After going offense with each of their first three picks, that did not stop Joe Douglas from going back to that side of the ball when he selected Michael Carter, running back from North Carolina with the 107th pick in the fourth round. The running game will undoubtedly be a massive part of the game plan week in and week out and going into the season with the running back room that had just an hour ago would have been a huge failure. So the former Tar Heel now steps in as potentially the top head at the position, sharing carries with Tevin Coleman, Lamical Perine and Ty Johnson.
Carter was the 2 in the 1-2 punch that was himself and Javonte Williams in Chapel Hill. By no means should you let that fool you in regards to Carter, though. In each of the past two seasons, he rushed for over 1,000 yards, in addition to catching 20-plus balls out of the backfield, despite only being on the field for roughly half of the offensive snaps. His career 6.6 yards per carry throughout four years and 514 carries shows that in a very large sample size, he has a knack for a big play every now and again.
As a runner, Carter shows tremendous vision as well as the quickness and decisiveness to be a one cut back and more than enough speed to get outside and up the sideline. When getting to the second level, he does a good job breaking off tackles with his elusiveness and just overall toughness. Not to mention, because he is under 5’8 and built pretty well, Carter runs with a low center of gravity that can allow him to just bounce off second/third level defenders. His top end speed is not the best, evident from his 4.5-4.55 40 yard dash at his pro day, but there are plenty of successful running backs that weren’t blazers.
With his ability as a runner, receiver and even as a pass protector, the Jets could have easily just found their fourth starter in four picks. Carter has been compared to runners like Devonta Freeman and Ahmad Bradshaw and getting anything close to their production is well worth the 107th selection. The value they have continued to find throughout this draft should be very exciting for fans.