Jets Draft Team Needs: Offensive Line

Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com

The roster is never set for the season in the beginning of April, as the five starting rookies from last season can attest. With twelve picks in what has been stated is one of the deepest draft classes in recent memory the Jets still have areas of need, which we fully expect them to fill between now and next Sunday. Here’s our quick look at the Jets positions of need and some players that might end up with the Jets.  Next up, offensive line.

Click the links to see the wide receiver and cornerback pieces.

Current Status: D’Brickashaw Ferguson and Nick Mangold are the best of the bunch, but the rest of the line is not what it was just three or four years ago.  The Jets might have some hold-the-fort veterans, the question is how long they can go on doing so.  Free agent pickup RT Breno Giacomini might be a downgrade from Austin Howard.  Willie Colon will return on another one-year deal, but the team might be eyeing longer term answers.  Brian Winters was a rookie in 2013 and was thrown to the wolves after the benching of Vlad Ducasse; it was a rough season for Winters, but he did manage better play during December.  Last year John Idzik drafted Oday Aboushi and Will Campbell and scooped up Ben Ijalana off waivers and kept them on the active roster but inactive for all the games … can these players make the necessary leap to justify hiding them on the 2013 roster?

Day One Options:  OT Morgan Moses (Virginia), OG Zach Martin (Notre Dame), OG Xavier Su’a-Filo (UCLA)

morgan-mosesMorgan Moses seems like a late riser, but might be a middle first round pick.  While he can have trouble with pad level at times and with his burst, he’s an athletic player who looks ideally suited to playing right tackle.  Martin might be the first tackle off the board and he is ready to play guard from day one, with potential to move into a tackle’s role in time.  While Martin is a powerful and technically proficient player, he lacks the ideal size and length to play tackle.  Su’a-Filo has the ability to get out and block at the second level and also is a reliable pass-protector.

Day Two Options: OT Cyrus Kouandijo (Alabama), OG Joel Bitonio (Nevada), OG Gabe Jackson (Mississippi State)

USATSI_7757471_110579513_lowresKouandijo was a potential first round pick, but recent concern around his knee will likely drop him into the second round.  ESPN’s Todd McShay says Kouandijo would have been better served returning to school, but that if teams can be patient with him he might become one of the better starting tackles in the league in three years.  Joel Bitonio might be long gone by the time the Jets pick in the second round, but if for some reason he was still there, he’d be a steal.  Bitonio has the potential to be a starting guard in the NFL for the next 7-10 years.

At 6’3″and 333 pounds, Gabe Jackson is much more than the stereotypical road-grader.  Jackson has the agility to use his frame to move blockers out of the way to create lanes for runners.  His leverage and strong hands allow him to grip and drive defensive linemen out of the play.

Day Three Options: OT Jack Mewhort (Ohio State), OT Michael Schofield (Michigan), OL Blake Treadwell (Michigan State), C Gabe Ikard (Oklahoma)

NCAA Football: Michigan State at WisconsinMewhort might not have the athleticism of players taken ahead of him, but he is massive (6’6″ 309 lbs) and is a tough competitor who played all over the line during his time at Ohio State.  While Mehort played predominantly at left tackle, expect him to project to the right side in the NFL.  Schofield has great reach  (6’7″) but might struggle with the transition to the NFL at tackle due to questions about whether his agility could hold up against NFL edge rushers.  While he does have a good kick slide out of the snap and he does a good job of maintaining his leverage through his pad level and has a wide base to wall off running lanes, he might struggler against speed rushers due to limited range and tight hips. Blake Treadwell wasn’t invited to the Combine, but he has strong hands and can mirror pass rushers well.  As for Ikard?  The Jets need a proper backup center who might be able to play elsewhere if required.




