TOJ Pick Six: NFL Draft Running Backs for the New York Jets

Dalbin Osorio ranks his top 6 RBs in the 2021 NFL Draft.

With 11 days until the NFL Draft, we continue my pick six with the best ball carriers of this class. We went through quarterbacks yesterday: today it’s running backs, and then we’ll go to wide receivers, guards, tackles, centers, interior defensive linemen, edge, linebackers, cornerbacks, and safeties. The way these rankings work is I will give you my top 6 at each position, with stats, my round grade, their overall ranking on my big board, and something that wows and worries me about each prospect. With the Jets not having a capable starter in the running back room, I think it’d be smart for them to add a bellcow. There’s been a lot of talk about their offense mirroring San Francisco’s, but I still believe we’ll see Green Bay Packer principles, and they have a primary back in the underrated Aaron Jones to carry the load. The Jets, also, reportedly checked in on Chris Carson during free agency so they could be in the market for one of the bigger-name backs in the draft.

Let’s dig right in, shall we?

1. Clemson RB Travis Etienne
Overall Ranking: 21
Round Grade: 1st
Stats: 914 rushing yards, 5.4 YPC, 14 rushing TDs, 48 REC, 588 yards
Wow: the best feet in the class, Etienne possesses the big play ability from the running back position that you want to see from a featured back. He’s an excellent receiver out of the backfield, shows good balance even when defenders square up, and he turns his hips and gets up field quickly. Etienne, at a young age, has already mastered the ability to not try and do too much as a ball carrier.
Worry: Etienne has struggled a bit with pass protection, though it has improved, and he enters the NFL with a lot of carries.

2. Alabama RB Najee Harris
Overall Ranking: 29
Round Grade: 1st
Stats: 1466 rushing yards, 5.8 YPC, 26 rushing TDs, 43 REC, 425 yards
Wow: a three-down back in the Derrick Henry mold, Harris is a violent runner who hits holes decisively. He shows above average skills as a pass catcher and his ability to withstand contact and barrel through defenders makes him a dangerous weapon at the next level.
Worry: he doesn’t change direction like Etienne and his hips are a little stiff.

3. North Carolina RB Javonte Williams
Overall Ranking: 47
Round Grade: Mid-2nd
Stats: 1140 rushing yards, 7.3 YPC, 22 total TDs
Wow: Williams is an explosive runner who has a good mix of speed and power and a Leveon Bell-like knack for setting up his next move. He keeps his feet moving regardless of if he’s being bottled up by defenders, and he is the best pass blocking running back in this class.
Worry: is not as explosive as Etienne, with a running style closer to Harris, and he showed a tendency to work towards the sideline more than i’d like.

4. North Carolina RB Michael Carter
Overall Ranking: 53
Round Grade: Late-2nd
Stats: 1245 rushing yards, 8.0 YPC, 11 Total TDs
Wow: the other Tar Heel running back in this class possesses excellent vision and displays both patience and decisiveness, which lends itself to Carter being a complete back that should be productive in the NFL. He offers more juice than Williams in the open field.
Worry: doesn’t offer anywhere near as much power as Williams, and is nowhere near the pass blocker he is.

5. Memphis RB Kenneth Gainwell
Overall Ranking: 64
Round Grade: 2nd/3rd
Stats: 1459 rushing yards, 6.3 YPC, 51 REC, 610 yards, 3 TDs
Wow: the former Memphis Tiger is the best pass catcher in this running back class, and he possesses great vision in the open field. Gainwell is agile and extremely quick and very shifty with the ball.
Worry: played primarily out of a spread offense at Memphis and only has one year of experience as a RB.

6. Oregon State RB Jermar Jefferson
Overall Ranking: 100
Round Grade: 4th
Stats: 858 rushing yards, 6.5 YPC, 7 TDs (6 games)
Wow: Jefferson is one of my favorite prospects in this running back class as he has really good footwork and is able to maintain his balance even when squared up on. He is a home run threat out of the backfield.
Worry: not sure he could ever be a feature back at the next level.

