Morgan Moses and George Fant will compete to be the NY Jets' starting RT, according to Robert Saleh.
Morgan Moses, George Fant, NY Jets, Getty Images

Robert Saleh declares a competition

Speaking to the media on the first day of training camp, Robert Saleh made an important revelation regarding the state of the New York Jets‘ right tackle position.

Some have assumed that veteran right tackle Morgan Moses – who signed with the Jets on July 2 – would come right in and swipe the starting spot of incumbent starter George Fant. It appears that is not the case.

Staying in tune with the mantra he preached throughout the Jets’ OTA and minicamp period, Saleh told reporters that there will be a competition between Moses and Fant for the starting right tackle spot. Saleh added that he thought Fant had a good spring, also stating that a team can never have enough good offensive and defensive linemen.

Where does Moses land on the spectrum?

Moses is certainly a capable NFL starter, but it is tough to pinpoint exactly where he lands on the offensive tackle totem pole.

In 2020, Moses posted a career-high 80.6 overall grade at Pro Football Focus that ranked sixth-best among right tackles. However, he was ensuingly released by the Washington Football Team for cap purposes and proceeded to sign a one-year deal with the Jets that featured a fairly modest $3.6 million base salary.

What gives? Is the more accurate story told by the numbers or by Washington’s valuation of him?

Washington may not have been convinced that Moses’ career year was for real, as he was a consistently average player over the years prior. Among right tackles to play at least 400 snaps, Moses ranked as the position’s 17th-ranked player at PFF in 2019. He ranked 23rd in 2018 and 16th in 2017.

Even if Moses’ true talent level is only that of an average starter, that would still make him a highly valuable piece for the Jets as they continue their offensive line rebuild.

We also learned that Moses will be wearing No. 78. He previously wore No. 76 in Washington, which is owned by Fant on the Jets.

Could the wide-zone scheme unlock George Fant?

Fant did not have a strong first season with the Jets in PFF’s eyes, ranking 28th out of 34 right tackles with a 61.6 overall grade, but it can be argued that his film showcases a player who was closer to average than that ranking suggests.

Regardless of his 2020 performance, there was a lot of optimism surrounding Fant prior to the Moses addition due to the projection of how well he would fit in Mike LaFleur‘s wide-zone running scheme. Fant’s superb athleticism could be fully unlocked in an offense that is predicated upon asking its offensive linemen to get on the move and work laterally down the line of scrimmage rather than having them work the power game on the inside.

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The Fant-versus-Moses battle is set to be perhaps the most intriguing duel on the Jets’ roster over the next month-plus. No matter who wins, the Jets can rest easy knowing they will have one of the better backup right tackles in the league, raising the quality of their offensive line depth to a level they have not enjoyed in ages.

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Michael Nania is one of the best analytical New York Jets minds in the world, combining his statistical expertise with game film to add proper context to the data. Nania scrapes every corner, ensuring you know all there is to know about everyone from the QB to the long snapper. Nania's Numbers, Nania's QB Grades, and Nania's All-22 give fans a deeper and more well-rounded dive into the Jets than anyone else can offer. Email: michael.nania[at] - Twitter: @Michael_Nania
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