Running back was a need

April, 24, 2010

The Jets had been planning to draft a running back at some point in the draft. I wrote on April 19 that the Jets would be looking for one in a lower round.

The Jets traded up to get RB Joe McKnight out of USC, who will once again be playing with Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez.

The Jets needed a RB because they have legitimate durability issues with their top three backs, LaDainian Tomlinson, Shonn Greene and Leon Washington. McKnight is in the system and can benefit from Tomlinson's mentoring right away, even if he doesn't start to contribute for another year.

Chauncey Washington, acquired last December, is the fourth RB on the current roster.

The big pass rushers and defensive tackles haven't been taken yet by the Jets, and the fact that two of the first three picks are offensive players in a little puzzling to fans. Rex Ryan is defense first -- no one was surprised when he took a cornerback in the first round -- but once again the Jets have masked their intentions when it came to specifics.

A few have expressed that Leon Washington will be cut, after Rich Cimini reported that Alan Faneca could be released after OT Vladimir Ducasse was drafted in the second round. In this case however, McKnight could be more of an insurance policy. It would be premature to cut Washington before seeing if he is ready for minicamp.

But Washington is probably on notice.

Jane McManus has covered New York sports since 1998 and began covering football just before Brett Favre's stint with the Jets. Her work has appeared in Newsday, USA Today, The Journal News and The New York Times. Follow Jane on Twitter.



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