Author: Dalbin Osorio

Dalbin Osorio is a Case Planner for Graham-Windham, New York's oldest child welfare agency. He is, also, a student at the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College. Dalbin graduated from Monroe College with a degree in Business Administration. A 3 sport utility man in high school (think a mix of Jerome WIlliams, Brad Smith, and Jayson Nix), he joined TOJ in 2013.

Dream Offseason, Version 2: The Deshaun Watson Version

Dalbin Osorio offers his dream offseason for the New York Jets, version 2.0.

Thanks to a dominant performance by the *checks notes* Cleveland Browns, the New York Jets are now assured of picking 2nd AND 23rd in the first round in the NFL Draft. They enter the offseason with a cache of picks over the next two years and they stand to add some more once they trade QB Sam Darnold. As Joe Douglas enters his second offseason, and begins to narrow his head coaching search down, the time has come for the Jets General Manager to find his franchise QB and Head Coach and end what is now the most absurd playoff drought in the NFL.

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Author: Dalbin Osorio

Dalbin Osorio is a Case Planner for Graham-Windham, New York's oldest child welfare agency. He is, also, a student at the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College. Dalbin graduated from Monroe College with a degree in Business Administration. A 3 sport utility man in high school (think a mix of Jerome WIlliams, Brad Smith, and Jayson Nix), he joined TOJ in 2013.

New York Jets Head Coach Interview Tracking Guide

A running list of New York Jets HC interviews…

A running list of the New York Jets have requested interviews with….

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Author: Dalbin Osorio

Dalbin Osorio is a Case Planner for Graham-Windham, New York's oldest child welfare agency. He is, also, a student at the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College. Dalbin graduated from Monroe College with a degree in Business Administration. A 3 sport utility man in high school (think a mix of Jerome WIlliams, Brad Smith, and Jayson Nix), he joined TOJ in 2013.

New York Jets Dream Offseason -Wink Martindale Edition

Dalbin Osorio lays out his dream offseason for the New York Jets in 2021, if they hire Wink Martindale as HC

The New York Jets FINALLY ended the Adam Gase era 20 minutes after they returned to New Jersey following a loss to the New England Patriots in Foxborough. General Manager Joe Douglas now enters his first (and what will, hopefully, be his last) coaching search as he tries to end the longest playoff drought in the NFL.

The Jets have already requested interviews with Colts Defensive Coordinator Matt Eberflus (fresh off coaching a Colts defense that finished top 10 in points allowed and yards allowed) and Chiefs Offensive Coordinator Eric Bieniemy (fresh off coaching a Chiefs offense that finished first in yards and sixth in points scored). They have recently requested to interview Bills Offensive Coordinator Brian Daboll. They are also expected to request permission to interview Titans Offensive Coordinator Arthur Smith in what promises to be an extensive and lengthy search. In this breakdown, I give you version one of my dream offseason (this will be my preferred offseason, unless Matt Campbell really does interview for the job). I will give you free agency signings, draft picks, trades, and all that jazz (using Fanspeak’s excellent simulator). Let’s turn on the jets…
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Author: Dalbin Osorio

Dalbin Osorio is a Case Planner for Graham-Windham, New York's oldest child welfare agency. He is, also, a student at the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College. Dalbin graduated from Monroe College with a degree in Business Administration. A 3 sport utility man in high school (think a mix of Jerome WIlliams, Brad Smith, and Jayson Nix), he joined TOJ in 2013.

Draft SZN – What Type OL Does Douglas Like, Etienne vs. Harris, Seattle Trade…

New Draft SZN Podcast: The guys break down what type of OL Douglas could target in 2021, Etienne vs Harris at RB and veteran trade targets with the Seattle pick…

James Kuntz, Joe Belic and Dalbin Osorio host our new Thursday show, Draft SZN, which will solely focus on topics around the 2021 NFL Draft. In this week’s episode they cover the following:

  • What type of OL does Joe Douglas like?
  • Etienne vs. Najee Harris
  • Would you trade Seattle’s pick for a veteran? Who?
  • What went wrong with Sam?
  • Players who are an absolute “no” for you in this draft

(more…)

Author: Dalbin Osorio

Dalbin Osorio is a Case Planner for Graham-Windham, New York's oldest child welfare agency. He is, also, a student at the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College. Dalbin graduated from Monroe College with a degree in Business Administration. A 3 sport utility man in high school (think a mix of Jerome WIlliams, Brad Smith, and Jayson Nix), he joined TOJ in 2013.

