The Oklahoma Drill Podcast dives into three potential Jets’ mid-round running back targets: Kylin Hill, Javian Hawkins and Demetric Felton.
Kyle Shanahan disciple Mike McDaniel is well-schooled in the wide-zone scheme. Considering Mike LaFleur is also coming from the Shanahan tree, the New York Jets‘ 2021 rushing attack should feature more wide and outside zone as opposed to Adam Gase‘s mid-to-inside looks with split action.
The wide zone has been effective for decades. The offensive system stretches back to Kyle’s father, Mike Shanahan, who won two Super Bowls during John Elway’s twilight years behind Terrell Davis. (Jets fans old enough to remember the 1990s painfully remember.)
Under McDaniel, the wide zone (WZ) will be the most important play in the playbook, as a good chunk of the playbook will feed off of it. Without the ability to run WZ effectively, the inevitable play-action passes from WZ looks won’t be as threatening, and the offense as a whole will suffer.
Predicated on creating lanes with angles, leverage and timing, the wide-zone system needs running backs with vision and acceleration that can hit the holes before they close.
Throughout history, Shanahan teams have often deployed running back stables with three or four players rotating touches. Most of those runners possess the same one-cut skillset, so the system never skips a beat when a different player has the ball.
Currently, The Jets only have two runners that possess the appropriate skill-set for the system, Ty Johnson and Tevin Coleman, so it’s likely that they will draft another back in the upcoming NFL draft.
With running back representing a devalued position, more pressing needs the team needs to address with early picks, and an abundance of quality runners throughout the draft, the Jets should look to the later rounds to find their next ball carrier.
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Three possible mid-round running back targets for the Jets are Mississippi State’s Kylin Hill, UCLA’s Demetric Felton and Louisville’s Javian Hawkins. All three players have the vision and burst needed to thrive in the WZ system, and all three should be available towards the back end of the draft, making them excellent values.
Tune in to this week’s Oklahoma Drill Podcast for full breakdowns of each player. Continue to listen for a discussion on the Sam Darnold trade, the quarterback situation as a whole, and the New York Jets future as it stands right now.