54 comments
Marty Luc
Marty Luc

it would not surprise me or even disappoint me if the jets use one of their 1st 2 picks, forego a skilled position and solidify the o-line. this is year 2 of idzik and so far it seems like he adheres to the adage, "the game is won in the trenches". 


the d-line is one of the best in the league. the o-line could be also with a stud guard to go with ferguson and mangold. 


they've already invested $$ in the backfield and brought in ivory and johnson along with 2 QB's that can run if needed. why not finish it off and draft a guard? then spend all that cap money on veteran skill players next spring. 

j_spikett
j_spikett

nothing but A grades so far for idzik. this team is on the rise with tandem of him and ryan.

nickballs
nickballs

so i saw something where people mentioning Jets trading for Morris Claiborne of the Cowboys.....what you guys think of him?  struggled bad so far but i kinda trust Rex with any Def player....maybe he could become something for us...wonder what hed cost

a57se
a57se

OK, let's say the CB's went early and often so we ended up taking your favorite WR at 18 (from Cooks, Beckham and Lee).

The second round has left the following players on the board for us at 49...who are you going to take?


TE: Jace Amaro, Troy Niklas

CB: Phillip Gaines, Keith McGill, Stanley Jean-Baptiste

RB: All of them

DE/OLB: Jeremy Attaochu. Demarcus Lawrence

OL: Joel Bitonio, Cyril Richardson

S: Jimmy Ward, Dion Bailey

WR: Paul Richardson, Martavis Bryant, Davante Adams

jvsvn
jvsvn

I agree that the state of our back up OLs is a total mystery. Until we see the on the field, it's impossible to know what to make of any of those guys. As for Winters, let's hope he comes around like you'd expect a 3rd round pick to do in his second year. We'll be OK if that happens. With all those picks in rounds 4 through 7, it wouldn't be surprising to see an OL or 2. It's possible that we could have 4-6 developmental OLs on the roster and/or practice squad this year. This may be a philosophy thing with the hope that two of them can eventually evolve into starters. Constantly having a lot of OLs in development is one way of managing the salary cap relative to that position.

SackDance99
SackDance99

Given the investment that Idzik put into Winters, Aboushi, Campbell and Ijalana (and the great UDFA signing of Dalton Freeman), I can't think of a less necessary draft need.  I expect that the Jets will draft and sign more young OLs, but this team needs more skill position players with speed than the big fatties, who are well represented already.  Any OL before the 5th round would, IMO, be a waste.

jdawggg
jdawggg

I think the failure to upgrade the OL in FA is right up there with CB as the biggest mistake Jets made in this offseason so far.  Would've liked to add a starting guard because Winters was bad last year and a question mark at best this year, and Colon is coming off injury and is up there in age.  Also would've liked to add experienced and decent depth at any spot on the line.  Not sure how much this draft class can help in either respect.  I'm afraid the upgrades at skill positions through FA and to likely come in the draft will have little impact because the OL will again be poor.   Would love to be proved wrong and see some of last years projects show improvement.  

dabronx
dabronx

Billy Turner? Brandon Thomas?

cosmicwy
cosmicwy

Last time I checked Austin Howard was moving to RG and no longer plays RT.

tish
tish

Ijalana is the one I don't understand. He makes more money than the other depth, very little is written about him, and where is his opportunity to play? Zach Martin would be a terrific pick (if he was available at 18), but he is a luxury given that we need CB, WR, & TE.

harvlis
harvlis

The O-line is a big need for the Jets.  In a perfect world, Brick and Mangold would stay healthy for the full season, Winters would progress to the next level, Colon would be 100% after his bicep injury, Breno will make us forget Howard, and last year's rookies will have become solid back-ups.  In the real world, the opposite could happen.  It has been a long time, since we had a dominant offense.  It all starts with the O-line.  If we want our QB's to succeed, our RB's to tear it up, and our WR's to have time to get open -- I would improve this O-line in the draft.  If Zach Martin was our first pick, I would be fine with that.  It all starts in the trenches.   

Bytor
Bytor

Sorry Bob-o but I think I'd be sad if they drafted an offensive lineman with one of their first three picks...:)

NYCPEinGermany
NYCPEinGermany

"Free agent pickup RT Breno Giacomini might be a downgrade from Austin Howard."

