New York Jets Training Camp Profile: Joe McKnight

By Nick Mamary
Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

This is the time of year where rookies and other acquisitions are trying to fit in with their teams. In  some cases individuals face being unemployed as players quickly become expendable. During New York Jets training camp there will be a battle that currently is overshadowed by Geno Smith and Mark Sanchez’s quest to be starting quarterback.

While spending his collegiate career at USC running back Joe McKnight established himself as a game-breaking talent. His junior season led to McKnight running for a career-high eight touchdowns. New York picked him in the fourth round of 2012’s NFL Draft. Speed is evident for McKnight, especially with an average of 4.5 yards per carry. He excels busting outside away from defenders, but despite this important trait he faces stiff competition from teammates.

Bilal Powell performed well in spot duty last season behind former starter Shonn Greene. A combination of power and speed is on display when he touches the ball. Powell is unproven as a receiver, however, as he only has 18 catches during two seasons. Two newly added players complete an intriguing positional group.

Chris Ivory was acquired from the New Orleans Saints in exchange for New York’s fourth-round pick. In 2010, Ivory enjoyed the highest level of success with 716 yards and five touchdowns. The Jets now have their typical power runner who gets an increased role. Mike Goodson showed flashes while with the Carolina Panthers and Oakland Raiders. John Griffin returns after being waived last year but will struggle to get playing time. Earlier this offseason McKnight said that a roster spot is “his to lose”. Lack of size really prevents him from being an every down back and relegates him to kick returner, but an average of 29 yards per attempt makes him dynamic on this unit. Given other talented players I do feel that his best chance to stick around is returning kicks and occasionally at running back.

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