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Why the Jets Don't Have to Go Running Back Early

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I've seen a lot of Jets fans (both here and on other sites) say the Jets need to make taking a running back to replace Thomas Jones early in the Draft a priority. The rationales vary. Some say Shonn Greene and Leon Washington's injury concerns make it a necessity. Others say the team needs to have three backs because it relies so heavily on the run game. These are valid concerns, but I have to disagree with those who say the team absolutely has to go with a running back with one of its first two picks in the Draft. My reason? This list.

Ryan Grant

Frank Gore

Jamaal Charles

Fred Jackson

Michael Turner

Steve Slaton

Brandon Jacobs

Derrick Ward

Brian Westbrook

Willie Parker

Justin Fargas

Le'ron McClain

Marion Barber

Kevin Smith

What do those guys have in common? All have at least one 900 yard season since 2007. None of them went in the first two rounds. Earnest Graham missed by 2 yards. If Jerome Harrison had another game, he probably would have made it also. It doesn't include talented backs who split carries like Pierre Thomas and Ahmad Bradshaw. It's not hard to find a quality back later in the Draft. Considering the needs on this team, adding a back would almost be a waste. The current stable of backs and run blocking on the offensive line are excellent.

I could live with a guy like C.J. Spiller. I wouldn't necessarily agree with the pick, but he's a gamebreaker. Can never have too many of those. Short of that, I think the Jets should go in another direction.