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Over the next few weeks, we're going to break down each position in terms of which players are fighting for those final roster spots. Who is in danger of being cut? Who has a chance to earn themselves a bigger role? We start with a look at the running back position.
Probable roster locks
Anything is possible, but the expectation heading to camp is that Bilal Powell and Isaiah Crowell will assume the top two spots. Powell is the incumbent veteran and a Todd Bowles favorite, so he's certainly expected to at least begin camp as the No. 1.
As for Crowell, he was specifically targeted in the offseason because of his durability and consistent production, so it would be extremely surprising to see him edged aside for a collection of players who've all had issues staying healthy in the past.
Nevertheless, both Powell and Crowell have reasonable contracts that could theoretically allow them to be released or traded if someone else unexpectedly steps up. However, assume those two will most likely have big roles.
In the competition
The Jets like to give their draft picks every opportunity to become full-time contributors, which is good news for Elijah McGuire and Trenton Cannon's roster chances.
McGuire, a sixth-round pick in 2017, had one big game as a rookie against the Jaguars, but otherwise only flashed intermittently. He has a ton of untapped potential, though, especially in the passing game.
Last week, running backs coach Stump Mitchell compared McGuire to Hall of Famer LaDainian Tomlinson, which has to be a good sign for the strength of his current hold on a roster spot. However, he wouldn't the first player in the Bowles era to head into camp with high expectations only to fall back into the pack.
It might be too soon for Cannon, a seventh-round rookie, to be able to take on a major offensive role, but his special teams abilities give him another route onto the roster. Perhaps the Jets will be able to carry an extra running back and one fewer receiver if Cannon wins that job. He was a dynamic kick returner in college, but he's still a work-in-progress at fielding punts.
If Cannon makes the team as a returner, he has some playmaking ability that might make the team eager to put together a package of plays to enable him to showcase his abilities in space.
Of all the backs currently on the roster, Thomas Rawls is probably the most likely to be cut, even though he has plenty of experience and some success at the NFL level. Rawls had a great rookie year, but his production has fallen off as he's been banged up over the past few seasons. If he could be back to 100 percent healthy, perhaps he can be as effective as he was earlier on in his career. However, his career path is reminiscent of players like Bernard Pierce and Shonn Greene, who were unable to make that happen.
Rawls would not be eligible for the practice squad, but either McGuire or Cannon could be if they are beaten out and manage to clear waivers.
Running back is certainly a position where the Jets could bring in some players temporarily if anyone gets hurt in camp. Someone is going to need to carry the ball in preseason and they won't want to overtax their main contributors. These could be more of the "camp body" types, perhaps coming from small, local schools. If any of these show any promise, they could have a shot at a practice squad spot.
The fullback battle
There could also be a good battle at the fullback position. Mitchell puts a lot of stock into the position based on last year's comments, but converted defensive lineman Lawrence Thomas was inconsistent after having switched to the offensive side of the ball.
Undrafted free agent Dimitri Flowers has great versatility, is a more dynamic pass catching threat and can also be a short yardage back. He's probably also a more polished blocker than Thomas, so has a realistic chance of beating him out.
However, if neither contender excels enough to take the job, the Jets could instead opt to peruse the waiver wire or even save a roster spot by just using their tight ends in that role from time to time.