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Tommy Bohanon

New York Jets quarterback Bryce Petty during OTA at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. (Noah K. Murray/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Jets quarterback Bryce Petty during OTA at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. (Noah K. Murray/USA Today Sports Images)

Between now and training camp, we've been looking at some of the veteran players on the Jets roster to assess their potential contributions to the team in 2016. Today, we're going to share the first part of a two-part look at the six players still with the team who were part of last year's rookie class but have yet to make their NFL debut. Which, if any, of these players can we expect to make contributions this season?

We'll start today with a look at the three offensive players that fit into this category: Quarterback Bryce Petty, offensive lineman Jarvis Harrison and fullback Julian Howsare. In part two, we'll look at the three defensive players: Defensive lineman Deon Simon and linebackers Deion Barnes and Taiwan Jones.

Petty

Petty was selected in the fourth round of last year's draft, but most people projected he'd be at least a year, if not more, away from contributing. Petty had an excellent senior year at Baylor, but their offense is a college-style spread. Reports indicated there was a big learning curve for Petty in terms of learning pro-style concepts and terminology, but he was regarded as having an NFL arm and good mobility.

Tags: Brent Qvale, Bryce Petty, Dakota Dozier, Geno Smith, Jarvis Harrison, Julian Howsare, Tommy Bohanon
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Over the next few weeks we will be looking at each position on the New York Jets roster and seeking your input on who you think should stay and who you think should go. Up next, the Jets' running backs.

Overview: Where to go from here? In some ways I am at war with myself. I know the current NFL to be one where running backs are mostly considered disposable commodities. Yes, the best running backs do add value to a team, though proportionally so much less than 15 years ago. I also know that the Jets' backups who are signed through 2016 are not even close to as good as the team's top two runners. Letting Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell simply hand over their duties to Stevan Ridley and Zac Stacy could grind the Jets 2016 offense to a screeching halt. Should Powell and Ivory both walk, this group has the potential to be an unholy alliance of the 1995 and 2006 Jets backfields.

Expected to Return (3)

Tags: Bilal Powell, Chris Ivory, Stevan Ridley, Tommy Bohanon, Zac Stacy, Brian Bassett
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New York Jets running back Stevan Ridley (22) runs the ball during the first half against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium. (Timothy T. Ludwig)
New York Jets running back Stevan Ridley (22) runs the ball during the first half against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium. (Timothy T. Ludwig)

With Bilal Powell out, the Jets were clearly missing that added dimension that Powell had given the team over the past month. It seemed like Chris Ivory wasn't 100% either, as he didn't start and ended up carrying the ball just six times. Whether that was because he was banged up or just because the Jets had fallen behind is unclear. Ivory did burst for a season-long 58 yard gain on one of his early carries, only for the Jets to only get seven more offensive snaps in the remaining 12-plus minutes of the first half, the first six of which saw them throw it.

Ivory ended up with 81 yards on his six carries and was getting worked on for an apparent shoulder injury late in the game. He did gain one other first down on a short yardage conversion.

Stevan Ridley got the start for Ivory and gained 29 yards on nine carries, 22 of them coming on two plays which saw him break a couple of tackles for 13 and then cut and hurdle for nine.

Tags: Bilal Powell, Chris Ivory, Stevan Ridley, Tommy Bohanon
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New York Jets running back Bilal Powell (29) runs against the New England Patriots during the first quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Jim O'Connor)
New York Jets running back Bilal Powell (29) runs against the New England Patriots during the first quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Jim O'Connor)

The Jets opened up this week with a two-back personnel grouping. Bilal Powell started off out wide on the right side with Chris Ivory initially in the backfield but then motioning out wide to the left as the Jets went empty. On the play, Brandon Marshall lined up in the slot and ran an out pattern and Ryan Fitzpatrick tried (but failed) to hit Powell over the top. He probably should have dumped it to Marshall who would have had an easy six or seven yards and a shot at getting to the marker.

Regardless, the two-back personnel grouping was something they used extensively over the course of the game with fullback Tommy Bohanon hardly getting any reps. This enabled them to exploit Powell's versatility and the fact that he's playing the best football of his career, perhaps benefiting from being fresh due to the time he missed because of injury earlier in the year. Whether lining him up wide or in the slot, or putting him in the backfield to pass protect, this personnel grouping gave the Jets plenty of options.

Whatever their plan was, it wasn't helped by Ivory suffering a first half leg injury. Ivory did return, but looked to have lost a step. Powell did step up in Ivory's absence and the Jets also got a boost from Stevan Ridley, who looked useful for just the second time all season while also seeing time with Powell in two-back sets. It's actually quite impressive that the Jets were able to be competitive with the Patriots twice, despite not having a fully-healthy Ivory in either game. They didn't have Powell or Ridley (or Quincy Enunwa or Kenbrell Thompkins) in the first one, either.

Tags: Bilal Powell, Chris Ivory, Stevan Ridley, Tommy Bohanon
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New York Jets running back Stevan Ridley (22) gains yards against the Tennessee Titans at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta)
New York Jets running back Stevan Ridley (22) gains yards against the Tennessee Titans at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta)

Chris Ivory looked good from the outset in this game, finishing runs strong and demonstrating that initial burst which seemed to have deserted him in the middle of the season. Ivory's 101 yards on 22 carries gave him his first 100-yard game since week six. He did actually surpass 100 against the Bills four games ago, only to finish on 99 when he lost yardage on his final carry (which almost happened again yesterday, as he was able to move the pile to change a potential loss into a short gain).

The Jets have been struggling in short yardage situations over the course of the season. Their power ranking per Football Outsiders was 25th in the NFL entering this week. It was therefore encouraging to see Ivory put his head down and decisively drive to the marker after fielding a Ryan Fitzpatrick pitch with two defenders in position to make the stop in the backfield.

On one play, Ivory was cut down for a loss as the safety crept up at the snap. That was unfortunate because if the safety had stayed back, Ivory likely would have been able to cut back and into the open field as the Jets cleared out that side. On another play in the second half, Ivory probably could have made a big gain if he cut back, but this time just powered up the middle for a short gain. He didn't leave many yards on the field other than that though.

Tags: Bilal Powell, Chris Ivory, Stevan Ridley, Tommy Bohanon
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New York Jets running back Chris Ivory (33) runs against New York Giants linebacker Jasper Brinkley (53) during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner)
New York Jets running back Chris Ivory (33) runs against New York Giants linebacker Jasper Brinkley (53) during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner)

Chris Ivory got off to a strong start this week, with three carries for 37 yards on the Jets' field goal drive in the first quarter, including another spectacular run where he broke several tackles. Ivory had 47 yards at halftime, but didn't add to that in the second half as his three carries netted zero yards. He also probably lost time because he lost another fumble that set up a Giants field goal. Also, the Jets were essentially forced to abandon the running game because they were trailing.

Still, that didn't prevent Ivory and Bilal Powell from making contributions in the passing game. Ivory's five catches were actually a career-high, although they netted just 22 yards. Two did go for first downs, though. Powell also set career highs with eight catches and 91 yards, including a 25-yard touchdown on a nicely designed tunnel screen from the slot.

Powell did have a couple of nice runs too, although he only gained 17 yards on six carries. He also dropped two passes, although one - a key third down - was tipped and the other wasn't looking like it was going anywhere anyway. Powell was otherwise a weapon in the short passing game all day though and the Jets are now 6-2 with him in the line-up this year.

Tags: Bilal Powell, Chris Ivory, Stevan Ridley, Tommy Bohanon
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