The New York Jets are going back to the well on the offensive side of the ball as they begin Day 3 of the NFL Draft. With the No. 107 overall pick in the fourth round, the club selected running back Michael Carter out of North Carolina. Carter was looked at as arguably the top offensive player left on the board to begin the final day of the draft and presents strong value for a Jets team looking for more impact players in the backfield. Carter now joins a stable of Jets running backs that consists of Tevin Coleman, Ty Johnson, and 2020 fourth-round pick La'Mical Perine.
So far, GM Joe Douglas has used all four of his picks at the 2021 draft on offensive players. In the first round, he brought aboard quarterback Zach Wilson at No. 2 overall and later traded up to acquire offensive lineman Alijah Vera-Tucker at No. 14. On Day 2, the club used its lone selection on Ole Miss receiver Elijah Moore and Carter now makes it four-straight picks on offense.
At UNC, Carter formed a thunder and lightning combo with fellow running back Javonte Williams, who was selected by the Broncos on Friday. Carter was the more explosive of the two and used as a change of pace back, while Williams was the main cog coming out of the backfield. In 11 games, Carter totaled 1,512 yards from scrimmage on 8.4 yards per touch and 11 touchdowns. Despite that success with the Tar Heels, Carter's 5-foot-8, 199-pound stature could have been one of the main reasons why he didn't come off the board sooner.
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"The best running back available," wrote CBS Sports NFL Draft expert Chris Trapasso, who gave the Jets a B+ grade for the Carter selection. "With Carter, Jets are getting someone on the Gio Bernard/James White spectrum. Small, sudden scat back with good receiving ability in the screen game. Nice juice to New York's backfield."
This seems to be a clear point of emphasis for New York, who is intent on correcting some of the failures the organization had with former first-round quarterback Sam Darnold when he was with the franchise. Upon his arrival in 2018, the club struggled to put the necessary pieces around Darnold and didn't put him or the team in the best position to succeed. As they begin this new era with Wilson under center, it's apparent that the team is making an effort that things turn out differently and they soon rise to a contender in the AFC East.