After the opening night of the NFL draft, it was revealed that the New York Jets had a top-eight grade on all three of their 2022 first-round selections.
The Athletic’s Connor Hughes relayed the information from general manager Joe Douglas, as the Jets landed three top-eight players on their draft board.
Yesterday (May 2) on the Rich Eisen Show, Douglas leaked some more behind-the-scenes knowledge on their board, and where running back Breece Hall ranked. Let’s just say, if the Jets are correct, they landed four top-20 prospects in 2022.
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Douglas Tells Eisen Jets Had Hall Ranked 18th
During the interview with Eisen, the GM first discussed the fortunate fall of defensive end Jermaine Johnson II.
“You catch yourself maybe asking a question like — what’s going on? How’s this happening?” Douglas said regarding Johnson. “We felt so good about this person on and off the field… we couldn’t have had a better visit with Jermaine and so we’re just sitting there and we can’t believe this is happening but it’s like okay — we’re going to get this done.”
That led straight into the second trade-up for Hall, who Douglas and his staff were also ecstatic to land.
“I wish I could tell you there’s some magic trick or special sauce, it was just us following our board,” Douglas explained. “Breece was our 18th-rated player, and it was like — this is an opportunity to get one of the more dynamic players in the draft; the best running back in the draft. Pair him with some pretty talented running backs in the room currently.”
Douglas went on to add that the staff feels like they have “one of the more elusive backfield tandems in the league now” between Michael Carter and Hall.
The GM described his new ballcarrier: “His ability to not only score from any point of the field getting the ball handed to him but also a dynamic threat in the pass game, really natural ball skills, can cut on a dime, can make people miss, and his juice and acceleration to daylight — it’s as good as any back.”
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Positional Value Dropped Hall
We see it every year, running backs typically don’t get drafted in round one and if they do, they’re considered can’t-miss prospects. Hall was the first off the board at his position and ranked first by most analysts — or at the very least second behind Kenneth Walker.
Positional value drops RBs due to the shorter shelf-life of the job, but they generally have a much quicker impact on wins and losses. Hall should start alongside Carter in Week 1 and for all intents and purposes, he’s basically a fourth first-round pick without the contract.
Hall is also young, turning 21 on May 31. There is no reason he and Carter cannot be the NYJ backfield tag team for years to come.
The Iowa State product rushed for over 1,550 yards his sophomore season (2020) and over 1,450 yards in the 2021 encore. Both campaigns finished with over 1,750 scrimmage yards.
Michael Nania of Jets X-Factor noted that “Hall ranked third among FBS running backs with 90 missed tackles forced in the 2021 college football season.” Carter led the NFL in missed tackles forced per touch as a rookie.
This pair should be fun to watch in Mike LaFleur’s outside-zone system. When you add Laken Tomlinson to the mix at guard and consider that Alijah Vera-Tucker should continue to grow in year two — not to mention, hopefully, a healthy Mekhi Becton — this could be a scary Jets rushing attack in 2022.