Michael Nania looks to the film and numbers to review Chuma Edoga‘s 2019 rookie season with the New York Jets. Can he be a high-quality starter in 2020?
Career recap: The Jets, at the time led by Mike Maccagnan, drafted Chuma Edoga with the 92nd overall pick in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft. Edoga, who entered the league following his true senior season, was a three-year starter at USC and spent time at both right and left tackle. He started alongside Sam Darnold in 2016 and 2017.
Edoga was seen by scouts as a high-upside prospect with exciting traits that certainly made him a Day 2 candidate, but a few major question marks that lowered his floor. His athleticism, mobility, and hands were praised, but his footwork, functional strength, motor, and size (295 pounds) were seen as weaknesses.
With Kelvin Beachum and Brandon Shell penciled-in to starting spots, Edoga was not expected to start right away upon arriving in Florham Park. He would compete for the opportunity to enter Week 1 as the backup swing tackle, but the team had the luxury of being patient with the 22-year old.
Edoga enjoyed an excellent preseason in which he allowed just two pressures over 65 snaps in protection, ranking 22nd out of 91 qualified tackles in pass-blocking efficiency. He recorded reps like these two with regularity.
Edoga went into the season as one of three reserve offensive linemen along with Jonotthan Harrison and Tom Compton. While Compton had played some tackle in the league before, he was a more natural fit on the inside, leaving Edoga as the next man up if Beachum or Shell went down.
Positives: Shell had a poor start to the season, and was benched in favor of Edoga out of the bye week (Week 4) heading into the team’s trip to Philadelphia. Edoga started at right tackle in Weeks 5 and 6, and then at left tackle from Weeks 7-9 after Beachum went down with an ankle injury. Once Beachum returned, Edoga moved back to right tackle, where he started from Weeks 10-12 until going down with a season-ending knee injury against the Raiders.
While Edoga mostly struggled throughout his rookie season, he had plenty of bright flashes, especially against the star-studded defensive fronts of the Eagles and Cowboys.