TOJ Jets Roster Preview – The Ground and Pound

Joe Caporoso previews the New York Jets running backs in 2014…

Our New York Jets roster preview is nearly all the way home. Tonight, we look at the running backs. Catch up with the rest of the positions right here

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Chris Ivory #33 – 331 offensive snaps (31 percent) – 833 rushing yards (4.6 YPC), 3 TDs, 2 receptions, 10 yards

The Jets most talented runner, who if healthy should lead the team in rushing yards and carries. Ivory was probably the offensive MVP last season and is a physical back with big play capability. The two biggest issues with him are his inability to stay on the field and how he is a non-factor in the passing game. Ivory’s was boom or bust in many games in 2013, particularly when it came to his amount of carries. I’d expect a more steady usage rate from Marty Mornhinweg in 2014.

Chris Johnson #21 – 798 offensive snaps (for the Tennessee Titans) – 1,077 rushing yards (3.9 YPC), 6 TDs, 42 receptions, 345 yards, 4 touchdowns

The most established back on the roster, Johnson should bring a needed punch to the Jets backfield, particularly in the screen game and on third downs. When talking statistics, the only number I am confident predicting for Johnson in 2014 is that he will have 40-45 receptions. The Jets will utilize him frequently in the passing game and he will get a few series each half as the lead back. However, don’t expect Johnson to be a 17-20 carry per week guy, nor should he be at this point of his career.

Bilal Powell #29 – 618 offensive snaps (59 percent) – 697 rushing yards (4.0 YPC), 1 touchdown, 36 receptions, 272 yards

The most reliable running back on the Jets roster heading into this season. Powell can do a little bit of everything. His overall usage is going to be dependent on how healthy Ivory can stay and if Johnson is fully healed from last season and has his head on straight on the football field. Powell will have a weekly role but it is likely to fluctuate frequently depending on the game. Don’t write off his value to the offense though. Powell can function both as an inside runner and as a third down back, utilized in the passing game. I’m not sure it is proper to technically call him a third string running back but if you do, he might be the best one in football.

Daryl Richardson #35 – 203 offensive snaps (for the St. Louis Rams) – 215 rushing yards (3.1 YPC), 14 receptions, 121 yards

An intriguing offseason addition by the Jets. Richardson might stick if Ivory or Johnson have injury concerns this summer. This is going to be a run heavy offense and Richardson is a capable NFL back who flashed some potential in two seasons for the Rams. He reminds me a little bit of Powell but is less of a complete back, however he is more of a home run threat. There hasn’t been a ton of chatter about him heading into camp but Richardson may turn some heads.

Alex Green #25 – 42 offensive snaps – 35 rushing yards, 2 receptions, 8 yards.

Outside of multiple injuries in front of him, I can’t see any scenario where Green makes the roster. He didn’t do much of anything with limited opportunities last season and is stuck behind four more talented overall players.

Tommy Bohanon #40 – 371 offensive snaps (35 percent) – 62 rushing yards, 11 receptions, 69 yards

He started from day one as a rookie and had a below average season. Bohanon was inconsistent as a blocker and is average at best in the passing game. He has the advantage of knowing the offense over UDFA Chad Young but it wouldn’t be shocking if Young was able to beat him out. It also remains to be seen how big of a role a fullback will have in the offense this season.

Chad Young #47 – Rookie

See above. Here is a closer look at Young as well.

SCALDING HOT 2014 RUNNING BACK TAKE – Ivory will lead the Jets in rushing yards. Johnson will lead all backs in total offensive yards and touchdowns. Powell will have a weekly role that averages out to 7-9 touches per week. Richardson will make the roster. Young will beat out Bohanon for the fullback job.


Author: Joe Caporoso

Joe Caporoso is the Owner and EIC of Turn On The Jets. His writing has been featured in the New York Times, Huffington Post, MMQB and AdWeek. Caporoso played football his entire life, including four years at Muhlenberg as a wide receiver, where he was arguably the slowest receiver to ever start in school history. He is the EVP of Content at Whistle Sports