Yes, and Michael Vick may break Manning's record for most TD passes in a season, lead the Jets to the SB and win league MVP. But in looking at the recent history in both cases, Giacomini is a likely upgrade over Howard (albeit a slight upgrade) and Vick won't be playing in February.

maynard
maynard

This year are best bet might be to find someone in the 3 or 4 round, then try and sign a vet who might be an upgrade over what we have once camp cuts start. Then next year make o-line a priority in FA and draft depending on how well last years rookies develop, but certainly we need to get a replacement for Nick and Brick on board soon and upgrade the right side aswell

Bent
Bent moderator

@nickballs  He has been pretty poor so far.  Might have good potential if they can get him for a bargain price, but unless he improved unexpectedly I see no reason to believe he would beat out someone like Patterson or Walls.  In fact, he might not even be a lock to make the team.


I don't know that I've heard any reliable sources mention this as an actual viable possibility.

rkymtnjet
rkymtnjet

I like Paul Richardson, but not in the second. Sadly I don't think he will fall to the Jets in the third round.

Bent
Bent moderator

@a57se  


Does that mean I'm allowed to take all of the running backs?

harvlis
harvlis

@SackDance99 They picked up a number of receivers, last year, as well.  When those receivers were just average, they picked up one of the top free agent WRs.  The O-linemen you mentioned may eventually become good players but, unless management knows something that we don't know -- drafting a top O-Lineman in the draft is a little more assuring. 

Ron Alexander
Ron Alexander

@SackDance99  If your waiting for Oday Oboushi to actually turn into even a serviceable football player I would urge you to not hold your breath. I recall his Sr,Bowl week and the game itself and he looked terrible. I remember Charles Davis and the other guys from the NFL network all criticizing him for his lack of effort and the lack of talent as well. When he bombed at the combine running a poor 40 as well as embarrassing himself on the bench press (I believe he failed to do ten reps, I remember putting him at the top of my "please don't draft this bum list" and of course, the rest is history. The only question i have, and many others here have said the same, is why was this guy on the active roster vs the practice squad all season? From what any of us has seen or read I doubt anyone would have picked him up. As for Campbell, we can give him the benefit of the doubt as he made a position switch but again, I wouldn't hold my breath on him either. Ijalana is a total mystery as there is very little info on him? I do like Freeman as his college career was steller, but obviously he will have to stay healthy and prove himself this year.

Brendan
Brendan

@SackDance99  The team is still pretty high on Freeman, right? I liked that signing a lot at the time. 

a57se
a57se

@SackDance99

I pretty much agree with you except for Brandon Thomas......he would be a steal in the fourth round.

dabronx
dabronx

@NYCPEinGermany I caught that too. Breno is an upgrade, and a decent upgrade to boot, according to PFF pass and run blocking ratings. Also, he is mean !@#$er. I like that.

nickballs
nickballs

@Dr. Johnny Reefer  yeah it seems far fetched.....but i read it somewhere....rather just draft Dennard or Fuller....lets go JETS...draft day cant get here quick enough

SackDance99
SackDance99

@Disgruntled Jets Fan @SackDance99And, the same criticism would attach to a draft pick.  On the other hand, there are always vet OLs cut during training camp.  If the Jets have a need, they can always address it later and they have the cap room to make late additions, which was a problem in the Tanny years.