Why The New York Jets Head Coaching Job Is Still Desirable

Dalbin Osorio on why the Jets coaching job can still be desirable without the #1 overall pick

Alright, Jets fans, it is time we come off the ledge you have found yourself on after the Jets went into Los Angeles and beat the then-NFC West leading Rams 23-20. This win moved the Jets from pole position on the Trevor Lawrence Expressway to the dreaded 2nd pick where *gasp* the choice isn’t as easy. There are still two games left for both the Jaguars and Jets, and A LOT of Jets fans believe it is over and there’s no way the Jags win a game now. The same Jets fans who just saw the Rams lay an egg before mounting a spirited come back (that they were one hold away from completing, mind you) suddenly believe that Mitch Trubisky cannot lose a game.

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Author: Dalbin Osorio

Dalbin Osorio is a Case Planner for Graham-Windham, New York's oldest child welfare agency. He is, also, a student at the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College. Dalbin graduated from Monroe College with a degree in Business Administration. A 3 sport utility man in high school (think a mix of Jerome WIlliams, Brad Smith, and Jayson Nix), he joined TOJ in 2013.

Draft SZN: Douglas’ Philosophy, WR1 and The Best Compliment For Mims

New Draft SZN Podcast: Dalbin Osorio, James Kuntz and Joe Belic debate who is WR1 in this class, grade mock drafts and discuss Joe Douglas’ draft philosophy…

James Kuntz, Joe Belic and Dalbin Osorio host our new Thursday show, Draft SZN, which will solely focus on topics around the 2021 NFL Draft. In this week’s episode they cover the following:

  • Grade the mock 
  • Best Mims compliment at WR
  • Who is WR1 in this draft?
  • What is Joe Douglas’s draft philosophy? 
  • One Player, One Take (Travis Etienne & Kyle Pitts)
  • Would you trade back from the 2nd overall pick & build around Sam Darnold? 
  • Dream mocks at pick 33

(more…)

Author: Dalbin Osorio

Dalbin Osorio is a Case Planner for Graham-Windham, New York's oldest child welfare agency. He is, also, a student at the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College. Dalbin graduated from Monroe College with a degree in Business Administration. A 3 sport utility man in high school (think a mix of Jerome WIlliams, Brad Smith, and Jayson Nix), he joined TOJ in 2013.

Draft SZN: 2020 Lessons, Douglas’ First Class, RB Prospects F/ Shane Hallam

New Draft SZN Podcat: Shane Hallam joins the podcast to discuss Douglas’ first class and this year’s crop of running backs and quarterbacks…

James Kuntz, Joe Belic and Dalbin Osorio host our new Thursday show, Draft SZN, which will solely focus on topics around the 2021 NFL Draft. In this week’s episode they cover the following:

(more…)

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

TOJ Podcast – Midseason Pulse (There Is None) Check F/ Dalbin Osorio

TOJ Podcast: Joe Caporoso and Dalbin Osorio riff on the New York Jets at the middle of the 2020 season

Joe Caporoso and Dalbin Osorio riff on the state of the organization, fan base and media coverage halfway through the New York Jets 2020 season…

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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

Initial Reaction – We Wrote This Before The Game

Dalbin Osorio wrote his initial reaction to Jets vs. Dolphins about 2 hours before kickoff. It held up well!

On one sideline stood Adam Gase who, after getting former Jets General Manager Mike Maccagnan fired, oversaw the exodus of former All-Pro LeVeon Bell and defensive cornerstone Safety Jamal Adams. He’s, also, gutted QB Sam Darnold of any confidence he had left all while tailoring his offense around WR Chris Hogan and RB Frank Gore. If there is a deity, he only has 11 weeks left as the Jets Head Coach.

(more…)

Author: Dalbin Osorio

Dalbin Osorio is a Case Planner for Graham-Windham, New York's oldest child welfare agency. He is, also, a student at the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College. Dalbin graduated from Monroe College with a degree in Business Administration. A 3 sport utility man in high school (think a mix of Jerome WIlliams, Brad Smith, and Jayson Nix), he joined TOJ in 2013.