As we’ve done in years past, we’re doing our Roster Countdown series of posts as we get ready for the regular season. See the full list of players we’ve covered so far here.
Height / Weight: 6’4” 307 lbs
Age: 29 / Experience: 8
College: Ohio State
Background: Born in Centerville Ohio, it seemed destiny had a humorous way of leading Nick Mangold towards a career in the National Football League. He attended Archbishop Alter High School in Ohio where he served as a three year starter on offense and defense and lettered in track and field and wrestling. He attended Ohio State with childhood friends Mike Nugent and A.J. Hawk where he started for three years at center. As a senior he was named co-captain and helped the Buckeyes plow their way to 5,068 yards (averaging 422.3 yards per game). He was named a finalist for the Outland and Rimington Trophies after not allowing a sack that year. Ironically, the awards went to Greg Eslinger, a sixth round pick of the Denver Broncos who hasn’t played since 2008. In Eric Mangini’s first draft as head coach, Mangold and fellow lineman D’Brickashaw Ferguson were taken in the first round to serve as the line’s building blocks. Mangold had big shoes to fill with the departure of Kevin Mawae but the transition was practically seamless and he was a contender for the Rookie of the Year award. Beginning in 2008, Mangold had four straight Pro Bowl appearances and three straight years of All-Pro honors starting in 2009. Last season, Mangold was unusually inconsistent however, ProFootballFocus notes that in the past five seasons he has been credited with three or fewer sacks and his run blocking remains one of his most defining characteristics.
2013 Projection: Mangold had his share of ups and downs throughout last season but more so towards the end. Bent speculated that these series of uncharacteristic performances may have been a byproduct of being asked to do too much which is certainly a possibility given that he is creeping up in age. The Jets took a step in the right direction by adding five new offensive lineman (Colon, Peterman, Winters, Aboushi, and Campbell). Hopefully, with these new starters (and back-ups) and continued improvement from Austin Howard, the Jets will be able to call on Mangold less and keep his legs fresh throughout the year.