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.
Position: Offensive Line
Height / Weight: 6’7” 308 lbs
Age: 22 / Experience: R
College: South Florida
Background: Popek attended Plant City High School in Florida and was named 5A second-team all-state team. As a freshman in 2008, Popek redshirted and then in his next year with the team, was named to the All-Big East Freshman starting five of the team’s last six games and appearing in 12. In his next season, Popek spot-started again but was named a full starter as a junior at the left tackle spot and led the Big East in sacks allowed, giving up just 1.3 a game. Popek was listed in the 2012 Outland Trophy Watch List, but missed time due to an ankle injury during the course of the season starting games at both tackle and guard.
2013 Projection: Popek is going to be in for a challenge since the team drafted three potential players in the same poitional group as well as added two veterans. Popek has promise and the Jets seem to be placing a higher value on backups who can be swing players … playing multiple spots on the line. Popek most definitely has that skillset but is used to playing at the collegiate level at the left tackle and playing well in that spot. Popek might be a player that the Jets look to stow on the practice squad during his first season should be not be able to crack the top 53 during cutdowns.