The Oklahoma Drill Podcast returns to analyze the details behind the New York Jets’ up-and-coming offensive line.
Douglas, a former offensive lineman himself, has invested multiple first-round draft picks and spent cash in free agency to add new starters in every spot along the line. In turn, the Jets’ line has gone from one of the team’s biggest weaknesses to a potential strength.
Second-year left tackle Mekhi Becton leads the group after a stellar rookie season. Becton possesses truly limitless potential thanks to his superb physical tools and showcased adequate technique in his first year.
The Louisville product is also familiar with the wide-zone system, experiencing it in college. If he can build on that early success while staying healthy, the sky is the limit.
Next to Becton at left guard is 2021 first-round pick Alijah Vera-Tucker. The USC product is poised to thrive early and often. The Jets viewed “AVT” extremely highly—as Douglas’s impromptu jacked-up energy following the section proves.
Vera-Tucker was reportedly a top-10 player on their board, and he is the only player Douglas has ever traded up for in the draft. At left guard, under offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur, AVT should excel on reach blocks when the Jets’ point of attack focuses on east-west.
On the other side, right tackle George Fant enters the second year of his three-year contract expected to improve after a solid first outing. Fant is another excellent fit in the wide-zone scheme and should make for an ideal backside player when the Jets run left. His pass protection got better as the season went on and should only improve with better coaching.
Despite Fant trending upwards, the Jets have visited with free agent tackle Morgan Moses, and a signing is rumored to be on the horizon.
If Moses does sign, how he and Fant coexist will immediately be in question. Does Fant move to right guard, despite not playing the position before? Does he even have the ability? Does Fant become a backup to Becton, who unfortunately may deal with injuries his whole career? Does Moses sign to be the right guard, even though like Fant he hasn’t played guard before?
No matter how the Jets decide to work it out, adding Moses would certainly be a big boost to the unit’s overall depth. The Jets’ current top backups at the tackle position are Chuma Edoga and Conor McDermott, who have both struggled to maintain starter status over their careers. Having Fant as the primary backup tackle would be classified as a significant upgrade.
Joe Douglas has spent two offseasons and a lot of premium assets to fix the Jets offensive line. This could be the year where the investments start paying off. With a rookie quarterback to protect in Zach Wilson, he and Jets fans had better hope that is the case.
On this week’s episode of the Oklahoma Drill Podcast, hosts Andrew, Matt, and Vitor break down every starter and notable backup, provide their thoughts on the Morgan Moses situation, and give their bold predictions for the line.
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