After seeing Chris Johnson come in at No. 9 on our rankings of the top 25 New York Jets, the other half of the team’s running back tandem checks in at No. 8. The Jets dealt a fourth round pick to the New Orleans Saints for Chris Ivory last offseason, and they were not disappointed with the return they received on their investment. Ivory faces a significant challenge from Johnson this season, but he should emerge as the workhorse back.
Ivory dealt with some injury issues that limited his effectiveness, particularly early in the season, but he was able to put together a very solid campaign. Ivory rushed 182 times for 833 yards and 3 TDs, and he turned in big performances in key wins over the Saints and the New England Patriots. Ivory split work with Bilal Powell for much of the season, but by the end of the year it was clear he was the lead back.
However, the Jets chose to sign Johnson this offseason, and the division of carries for the running backs remains a mystery. Ivory averaged 4.6 yards per carry to Johnson’s 3.9 YPC last season, and at 26 years old with only 438 NFL carries on his legs, Ivory has much, much more gas left in the tank than Johnson. That being said, injuries have been an issue for Ivory throughout his career, so it remains to be seen if he can stay healthy.
Ivory is the type of sledgehammer running back that Rex Ryan loves, and his perfect for the Jets’ power run game. He offers nothing as a receiver, but that is big reason Johnson was brought in. Ivory has everything it takes to be a true workhorse back, and it would not be at all surprising to see the Jets give him close to 20 carries a game this season.
Ivory was a little bit hot and cold last season, but his big game performances and potential to become the Jets’ workhorse back earn him his spot on this list. Ivory deserves to be the lead back for the Jets this season, and if he is given that opportunity expect him to deliver a big season.
Previously: No. 25 Bilal Powell, No. 24 Kenrick Ellis, No. 23 Geno Smith, No. 22 Dawan Landry, No. 21 Jeff Cumberland, No. 20 Antonio Allen, No. 19 Quinton Coples, No. 18 Calvin Pryor, No. 17 Michael Vick, No. 16 Willie Colon, No. 15 Dee Milliner, No. 14 Calvin Pace, No. 13 Breno Giacomini, No. 12 Nick Folk, No. 11 Demario Davis, No. 10 Jeremy Kerley, No. 9 Chris Johnson