The New York Jets have claimed time and time again that they will be a ground-and-pound team that will play defense and control the time of possession while on offense. However, since the departure of Thomas Jones, their rushing offense has been on a steady decline.
Shonn Greene is an average back and has certainly showed that he has a place in the NFL and on the Jets. But the Jets need more. The Jets need another back that can complement Greene's style, and they must make this addition top priority entering the upcoming offseason.
Jets fans will not see this as an upgrade. They will see it as a repeat of last offseason, when the team made no effort to bring playmakers in from outside the organization.
However, Powell has shown that he is a complete back, and has yet to be given his fair chance with the bulk of the carries. Powell has not shown the home run hitting potential that the Jets have not had since Leon Washington, but he has not been given enough opportunities to decide whether he could be the answer moving forward.
The Jets spent a fourth-round draft pick on Powell out of Louisville, and the team certainly still views him as a young talent that it may look to hand the keys to if Greene does not improve quickly.
This may be the most far-fetched option, but it is also by far the best option. Chris Johnson has had some trouble remaining consistent since he signed for big money with the Tennessee Titans, but it is for that reason that he may find himself on the market. The Titans owe him a hefty bonus if he is still on the roster this offseason.
If Johnson hits the market, it would be in the best interest of the Jets to see if they can add him to their stable. The Jets are a team that lacks a passing game, and if they are going to hang their hat on the running game, they must improve it dramatically. If Johnson gets cut, I would find it hard to believe the Jets would not pursue him. You know they love those offseason splashes.
Additionally, two players who have been in the league for a few years are DeAngelo Williams and Steven Jackson. Look for those names to surface in the offseason.
Knowshon Moreno was chosen in the first round, and that kind of talent is rare in a time when only the best backs go that high in the draft. Moreno never truly got his career rolling, and this year he was buried on the depth chart behind a plethora of serviceable backs in Denver.
Denver is in a tough spot now with Willis McGahee coming off a knee injury. The Broncos may hold onto their depth at that position this offseason. However, this is another player the Jets should monitor closely in the offseason. There is plenty of upside here.
The Jets have tried picking up a running back in the third (Greene) and the fourth rounds (Powell), but if they are going to look to add a running back in the draft, I believe they need to select a sure thing.
Montee Ball has been a scoring machine in college, challenging some of the all-time NCAA scoring records in his tenure at Wisconsin.
Ball is the most complete back in the draft and could give the Jets that workhorse that they have been searching for in recent years. Ball is expected to be a late first or early second-round pick. It is too early to tell where the Jets will be drafting, but it seems it will be closer to the top than the bottom.