Zion Johnson, Boston College, NFL Draft, Combine, NY Jets
Zion Johnson, Boston College Football, NFL Draft, New York Jets, Getty Images

Some intriguing offensive line targets for the New York Jets emerged on Friday

Many of the drills run at the NFL Scouting Combine are considered useless by a sizable portion of the football community, as some of them do not mirror on-field actions that players actually need to execute in the game. And that’s a fair claim. Offensive linemen will never need to run 40 yards in a straight line, for instance.

With that being said, the results of these drills can be used to form trends that help us identify prospects with a noticeably greater or lesser chance of panning out.

Josh Norris of Underdog Fantasy identified an incredibly strong Combine trend for offensive linemen. He found that O-linemen who post a time of 4.47 seconds or better in the short shuttle have an extraordinarily high hit rate in the NFL draft, regardless of the round they are drafted in.

Despite only featuring 21 drafted players, that list is stacked with quality offensive linemen. Studs like Nate Solder, Jake Matthews, Anthony Castonzo, Joel Bitonio, Eric Fisher, Ali Marpet, and James Daniels stand out amongst the 12 sub-4.47 runners who were picked in the first or second round.

Even the sub-4.47 runners who were picked in the sixth and seventh rounds have seen a tremendous likelihood of success. Jason Kelce, Matt Paradis, Chase Roullier, Charles Leno, and David Quessenbery were all selected after the fifth round and went on to become NFL starters.

All of those successful picks out of less than two-dozen selections is a remarkable hit rate. When trends this strong emerge from the Combine, they are worth putting stock into.

So, who in the 2022 draft class was able to join this high-upside club?

The offensive linemen took the field in Indianapolis on Friday. Four players were able to join the sub-4.47 club (times are official):

  • Abraham Lucas, OT, Washington St. (4.40)
  • Kellen Diesch, OT, Arizona St. (4.43)
  • Zion Johnson, IOL, Boston College (4.46)
  • Zach Tom, OT, Wake Forest (4.47)

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Johnson is the most highly regarded prospect of the four. He is the 29th-ranked overall prospect on NFL Mock Draft Database’s consensus big board. Lucas follows at 85th. Diesch comes in at 109th and Tom sits at 213th.

We know that the scheme of New York Jets offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur strongly values athleticism in its offensive linemen – it’s deeply rooted in the history of the Shanahan system – so these four prospects placed themselves squarely on New York’s radar with their displays of swiftness in Indy.

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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]jetsxfactor.com - Twitter: @Michael_Nania
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JetOrange
JetOrange
6 months ago

Zach Tom, decent Tackle, but significant experience at Center. Jets have Two fifth round picks

DHB
DHB
6 months ago

Interesting data nugget, Zion in a trade down perhaps. He certainly looks the part at the Combine but I don’t know much about him to be quite honest.

DHB
DHB
6 months ago
Reply to  DHB

Having said that I’ve read that the Jets are interested in both Allen and Bozeman so signing either of those presumably means McG would move to RG.

DHB
DHB
6 months ago
Reply to  DHB

That would be Jensen not Allen.

JetOrange
JetOrange
6 months ago
Reply to  DHB

Zion Johnson over Kenyon Green, I think so. Strong possibility Jets trade back into the first round from 35 for a third first round pick. THEORETICALLY, 35 & 69 can get you to the twenty second pick of the first round.

dudizt
dudizt
6 months ago

That a remarkably high hit rate for that trend and some good insight. I wonder if there are any other oddities.

Michael, do you have any additional scouting insight with those four prospects? Or will you now do a deeper dive into them?

dudizt
dudizt
6 months ago
Reply to  Michael Nania

Definitely, could have some nice middle round developmental prospects.

hh11212
hh11212
6 months ago
Reply to  Michael Nania

Abraham Lucas has some good tape (you will like him Nania) and has checked the boxes for me athletically. I think you draft him probably top of 3rd and have sit for a year and then take over for Fant. Unless you trade Fant than bring back Moses on 2 year and let him compete to start.