The New York Jets passed on UNC RB Javonte Williams in the second round. They snapped up his backfield teammate in Round 4.
The Jets made University of North Carolina running back Michael Carter the No. 107 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft on Saturday.
The 201-pound running back compiled back-to-back 1,000-plus rushing yard seasons, including 1,245 yards on 8.0 yards per carry with nine TDs in 2020.
Carter combines vision with a quick one-cut ability to burst through the second level. He’s elusive in space with a stop-start acumen to twist defenders into knots. The running back is also well versed in the screen game. He isn’t the most physical back, but his patience to the hole combined with explosiveness allows him to pick up chunk gains.
Carter joins a Jets backfield alongside La'Mical Perine, Tevin Coleman, Ty Johnson, and Josh Adams. Carter could be the leader of that group. He’s shown the ability to produce in a committee backfield, so splitting snaps shouldn’t be an issue for the RB either. Carter and Williams were the only Power 5 teammates to each rush for 1,000+ yards in 2020 (top 5 in rush yards in the Power 5 last season).
Gang Green desperately needed a backfield upgrade after averaging just 4.2 yards per attempt and 105.2 rushing yards per game, both in the bottom-10 in the NFL last year.
The selection continues GM Joe Douglas’ plan to buffer rookie QB Zach Wilson in every way possible. The Jets have used all four of their first picks in the 2021 draft on offense.
New York finally used a draft pick on defense with the second selection of Round 5: Auburn safety Jamien Shierwood.
The Jets later picked another prospect named Michael Carter from the ACC’s research triangle: Duke defensive back Michael Carter II at No. 154.
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