One of the Jets most interesting position battles to keep an eye on during training camp will be fullback. Last year John Conner was the top power option out of the backfield to start the season. Conner, a fifth round draft pick by Gang Green back in 2010, began the season as the starter but was eventually waived by the team after struggling with an MCL strain and a hamstring injury. Lex Hilliard was signed to fill the void left by Conner and should be considered the favorite heading into camp.
Position Battles: Fullback
FRONT RUNNER: Lex Hilliard
Hilliard was brought on in 2012 to replace the injured Conner at fullback. After a productive season that impressed the Jets' brass, Hilliard was re-signed this past March to continue serving the Jets' backfield. With Hilliard returning for 2013, his experience makes him the most likely option to resume the position that he played all of last season. In order to excel at fullback, players need to be comfortable in a variety of situations. Players must be able to block linemen much bigger than them, run between the tackles to gain important yardage for first downs and catch the ball off screen passes and short routes. Hilliard proved that he could do all those things and bring an added grit and intensity onto the playing field. Hilliard proved that he could catch passes when he played in Miami, notching just over seven yards per reception under the tutelage of Tony Sparano. Look for him to be the favorite to start Week 1.
In the Hunt: Tommy Bohanon
Tommy Bohanon is not a name that many people have heard coming out of Jets' training camp. The young fullback has all the tools necessary for success. His strength was enough to lead all NFL rookie backs at the Scouting Combine in the bench press, where he recorded 36 reps at 225 lbs. He also has experience playing both halfback and fullback and adds an added versatility that Hilliard does not. It's worth noting that Hilliard is on a one-year deal. Should the Jets not choose to pursue him at the end of 2013, Bohanon could see a plethora of snaps towards the end of the season. This would provide stability to the fullback position and give him valuable experience to take over the position in 2014.