Connor McGovern, NY Jets, Stats, PFF
Connor McGovern, New York Jets, Getty Images

Connor McGovern deserves some more appreciation from New York Jets supporters

Earlier this week, NFL.com released a list detailing one underappreciated player from each franchise. The list takes into consideration their impact and their salary for 2021.

John Franklin-Myers was selected as the New York Jets‘ representative, and considering he earned a four-year, $55 million extension midway through the 2021 season, I’m not sure how underappreciated he really is.

This got me thinking about who I’d select as the Jets’ most underappreciated player.

I came down to a couple of players: Braxton Berrios or Connor McGovern. Considering McGovern got considerable heat from fans in 2021, I think he has a strong case to be the selection here.

Here are a few stats for Connor McGovern and his rank among the 33 centers in the league who played at least 500 snaps in 2021:

  • PFF Overall Grade: 75.9 (8th)
  • PFF Run-Blocking Grade: 78.9 (8th)
  • Zone Run-Blocking Grade: 87.1 (4th)
  • PFF Pass-Blocking Grade: 68.0 (14th)
  • Pass-Blocking Efficiency: 98.1 (18th)

Jets X-Factor Membership

From a run-blocking perspective, McGovern was outstanding, especially when asked to work within the zone-running system preferred by Mike LaFleur and the Jets.

The pass-blocking was a little more problematic but consider this: he was working in a new system, with a rookie quarterback, a rookie left guard, and Greg Van Roten at tight guard. It’s not an easy situation for anyone to work with.

Towards the end of the season, McGovern’s pass protection improved. Over his final seven games he allowed just a single sack. You’ll remember that Zach Wilson looked more comfortable towards the end of the year and the Jets upgraded from Van Roten to Laurent Duvernay-Tardif at right guard.

This year, McGovern will be working between Alijah Vera-Tucker, who will be looking to make a big improvement in his own pass protection, and prized free-agent signing Laken Tomlinson. The expectation here is that as a result of those upgrades, Connor will have a better year himself.

The only aspect that would give me hesitation in categorically naming him the most underappreciated Jet is his contract situation. McGovern is entering the final year of his contract in 2022 which will pay him $10.3 million, the third-highest salary in 2022 for centers. Only Corey Linsley of the Chargers and Rodney Hudson of the Cardinals will take home a higher salary.

The simple truth is that McGovern is much better than a lot of fans give him credit for, and I was probably guilty of being too harsh on McGovern at the start of the 2021 season.

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Staff writer for Jets X-Factor, NFL draft writer for SB Nation, Scribe & founder of the Daily Jets Newsletter, host of the UK Jets Podcast, husband and dad. Email: d.wyatt25[at]gmail.com
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BigJetsFan1
BigJetsFan1
4 months ago

I like McGovern. Van Rotten screwed his numbers. We have a MUCH improved line with Herbig and Tomlinson. I am very appreciative that JD values the OLine. You are going to see ZW numbers skyrocket as a result. Wait till you see our running game! 2 great running backs?!! 2 really good TE’s?! It will be a joy to watch them this season.

Robert725
Robert725
4 months ago

Yes he is, that is true of most teams. A very important position and vital to a young quarterback’s success! Just extend This season!

JetOrange
JetOrange
4 months ago
Reply to  Robert725

Agree , for Zach’s sake, for the running games sake. Connor has to break in two new Guards ,( AVT new position ). Jets approximately 5 million over the cap when all draft picks are signed. An extension/Restructure could create that required 5 million CAP.and extend CM through 2024. McGovern is currently overpaid by about 20 %, this is the best Offensive System for his skill set. 3 year 30 million contract, 15 million guaranteed.

Jets71
Jets71
4 months ago
Reply to  JetOrange

Would you rather extend him or Fant? I don’t think they can or will do both, maybe they can but I’d be surprised. I’m not at practice, and I only see the guys maybe once a week on a podium. My take is that he isn’t a “leader” in a way a center should be on the OL. I don’t know what it is, I hear him talk and I don’t have a great feel. This is not to say that I dislike him, I just feel a center has to be the leader of the OL. I’ve heard him make comments in pre-season along the lines of, well, Zach didn’t get sacked so the pass blocking seems fine. One thing that really bothered me was when he was taking heat for a blown coverage, that really wan’t his fault. Rather than just eating the criticism he said it was another player’s fault, it appreaded in that case to be AVT. Still at the end of the day he seems paid too much for what he brings. Yes, he’s been a good player but he’s being paid like a top player. I think they can find someone to do what he does. I could be reading this wrong, just an opinion.

JetOrange
JetOrange
4 months ago
Reply to  Jets71

I believe the Jets really like Fant, he is a leader in the locker room, great fit for this Offense, versatile, and is a top ten Left Tackle.The problem with George, is that his performance last year vaulted him up into a new income bracket. Left Tackles in FA are North of 18 million, it’s a tough sign, and probably doesn’t get you CAP Relief because of the raise. George is currently rehabbing an injury. McGovern should be motivated to get a deal done, it could be a win/Win. To your point, this will sound crazy, but Feeney is the guy that provides leadership from the Center Position. Came on , late in the season, second year in the system, cheaper signing. Dan signed quickly, took a small haircut, but signed for a reason, thinks he could take Connor’s job. Douglas has been thinking about the Center position

Jets71
Jets71
4 months ago
Reply to  JetOrange

I don’t disagree about Feeney with the leadership role however he’s not a very good player. Yes, I know he finished strong but too many plays he gets blown up. I agree Douglas is thinking about it. I think they would like to draft a guy who’s the “heartbeat” of the OL.

JetOrange
JetOrange
4 months ago
Reply to  Jets71

Feeney could be borderline lunacy, but some Offensive Lineman develop late. As great as the Jets draft was, IOL was not addressed. Uncomfortable starting a rookie premium draft pick at Center, will watch Tyler Linderbaum this year, but the draft is the way to go.

Jonathan Richter
Jonathan Richter
4 months ago
Reply to  Jets71

That entire unit is really close. Adding Tomlinson is only going to take it to the next level. If they stay healthy, by the end of the season it could be a top 5 unit. Plenty of heartbeats to go around.

Jonathan Richter
Jonathan Richter
4 months ago
Reply to  JetOrange

Feeney was another great singing by JD. And if he took a haircut, it was only figuratively, not literally.

You called Fant a Top 10 LT, but I’m on the fence about that. I think they see Becton as the long term answer there, and Fant does not perform as well on the right side. I would not pay him like a top LT. If he takes a reasonable number I would resign him, but other wise I think they already see Max Mitchell as the future RT, and if He doesn’t work out JD has no problem going back to the draft.

McGovern is a keeper. This coming season could be the best of his career.

Jonathan Richter
Jonathan Richter
4 months ago
Reply to  Jets71

I think that when talking most underappreciated, McGovern is a top 10 Center right now, and half the fan base wanted him replaced in the off-season. A big part of the answer is what his next contract looks like. If it’s reasonable, over time to won’t be a bad deal

Berrios is a 4th WR and KR, who just signed a new 2-yr deal and all the fans love him.

You asked a question but didn’t answer it. I would extend McGovern over Fant. Fant is not a top 10 Tackle at either side. And RT is lot easier to replace than a top 10 Center. Eventually Max Mitchell may be the answer there. However, I’m not opposed to extending both if JD thinks that’s the way to go.

gpapanj
gpapanj
4 months ago
Reply to  Jets71

I’d rather extend Fant.