Part 19 of a 32 part series, a running back position analysis of each franchise.
The New York Jets finished with a 4-12 mark. The Jets came crashing down in 2007 after being a playoff participant in 2006. For Coach Eric Mangini, it all starts with defense; pressuring the QB and shutting down the running game. The Jets were one of the most active teams in free agency on defense bringing in NT Kris Jenkins & DE/OLB Calvin Pace.
Offensively the Jets brought in Alan Faneca & Damian Woody which solidifies their offensive line and on paper makes it one of the league’s best. The Jets clearly have a win now mentality and will run the football behind their re-vamped offensive line. Toward the end of the season QB Kellen Clemmons showed what he can bring to the team and I think it is time for him to get the starting nod for the Jets. He is the future of the franchise at the QB position.
The Jets as a team ran the ball for 106.3 yards per game that number will increase in 2008.
- Thomas Jones: 5’ 10”, 215 lbs, 310 Att, 1,119 Yards 3.6 YPC, 1 TD
- Leon Washington: 5’ 8”, 202 lbs, 71 Att, 353 Yards, 5.0 YPC Avg, 3 TD’s
- Alvin Banks: 5’ 11”, 226 lbs. rookie free agent from James Madison
Thomas Jones carried the rushing load for the Jets in 2007. The Jets' hoped the trade for Thomas Jones would solve their running game problems, although he averaged only 3.6 yards per carry. A big portion of that problem was the offensive which has now improved. The Jets did sign Jesse Chatman from the division-rival Dolphins; he is in his sixth season in the NFL.
The Jets don’t have a need to draft a running back on draft day however; if Darren McFadden falls to the No. 6 slot the Jets will draft him. The Jets on draft day have targeted DE/OLB Vernon Gholston or the team will trade down for more draft picks.
The Jets are in need of LB's.
The question for the Jets: Which direction will the Jets go on draft day; LB, WR or QB?