Andrew Fialkow with a breakdown of New York Jets positional group at running back…
Projected Depth Chart
- Le’Veon Bell
- Ty Montgomery
- Bilal Powell
- Elijah McGuire
- Trenton Cannon
This group is much improved from last year as McGuire/Crowell were the first string RB’s last year. Le’Veon Bell was undoubtedly a top five NFL running back in his last couple years for the Steelers. He has averaged 129.0 yards from scrimmage/game in his career which is just one stat that demonstrates his game changing ability. Bell will have a lot of eyes on him after taking off a whole year though, and the Jets may need to ease him back in to 20-25 touches a game. Two things bode well in the Jets favor if Bell does indeed easing into. Montgomery was a great signing as he will help not only in the running game but as a pass catcher to spell Bell as well. He provides good versatility as he can be used out wide if needed. Montgomery has had some trouble with injuries, he has only played 21 games in the last two seasons. He still has amounted 107 receptions over his four NFL seasons, proving how valuable he has been out of the backfield.
The second thing that can alleviate some of the pressure from Bell can be the resigning of Bilal Powell. Although he is 30 and coming off of a close to career ending injury, if healthy he will excel as a 3rd string back. It really helps to have these 2 backs that have had starting experience to back up Bell.
Final Thoughts: This group will help Sam Darnold a lot compared to last years RB group which averaged a modest 3.7 YPC last year. Bell himself has averaged 4.3 YPC throughout his career. The mere threat of Bell as a player that can run and catch out of the backfield will help Darnold progress. Last year was tough on Darnold for lots of reasons but a major one being due to the lack of talent surrounding him. Now, with Bell and a revamped RB group/offense, the sky’s the limit for Darnold. This group provides lots of depth and versatility as all of the backs (maybe not McGuire) are good to great pass-catchers. The only downside I see from this group is the overall age with Mcguire being the only one 25 or younger. That argument can be disputed with the fact that Bell, while 27, is fresh after taking a whole year off. Overall, the potential of this group will live and die on Bell’s performance, and if he can easily transition back onto the football field.