An interesting report from the New York Daily News says that New York Jets running back Joe McKnight could get some snaps at cornerback if it comes down to it. The Jets depth at CB has been depleted with the loss of shutdown corner Darrelle Revis due to a concussion.
McKnight has not played on the defensive side of the ball since he starred for John Curtis High School at running back, wide receiver, cornerback, and safety. The interesting thing is that only Jimmy Clausen was ranked higher than him in the 2007 recruiting class, and his decision to choose USC over in-state school LSU on National Signing Day was a huge one. After all, LSU lost out on a player compared to Marshall Faulk coming out of high school due to his speed and agility.
Anyway, on to what is going on right now. McKnight can feasibly play at cornerback, but I highly doubt the Jets want it to come to that against the Pittsburgh Steelers. I just don’t see how the Jets contain both Antonio Brown and Mike Wallace- or either one of them for that matter. Safety LaRon Landry is mainly an in-the-box safety, while Yeremiah Bell is hardly somebody you want bracketing one of the best downfield threats in the league.
As for McKnight, his crucial third season in the NFL has not gone his way thus far. Bilal Powell won the third-down running back gig, which was basically McKnight’s to lose. He has been more mature than ever this season as he realizes this might be his last chance in the league, and the NY Daily News noted in the piece that he only played in three snaps against the Buffalo Bills. Ouch.
After practicing as a defensive back this week, it looks like McKnight is going to be the emergency sixth corner for the Jets against the Steelers on Sunday. Which means, he might even be getting a look or two at CB. Although that is not known, the fact that they are going to most likely use McKnight as an emergency CB speaks to the disadvantage the Jets are going to have against the Steelers and the versatility of McKnight.
Who is more likely to play on the other side of the ball, the third-year running back or corner Antonio Cromartie? I doubt we’re going to be seeing any “Cro-Packages” tomorrow, because the Jets are going to need Cromartie to be as fresh as possible against Wallace/Brown.
Any predictions for the game? I have the Steelers winning 31-20, but I’m also biased (born in Pittsburgh and covering the Pats). But there is one last thing I want to add, I really hope McKnight puts it together this year. He has more talent than Powell, the problem is that he is just so inconsistent. I can’t help but think that the third down job and the second-string gig should have been his.
Musket Fire is dedicated to bringing you news and analysis from all around the AFC East, in addition to our coverage of the Patriots.
You can follow Joe Soriano on Twitter @SorianoJoe.