August 5, 2021

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Jets’ running back need likely Day 2 concern

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Jets' running back need likely Day 2 concern

As part of The Post’s 2021 NFL Draft preview, we examine what the Jets might do at each position. Thursday: Running back.

The Jets’ list of needs is a long one, and running back is near the top. The question is whether general manager Joe Douglas believes he needs to draft one early or he can wait to find value later.

Mike LaFleur’s offensive system relies on good running backs. Look at what the 49ers have done with Raheem Mostert leading the way. They love to run wide zone plays and play-action off of it. At the moment, the Jets have Tevin Coleman, La’Mical Perine, Ty Johnson and Josh Adams. They need a lead back.

Alabama’s Najee Harris and Clemson’s Travis Etienne should be there for the Jets at No. 23 if they want to go that way. That would mean not filling other needs like guard or cornerback, though. My money is on Douglas waiting until Day 2 to take a running back, a position that has been proven to be productive beyond Round 1.

North Carolina running back Javonte Williams participates in the school's Pro Day.
Javonte Williams could be a Day 2 target for the Jets.
AP Photo

Some of the backs that could be there for the Jets in Rounds 2 or 3 are Javonte Williams and Michael Carter out of North Carolina, Memphis back Kenneth Gainwell and Ohio State’s Trey Sermon.