SackDance99
SackDance99

@Ron Alexander @SackDance99I try to fight the "shiny new toy" syndrome in drafting.  Whatever we thought Aboushi, Campbell and Ijalana were, they are now Jets and have been coached up for a year.  Any of these guys could've improved exponentially making their college tape or senior bowl appearances irrelevant.  Ijalana, for instance, was a highly-touted prospect and was drafted in the 2nd round by the Colts.  Injuries and a "bust" tag dogged him in Indy.  Coming from Villanova, he was overdrafted (like Ducasse was).  Aboushi needs NFL weight-training and to stay healthy.  Campbell has very good athleticism and size.  All 3 guys have a lot of good attributes and I have no idea whether they're better prospects than the 2nd tier OL prospects in this draft.  All things being equal, with a draft deep at WR and DB, with likely great value at RB in the mid rounds, OL just doesn't seem like a good use of resources.

a57se
a57se

@Ron Alexander

Yeah, it was kind of weird we picked the guy anyway.....I was not a happy camper that day.

SackDance99
SackDance99

@a57se @SackDance994th round is where an OG would go, but that means the Jets would be giving up on Campbell?  Campbell's size/speed profile is close to Thomas' and Campbell has had a year of NFL tutoring.  I'd need to know a lot more about Campbell's progress before I used a 4th rounder on Thomas and I'd need a doc to give me real good assurances about that non-contact ACL.  That being said, I like Thomas, just not in the 4th round.

SackDance99
SackDance99

@dabronx @NYCPEinGermanyYeah, Bassett jumped on the "Breno is a downgrade" bandwagon and hasn't gotten off.  Howard is 2 years younger, but his play was not better than a healthy Breno's.  In the long run, maybe Howard would exceed Breno, but that isn't a given.

NYCPEinGermany
NYCPEinGermany

@SackDance99 @Ron AlexanderI also think that the notion that OL is a big need for us is far-fetched. We've invested a lot in several young players and the 2nd-tier guys in the draft are just more of the same crap-shoot. 


With 12 picks I'm all for drafting more OL, but late in the draft. All I keep hearing hearing is what a deep draft class this is for WR & CB - both of which happen to be areas of need for us. Draft me some WRs & CBs, then, dammit!

williamg1
williamg1

@SackDance99 @jdawggg @Ron Alexander  We are a Colon injury from our line being a total mess. The fact that rookies from last year didn't even dress for games should give everyone pause. No way anyone should assume they are pro ready. I wouldn't be surprised if Aboushi and/or Campbell are cut in camp. 

jdawggg
jdawggg

@SackDance99 @Ron Alexander  It's true a new drafted player won't necessarily be better than last year's additions, and last year's have been coached for a year.  But the best way to find out is through some competition.  Last year's added OL players didn't put on a uniform after preseason, so while they may have improved, there's no reason to assume they did.  With the plethora of picks this year, would make sense to add competition at OL, where we have poor depth unless some young players pan out.  

a57se
a57se

@SackDance99 @a57se 

Well, we've only been tied to three RB's......Carlton Koonce, Dri Archer and 
Andre Williams.

Koonce and Archer are both 3rd down type guys and Williams is like Shonn Greene.

None of these guys fit the mold that you and I have talked about for MM's offense.

a57se
a57se

@SackDance99

Have you looked at the RB's the Jets have shown interest in?

a57se
a57se

@SackDance99 @a57se 

I think you may be right...for some reason I got it into my head he was being discussed as a first rounder, albeit late first....

He did play Tackle in COllege but fits better at G for the NFL.....

OK, I guess the 4th would definitely be too early for the guy with an injury......

SackDance99
SackDance99

@a57se @SackDance99So, that means you don't think Campbell will pan out?  Also, I never saw Thomas as a potential 1st rounder.  He was in the 2nd-3rd round conversation.  Plus, I'm kind of old school and don't think an OG should be drafted in the 1st round, especially when most good ones are drafted later.

a57se
a57se

@SackDance99  

Gotta figure Colon will be moving on unless we have no one to take his place.....

a57se
a57se

@SackDance99 @a57se 

Before getting injured, Thomas was considered a first round pick.......I'm just looking at the value and potential upside of IR'ing him for the year then in 2015 adding another stud.

a57se
a57se

@SackDance99

I think playing wise, Giacomini is probably an upgrade over Howard as he better fits a ZBS......I just hope he cures the penalty issue as that can negate the better all-around play.