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Cale Clinton, the author of the chapter previewing the Jets, answered five of my questions about Football Outsiders’ projections for the team. To this point they have focused on the young core playmakers on offense. We began with Zach Wilson. Then we moved to wide receivers Elijah Moore and Garrett Wilson.
The next logical place to go is another young skill player with a high ceiling. What can we expect from Breece Hall? Here’s what Cale had to say.
How high should hopes be for Breece Hall?
High. Darn high. Breece Hall was our top running back headed into this year’s draft class, and for good reason. His processing ability leads to this methodical, cut-heavy style of play that, when combined with his athletic ability, can set up big-play opportunities on the ground. Running behind this improved offensive line, Hall is going to be set up for success. Even on blown blocks, though, his ability to read a defense as it unfolds helps mask a lot of those mistakes. On top of that, Hall put up an additional 36 receptions for 302 yards and three touchdowns in his junior year at Iowa State.
I think the biggest impact Hall makes to the Jets run game is simply his ability to be a workhorse lead back. While he did put up a solid rookie season, Michael Carter could not stay on the field because his 5-foot-8 frame couldn’t take the beating. At 5-foot-11 and 217 pounds, Hall is much better suited to take those reps. That alone has a trickle-down effect that helps the whole rushing offense. If Carter is the 40 in a 60-40 split, he’d be much more effective in the carries he takes. That frees up Ty Johnson to take on a more specialized role as a passing back.
Cale kind of loses me with the making Ty Johnson a specialized passing back thing at the end, but aside from that I am with him.
If you have followed by writings or podcastings since the Draft, you know I believe Hall is a special talent. There aren't many backs who are legitimate difference makers in this league, but I think the rookie from Iowa State has all of the tools necessary to be one. He should make Zach Wilson’s life easier immediately and be a focal point on the offense.
My view isn't that Michael Carter lacks the tools to be a lead back. I think he is now an overqualified change of pace back who should be part of an excellent 1-2 punch with Hall.