UCLA Bruins star running back Johnathan Franklin has received many different opinions from scouts, as guys like Kevin Weidl view him as solely a third-down back, while in league circles are comparing him to Frank Gore. Franklin was a standout for UCLA and had a terrific 2012 campaign, and I agree with Daniel Jeremiah’s assertion that Franklin is a better prospect than Montee Ball. Franklin is explosive, has good vision, and is a hard-nosed rusher who offers far more upside than Ball, who is overrated and has character issues.
According to Tony Pauline, the New York Jets are “very high on” Johnathan Franklin, and Pauline notes that he is a perfect fit for the offensive scheme that new Jets offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg will run. Franklin’s pass-catching ability would be a great addition to the Jets backfield, and the Jets could really use another running back. With Shonn Greene as good as gone, having Bilal Powell and Joe McKnight as the best two backs is an issue.
I fully expect the Jets to invest in a solid RB in this draft, and Franklin would be an excellent fit. He is clearly better than both Powell and McKnight, and he would certainly bring something else to the table in a committee environment. Although the Jets have so many needs that some will criticize taking Franklin in the second-round, running back- talent at all skill positions, really- is definitely one of them. The Jets need some semblance of a running game going forward to help Mark Sanchez out, and I think Franklin can provide that for the New York Jets.
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