New York Jets: The case for Bilal Powell as the every down back

NEW ORLEANS, LA - DECEMBER 17: Bilal Powell(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, LA - DECEMBER 17: Bilal Powell(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) /

Instead of looking for running back help, maybe the New York Jets should just give the ball to Bilal  Powell.

The New York Jets have a lot of holes to fill this offseason. Between free agency and the draft there is work to do. There is the big elephant at the room at quarterback, the edge rusher, the offensive line, cornerback and more. The Combine begins on Friday from Indianapolis. Mike Maccagnan and his team will be working hard to find the players that the Jets need to succeed in 2018 and beyond.

The first day of the Combine features the running back class. Saquon Barkley and friends will be taking the field, looking to impress the NFL and show they are deserving of hearing their names called in the NFL draft. The Jets, picking at number six or higher if they decide to trade up, will be in position to take a dynamic running back if they choose to. They also could potentially afford Le’Veon Bell or other free agents.

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Matt Forte is likely to be cut, frankly it’s just about guaranteed. Do the Jets need a new lead running back or do they already have one? They may already have one.

Our good friend Joe Caporoso from Turn On The Jets puts out his famous 12 packs each week to talk about situations, concerns, issues and anything else regarding the Jets.

This week he talked about 12 encouraging stats surrounding the team. Joe located an interesting stat related to a fan favorite running back, Bilal Powell. Take a look:

"Over the past two seasons Bilal Powell has only received 19 or more carries four times. In those four games his rushing totals were: 145 yards, 122 yards, 163 yards and 145 yards. Powell had the 16th highest elusive rating in the NFL via PFF and was 1st in the NFL in Breakaway Percentage. Of all backs with 175 carries or more, Powell ranked 9th in yards per carry at 4.3. Of all backs with 175 carries or more, Powell had the fourth most runs of 20 yards or longer."

Very, very interesting. Powell has been better than probably many of us thought. So why not get him the ball more often? Are they concerned about his 5-11 stature? If that were truly an issue he wouldn’t be able to take the pounding he already does. He is used in the passing game to the tune of over 27 receptions per season. Despite not being the lead runner he does take a pounding.

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The Jets could add a running back and a good one at that. Why should they? As Joe likes to say just give the ball to Powell. Spend the resources where they are needed. You know the positions, Jets fans. Quarterback is only the tip of the iceberg. There is enough work to do that they don’t have to add running back to the mix, other than for depth.