It wasn’t a surprise that the New Yorks Jets parted ways with Thomas Jones, despite having rushed for over 1,100 yards each of the past five seasons. The more shocking move was dealing Leon Washington at the NFL Draft, even with the concerns surrounding his return from injury.
Granted, they brought in LaDanian Tomlinson to serve as the second back, but we all know he has lost a step and will likely not challenge for RB1 status. That leaves second-year back Shonn Greene to shoulder the load.
Even after releasing Alan Faneca, the Jets offensive line should clear plenty of holes for Greene to run through. They showed last season that the line as a whole, not one 33-year old guard, was a force, averaging 142.0 yards per game on the ground. Yes, he was a Pro Bowler in ’09, but that was an honor that many feel he didn’t deserve.
Second round draft pick Vladimir Ducasse is expected to replace Faneca. Given the team’s success in developing Nick Mangold and D’Brickashaw Ferguson, I wouldn’t be overly concerned.
Greene showed how good he could be, averaging 5.0 yards per carry during the regular season. In the playoffs, he turned it up even more, leading the league with 304 yards and averaging 5.6 yards per carry.
The passing game should be improved, with Braylon Edwards more experienced in the offense with an entire preseason to find a rhythm with Mark Sanchez. The addition of Santonio Holmes certainly doesn’t hurt either, creating a formidable triumvirate with Edwards and Jerricho Cotchery. Not to mention, Dustin Keller is developing into a useful option in the passing game as well.
How well the receiving unit will be, with Mark Sanchez at the helm, is a story for another day. Still, the threat of the pass will help take the pressure off the running game, keeping the extra man out of the box.
Greene is a borderline RB1 for fantasy owners, especially with the presence of Tomlinson. While he may be on the decline, he is still LaDanian Tomlinson and could step to the plate in any given week. That could mean reduced carries, at times, for Greene.
Still, expecting the bulk of the carries to go along with a solid offensive line and a passing game that should take the pressure off, Greene is a solid option in all formats. I wouldn’t use my first round pick on him, considering he hasn’t been the main back for a full NFL season, but in the mid-to-late second round, depending on how things fall, he’s a player I’d target. That makes him more likely to be my second running back
What about you? Is Shonne Greene worth of being a first round pick? Would you like him as your RB1 or prefer him as an RB2?
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