Who will be the New York Jets fourth running back?

jets, ty johnson

The New York Jets have an improved running back group. The big new addition of Breece Hall has created some competition down the depth chart. Michael Carter will be Hall’s main complement in the backfield. Tevin Coleman was re-signed early in free agency and is set to be the third back of the group.

Between Ty Johnson, Zonovan Knight, and La’Mical Perine, who will be the one to round the group out? Let’s evaluate all three options.

Who will be the New York Jets’ 4th running back?

Ty Johnson

The one who should ultimately be the favorite of this bunch is Johnson. He has the most NFL experience out of this position group after Coleman. Johnson has great speed and strength. Last season, he had some instances as an impact receiver and drops were an occurrence at times. The 2021 season did not go as expected for Johnson as a running back. He hopes to take the experience gained in Mike LaFleur’s offense last year and now play up to his top-end speed. Johnson has the skill set to create big plays.

Zonovan Knight

Knight is a rookie signed with the Jets as an undrafted free agent. It was somewhat of a surprise he went undrafted and was probably the best rookie free agent the Jets added. Knight has the traits needed to be successful in the LaFleur scheme. He runs with good vision and patience. He can make defenders miss with his quickness and contact balance. Knight can kick it into a second gear and pick up speed on big runs. Lastly, he can help as a kick returner which certainly helps his chances.

La’Mical Perine

Perine was a part of the first draft class Joe Douglas had as the Jets’ general manager. He was selected in the fourth round just two years ago. Now, he is in a tough battle for a roster spot. The unique element Perine brings to this group that gives him a chance is his size and power. His lack of speed and explosiveness as a runner in the Jets’ offensive scheme makes it a tough fit. Ultimately, he does have a chance to make the final roster. It will be hard competing with Johnson and Knight with the 4th RB spot.

As of now, it seems like the fourth running back spot is a toss-up between Johnson and Knight. Johnson has the speed to make a difference. Knight is a young 21-year-old with the vision, ability to make defenders miss, and kick returning ability. As a fourth running back, being able to contribute in a special team’s role will be key for all three of these players as they compete for one job.

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