3 offensive tackle prospects for the New York Jets to target on 2022 NFL draft’s third day
The New York Jets enter the third day of the 2022 NFL draft (which begins at 12 p.m. ET) with two remaining selections:
- Round 4, Pick 6 (111th overall)
- Round 4, Pick 12 (117th overall)
The Jets’ day is scheduled to end quickly. After trading away their two fifth-round selections in trade-up moves, they are left with two early fourth-round selections and no picks in any of the ensuing three rounds. Because of this, it’s possible they explore a trade-down to recoup some picks.
Regardless of whether the Jets stay put or work the trade market, it’s clear that the offensive tackle position will be one of the primary needs on the team’s wishlist today. Starters Mekhi Becton and George Fant have shaky durability track records and their primary backups are Conor McDermott and Chuma Edoga. It’s no secret that the Jets can do much better when it comes to their depth.
New York can also afford to add more youth and long-term potential to the position. With Becton and Fant’s futures beyond 2022 in question, the Jets would be wise to start grooming a youngster to be ready for a potential promotion in 2023.
Look for the Jets to consider drafting one of these three tackle prospects today.
Zach Tom, Wake Forest
Zach Tom (6-foot-4, 304 pounds) was ranked as the No. 143 overall prospect on NFL Mock Draft Database’s consensus big board (which compiles rankings from many experts across the internet) entering the draft.
One huge reason to keep an eye on Tom is that he reached a particular benchmark that has been a great predictor of success for offensive line prospects.
As Underdog Fantasy’s Josh Norris points out, offensive linemen who run the short shuttle in 4.47 seconds or less have had an outstanding hit rate, even into the third day of the draft where guys like Jason Kelce, Matt Paradis, Chase Roullier, and Charles Leno have been selected.
Your team should target every OL prospect that runs a sub-4.47 short shuttle
Over the last 10 years, only 24 players have hit that time at the Combine
They combined to start 84% of their career games, including gems like Kelce, Paradis & Leno
— Josh Norris (@JoshNorris) February 28, 2022
Tom recorded a short shuttle time of exactly 4.47 seconds, so he makes into the exclusive club. He’s one of four linemen in this class who joined the club. Two of them were drafted already (Zion Johnson and Abraham Lucas) and we’ll get into the other one later.
Tom has an amazing Relative Athletic Score (RAS) of 9.59. We know the Jets love athletic offensive linemen in their wide-zone running scheme.
Before playing left tackle the past two seasons, Tom was a center to begin his Demon Deacons career, so he offers versatility.
Kellen Diesch, Arizona State
Kellen Diesch joins Tom as one of the four offensive linemen in this year’s classic who qualified for Norris’s high-upside club of short-shuttle legends. He recorded a time of 4.43 seconds in the drill.
Ranked as the No. 119 overall prospect at NFL Mock Draft Database entering the draft, Diesch boasts a 9.75 RAS. He ran the 40 in 4.89 seconds at 6-foot-7 and 301 pounds. Diesch also offers great production after allowing only eight pressures and a 1.94% pressure rate last season.
The problem with Diesch is his age. The man has been around since the days of leather helmets and black-and-white television. He’ll turn 25 this August. That would make him Joe Douglas’ oldest-ever draft pick by a wide margin.
Diesch exclusively played left tackle throughout his career.
Darian Kinnard, Kentucky
Darian Kinnard was the No. 68 overall prospect at NFL Mock Draft Database entering the draft. He’d be widely praised across the draft community as a strong value for the Jets if they select him today.
With a low RAS of 5.31 and lacking team captain status, Kinnard matches the profile of a player that Joe Douglas has tended to avoid, but the value could be too good to pass up. Kinnard offers a track record of dominant collegiate production in the SEC.
In 2021, Kinnard allowed only seven total pressures (including only one sack) over 414 snaps in pass protection. His pressure rate of 1.69% ranked fifth-best among Power-5 tackles.
Kinnard checks another box that Joe Douglas loves: the ability to avoid penalties. He only had five penalties over 2,513 career offensive snaps. Douglas has strongly favored low-penalty offensive linemen throughout his Jets tenure.
Kinnard stands at 6-foot-5 and 322 pounds. He played mostly right tackle at Kentucky but got some snaps at left tackle earlier in his career.
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