He’s unassuming off the field but on it, he goes by “Breece the Beast.” Of course, we’re referring to New York Jets rookie running back Breece Hall, who was the first halfback selected in the 2022 draft.
Heading into April, many fans believed that the Jets were in a good place at the position after Michael Carter displayed promise and playmaking ability during his rookie campaign. Management likes Carter too, but they couldn’t pass up the opportunity to bring in the Iowa State monster that terrorized Big 12 tacklers the past three seasons.
Hall was 59 rushing yards short of 4,000 during that three-year span and he added another 800 yards through the air — not to mention 56 total touchdowns. As good as Carter was in 2021, you’d be silly not to consider adding that type of talent to a backfield that hopes to run the rock early and often under offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur.
And so, general manager Joe Douglas jumped at the opportunity, trading up to secure Hall in round two. A hefty price to pay for a running back, but fans will be pleased to know that he’s living up to the hype so far.
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Hall Is ‘Going to Have a Big Season’
The Jets did not run the ball during Organized Team Activities (OTAs) and minicamp, so this week provided the first real taste of Hall — and his name was tweeted a lot.
On July 28, ESPN’s Rich Cimini noted that it was a “run-heavy practice.” While the Jets rookie did impress on the ground, he also “made a couple of nice grabs out of the backfield.” The beat reporter described him as a “natural catcher.”
Back to the ground game, team reporter Ethan Greenberg praised his “vision and burst” on a cutback run.
NYJ beat reporter Connor Hughes gave some more detail: “Breece Hall just made a super impressive, shifty run. Little double juke in middle of [the] line before cutting & bursting outside. Impressive agility, acceleration & vision to find the outside lane.”
According to The Athletic’s Zack Rosenblatt, he also caught a downfield lob “with one hand.”
We’re just a few practices in, mind you, but the early returns led Hughes to make a very bold statement on the running back today (July 29). “Breece Hall is going to have a big season as long as [the] Jets can keep games close,” he voiced. “Impossible not to see he’s different.”
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Another ‘Interesting’ RB Prospect Emerges
Speaking of rookie running backs, Cimini had his eye on another at training camp — lesser-known UDFA Zonovan Knight.
“It’s early, and they’re not even in pads,” the veteran reporter began, “but rookie RB Zonovan Knight looks like an interesting prospect. He’s slippery.”
That description is almost reminiscent of Carter, whose elusiveness was off the charts in 2021. Hall also excels in this area, so imagine an eventual backfield made up of that exact trio.
The reliable — when healthy — tough runner of the group is still Tevin Coleman for now, but Knight could push Ty Johnson for a depth role. The Jets kept four running backs on the roster last summer but it’s unclear if they’ll do the same with a bell cow like Hall eating up reps.
Either way, Johnson and 2020 draft pick La’Mical Perine find themselves on the bubble. The more an unknown like Knight turns heads, the more challenging it becomes for either of the two to make the 53-man roster.