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PFF gives NY Jets’ Breece Hall a controversial ranking among RBs

Breece Hall, NY Jets, RB, Ranking, 2024
Breece Hall, New York Jets, Getty Images

PFF doesn’t view New York Jets star Breece Hall as a top-5 RB

Despite an ACL injury cutting his rookie season short, Breece Hall has proven to be an elite running back for the New York Jets. He had the second-most yards from scrimmage among running backs in 2023 (1,585), and some believe he has a chance to become the best running back in the NFL this year.

However, not everyone is ranking Hall quite that highly. On Monday, Pro Football Focus ranked its top 10 running backs heading into 2024, with Hall placing down at No. 7.

Should he have been put in the top five?

Ahead of Hall are Christian McCaffrey, Derrick Henry, Jonathan Taylor, Nick Chubb, Bijan Robinson, and Saquon Barkley. Yet, only McCaffrey had more scrimmage yards (2,023) than Hall’s 1,585 last season. In addition, Hall’s 40.5% breakaway rate (percentage of yards coming on 15-plus-yard runs) was second in the league and ahead of everyone in PFF’s top-10 rank. He did so while recovering from a torn ACL in 2022 and running behind the sixth-worst graded run-blocking team in 2023, per PFF’s rankings.

After posting those numbers behind a poor offensive line, Hall is poised to be even more productive in 2024. This offseason, the Jets made vast improvements to their offensive line, specifically adding players who are excellent run blockers.

Former Baltimore Ravens offensive linemen Morgan Moses and John Simpson have come to New York. Moses was the 12th-highest graded run-blocking tackle in 2023, per PFF. Meanwhile, Simpson is known for setting the tone in the run game.

They also added Tyron Smith in free agency. Smith is an elite tackle when healthy and should be a vast improvement over former Jets left tackle Mekhi Becton.

The improved offensive line is not the only benefit in Hall’s favor. With a healthy Aaron Rodgers, the Jets should have an excellent passing attack. That, too, should help Hall going into 2024. Hall led all running backs with 90 targets last season and was second in yards per routes run with 1.76. While it’s unlikely we’ll see Hall reach that number again, he will still have plenty of opportunities to make plays through the air.

In the four years Aaron Jones was the starting running back with Rodgers under center in Green Bay, he averaged 67 targets per season. While lower than Hall’s 90 targets, it would still be tied for ninth for running backs last year. That’s likely the range Hall will land in this season. Meanwhile, we’re likely to see an increase in carries for Hall in 2024, as the Jets should be spending most of their time protecting leads rather than playing from behind. Hall was only 14th in carries last season with 223; that is due to rise.

In addition, an improving passing game will lighten the box for Hall in the run game.

Hall should have been listed as a top-five running back in PFF’s ranking. With Hall outperforming Bijan Robinson last year and Nick Chubb having a potentially career-altering injury, there’s little reason to exclude Hall from the top five.

Other notable AFC East running backs listed in PFF’s top-32 reveal were Devon Achane (16th) and James Cook (24th).

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