Michael Carter should bolster the Jets running back room in his rookie season after the team drafted him in this year’s fourth round.
The Jets took significant advantage of their draft resources this offseason, utilizing the first four of 10 picks on an offensive unit that was putrid last year. New York finished the 2020 campaign last in both total offense and points — not ideal, which is why much attention needed to be focused on that side of the ball ahead of the 2021 season.
One of the four offensive draft picks happened to be Michael Carter, a speedy back out of North Carolina who could assist the Jets in numerous ways this coming year.
What exactly does the young player expect of himself?
“My plan is to contribute in a big way going into the year,” he recently told DJ Bien-Aime of the New York Daily News. “We have a really good running back room. I feel like people write these guys off because they don’t have the most popular name. We got some real talent in our room and I just think that we all have one goal in mind and that’s just a win. Of course you want to be the starting running back. I’ll be a fool to sit up on this call and be like ‘Naw I don’t want to be the starting running back.’ I just think that it is a great competition. I think competition is going to turn us all into better players.”
The Jets may implement a committee-based approach when it comes to the running back position — Carter, second-year man La’Mical Perine, and free-agent pickup Tevin Coleman could all earn reps.
While Carter is more of a speed back, Perine sports a larger frame and may find time in short-yardage scenarios. Coleman, on the other hand, might be more of a pass-catching weapon out of the backfield.
Seeing production out of the three backs would be extremely helpful for the Jets and their current offensive situation. Rookie quarterback and No. 2 overall draft pick Zach Wilson will require all the offensive weapons he can get in order to efficiently develop at the professional level.
It’s tough to predict how the Wilson project will turn out later this year. But regardless of the expectations you may possess of the team’s new signal-caller, Carter certainly believes in his teammate.
“He will be a great quarterback,” Carter said. “I don’t want to put any expectations on him because then I feel like you guys, the media people, do that enough. ‘How is Zach Wilson going to do this year?’ He doesn’t pay too much attention to it. He just works to get better every day. Like Zach messed up on the field he fixes it ASAP. He’s always learning and trying to get better, that’s something you want to see out of your quarterback.”
Carter and Wilson will work to improve from the team’s horrific 2020 offensive showing, but they won’t be the lone young weapons part of the efforts. Rookie wide receiver Elijah Moore is also now in the mix and so is second-year receiver Denzel Mims.
It’s a young squad, but one that needs to put together at least a promising 2021 campaign to provide fans with hope moving forward.