After the loss of Matt Slauson and Brandon Moore and not much depth to speak of on the offensive line, the Jets finished Day Two of the draft with the first of a series of offensive line picks that extended into Day Three. by kicking it off with Kent State’s Brian Winters.
There were whispers that the Jets were looking to upgrade their line and that the Peterman signing was contingent on not drafting a guard in the first two rounds. So while there’s now a number of draftees and veterans that Winters will compete against, he’s a player that the team feels confident can contribute to the team early on in the process.
So, Who Exactly Is He?
Weight: 320 pounds
325-pound Bench: 9
40-yard dash: N/A
20-yard shuttle: N/A
Arm Length: 32.75″
Hand Length: 9.75″
Birthday: October 10, 1990
Winters wasn’t a nationally celebrated high school prospect but he was offered scholarships by several FBS programs, including Syracuse, before signing at Kent State.
As a true freshman, Winters started all of the team’s 12 games at right tackle, an impressive feat in any college program. In his second season, Winters played left tackle for eight games as a sophomore but also started four games at right tackle. His sophomore season earned him all-conference honors on the third team. Then rising to second-team and first-team honors respectively in his junior and senior seasons. Winters play as a senior in the MAC earned him a Senior Bowl invitation, where Rex Ryan, Woody Johnson and John Idzik would have had a chance to see him practice back in January. It was also at the Senior Bowl where Winters was asked to try his hand at the guard spot. While it wasn’t where he played his collegiate games Winters seems ready to accept the challenge of the new position. “I got thrown in (at guard) at the Senior Bowl and I feel that was real comfortable for me as days went on,” Winters told Jets reporters over this past weekend. “I feel like that’s where I can excel at the next level.”
And excel he could at the guard spot. Winters was durable in his college playing days, plays with a good base and is a “play through the whistle” type of lineman. While Winters might be able to play at the tackle spot someday, right now his footwork would make him an immediate fit as a guard in the NFL and he seems to understand that already.
While there’s a number of players now in the mix to compete for the starting guard spots, it would seem as if Winters will have the inside track as the team heads into training camp this summer. While Vlad Ducasse has all the athletic skills, his lack of aggressiveness and intuition have been problematic and Winters seems to be the direct opposite. Maybe he’s not as athletic, but he’s got the demeanor that line coaches love and the expectation is that he’d not be a liability on the line.
What I want to see is where they put him. While I have no knowledge of the situation, I would guess that the team will want Colon at the right guard spot and then they’d put Winters between Brick and Mangold as he would be the least experienced guy in the group, but would certainly make up for his experience with his toughness.