbacks.

The Dolphins' superior depth is what made the margin between them and the first-place team razor-thin. While they possess numerous quality backs, none of them have established themselves as true stars.