The first preseason game has come and gone, showing us very little of what to expect from the New York Jets running backs. Chris Ivory, Joe McKnight, and Lex Hilliard did not play due to injuries. Mike Goodson’s GPS is still re-routing him as he struggles to find Cortland, which left the Jets with Bilal Powell, seventh round draft pick Tommy Bohanon, and mostly camp bodies to receive the bulk of carries. Let’s see how things are shaping up.
1) Chris IvoryThe workhorse, the bell cow, the feature back. The Jets are so confident in their offseason acquisition that this is the first time they are entering the season without a 1,000 yard rusher on their roster in almost 20 years. Due to his appearance many label him as a “power back”, but Ivory has the speed to take it to the house on any play. His only question mark is if he can stay healthy all season and adjust to carrying the ball 20-25 times a game. Barring an injury, Ivory isn’t leaving this spot all season.
2) Bilal Powell
Powell is one of the only Jets running backs to consistently practice in the 2013 training camp. He excels in blitz pick up and can catch the ball out of the backfield. He seems to have good vision but lacks the speed and power to make something out of nothing. Due to the health concerns on the roster and Powell being consistent (consistently average, which is better than most of the Jets rushers) he’s sitting at a personal all time high in the power rankings.
3) Tommy BohanonThe first “surprise” on the power rankings. Everyone was aware of his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield, but Bohanon displayed excellent blocking ability in the Jets first preseason game. Lex Hilliard is clinging on for dear life at this point as Bohanon looks to be the fullback for the 2013 Jets, a very important position in this offense.
4) Mike Goodson
While Goodson has yet to show up to camp, his roster spot is not in jeopardy just yet. Thanks to the entire group of running backs having an entirely underwhelming camp, Goodson could return tomorrow and be the second running back on the depth chart. This is a mystery that no one has answers for and if Goodson does not show up by this time next week, he will slide very far down the power rankings.
5) Joe McKnightAs much as the media and some fans are tearing apart McKnight, his issues are beginning to look more serious than lack of football talent. McKnight has suffered a serious head injury and has proven to be a loose cannon, specifically with the media. While they have pushed his buttons far too often, this could be McKnight’s last training camp with the Jets. I fully expect tryouts for the kick returner spot to take place in week two against the Jaguars.
6) Chad Spann
Spann carried the ball three times for two yards against the Lions. He has a solid 200 pound frame to play in the NFL but I’m not sure if the talent is quite there. At this point he’s looking like a camp body, but with this group of running backs you never really know.
7) Kahlil Bell
The Jets went down this road last year and it was one of the fastest dead end’s they’ve ever driven upon. Bell fumbled on his first touch and never showed a whole lot to begin with. It’s incredible he’s lasted in the league as a fringe player this long, as clearly there is limited talent present.
8) Lex Hilliard
Lex’s time with the Jets is running short and I think that’s something everyone can rejoice over. I’d love to type plenty of nice aspects to his game, but there is really nothing to say. Let the T-Bo era begin.
9) Mossis Madu
Madu did carry the ball three times for twelve yards Friday in garbage time. He hasn’t made a lot of noise in training camp and will have to have a breakout game to get any recognition for a roster spot, a very unlikely scenario.
You really have to feel for Griffin, the poor guy can’t catch a break with injuries. While I was never sold on him as an NFL running back, he was much better than half the backs on the Jets roster at this point.