Looking at the New York Jets’ top NFL draft OT targets from an analytical perspective
The offensive tackle position is widely considered to be the New York Jets‘ greatest position of need entering the 2023 NFL draft.
And since we live in an era where analytics are growing increasingly prominent in the sports world, it’s important to remember that the Jets’ front-office decision-makers will be taking various analytical anecdotes into account when formulating their grades for the top OT prospects.
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With that in mind, let’s stack up some of the Jets’ top targets at the OT position based on their analytical profiles. We’ll rank six of the best OT prospects in five different stats for evaluating offensive line play.
I chose to focus on the top six OT prospects from NFL Mock Draft Database’s Consensus Big Board – the only OTs ranked in the top 60 on the overall board:
- Paris Johnson Jr., Ohio State (#11 overall prospect)
- Peter Skoronski, Northwestern (#13)
- Broderick Jones, Georgia (#18)
- Anton Harrison, Oklahoma (#31)
- Darnell Wright, Tennessee (#32)
- Dawand Jones, Ohio State (#36)
Let’s hop into it. Which of the top OT prospects boasts the best numbers?
Stats via Pro Football Focus. All stats from 2022 NCAA season.
Pressure rate allowed
Formula: Pressures Allowed ÷ Pass-Blocking Snaps
This statistic gives us an idea of how frequently the player wins his matchup in pass protection.
Here is how the six prospects stack up in pressure rate. The rankings are out of 228 qualified FBS tackles who played at least 300 pass-blocking snaps.
- Dawand Jones (1.19%) – 1st overall
- Peter Skoronski (1.27%) – 2nd
- Darnell Wright (1.58%) – 5th
- Broderick Jones (1.91%) – 8th
- Anton Harrison (2.01%) – 10th
- Paris Johnson Jr. (3.12%) – 43rd
FBS average = 5.07%
Allowing only five pressures on 419 pass-blocking snaps, Dawand Jones not only allowed the lowest pressure rate of anyone in this group, but he ranked first in the entire nation.
Five of the six prospects ranked in the top 10. The exception was Johnson, who was down at 43rd with an allowed pressure rate of 3.12% (14 pressures on 449 snaps). That still puts him at the 81st percentile among qualified FBS tackles, but it’s a far cry from the other tackles who are seeking to become early draft picks in 2023.
True pass set pressure rate allowed
Formula: TPS Pressures Allowed ÷ TPS Snaps
PFF’s “true pass set” (TPS) filter is a good way to isolate plays in which the offensive line and the defensive line have to engage in a traditional battle without any outside stipulations affecting the outcome. It removes any plays that involve play-action, screens, rollouts, quick releases, or other factors that prevent the play from being a true one-on-one battle.
Here is how the six prospects stack up in pressure rate allowed on true pass sets out of 228 qualifiers.
- Peter Skoronski (1.14%) – 1st
- Dawand Jones (1.32%) – 2nd
- Darnell Wright (3.88%) – 15th
- Broderick Jones (4.55%) – 22nd
- Paris Johnson Jr. (4.85%) – 28th
- Anton Harrison (5.62%) – 40th
FBS average = 9.65%
Two players separate themselves from the pack: Skoronski and Dawand Jones. They ranked first and second, respectively, among all tackles in TPS pressure rate. It was by a wide margin, too. The third-ranked tackle (UAB’s Kadeem Telfort) had a 2.86% rate, more than double Jones’ mark.
Wright and Broderick Jones still fared well, although they dropped a few spots compared to their ranking in overall pressure rate. Johnson fares significantly better when isolating true pass sets.
Harrison suffers the most when looking solely at true pass sets, dropping 30 spots from 10th in overall pressure rate to 40th in TPS pressure rate.
True pass set frequency
Formula: TPS Snaps ÷ Pass-Blocking Snaps
The style of an offensive lineman’s scheme can play a significant role in shaping the quality of his statistics. Some linemen play in schemes that make their lives easier and some play in schemes where they are asked to carry a heavy load. It’s important to contextualize a player’s stats by accounting for the type of offense he plays in.
Here is a look at the percentage of each prospect’s pass-blocking snaps that were labeled as true pass sets, and their ranks among 228 qualifiers. A higher rate indicates they were asked to block one-on-one more frequently, and vice versa.
- Peter Skoronski (36.9%) – 45th
- Paris Johnson Jr. (36.7%) – 46th
- Dawand Jones (36.3%) – 49th
- Broderick Jones (28.1%) – 153rd
- Darnell Wright (20.3%) – 214th
- Anton Harrison (19.9%) – 220th
FBS average = 31.1%
Skoronski and the two Buckeyes had the toughest jobs of the bunch, as they were each asked to drop into true pass sets over five percent more often than the average FBS tackle.
Broderick Jones was slightly below average with a 28.1% rate. Wright and Harrison were near the very bottom in TPS frequency, each dropping into a true pass set more than 10% less frequently than the average tackle.
Harrison’s TPS numbers are concerning. Not only is he the least efficient protector of the bunch in TPS situations, but he has the least experience in those situations as well. That could be a problem as he transitions to the NFL, where true pass sets are far more common. In 2022, the NFL average TPS frequency for tackles was 41.8%, more than 10% higher than the FBS average.
PFF run-blocking grade
I generally prefer to stay away from PFF grades when evaluating NFL players, as I think it’s a heavily flawed metric (mainly because it’s too subjective), but for college players, there are very few metrics available for evaluation, so the PFF grades will have to suffice.
Here is how the six prospects ranked out of 228 qualifiers in PFF’s run-blocking grade.
- Dawand Jones (85.0) – 6th
- Peter Skoronski (81.7) – 8th
- Paris Johnson Jr. (80.9) – 10th
- Broderick Jones (71.7) – 42nd
- Anton Harrison (67.7) – 74th
- Darnell Wright (65.0) – 88th
FBS average = 62.8
Skoronski and Dawand Jones backed up their pass-blocking excellence with similar dominance in the run game. Johnson shined in the run game more than in pass protection.
Broderick Jones checked in with fairly modest numbers relative to his peers. Harrison and Wright’s numbers are somewhat disappointing for projected first or second-round picks.
Snaps per penalty
Formula: Penalties ÷ Offensive snaps
Here is where the six prospects ranked among 228 qualifiers in penalty rate.
- Paris Johnson Jr. (827.0 snaps per penalty) — 10th — 1 penalty on 804 snaps
- Broderick Jones (466.5) — 23rd — 2 penalties on 933 snaps
- Darnell Wright (298.3) — 55th — 3 penalties on 895 snaps
- Peter Skoronski (176.4) — 111th — 5 penalties on 882 snaps
- Anton Harrison (107.8) — 184th — 8 penalties on 862 snaps
- Dawand Jones (95.4) — 202nd — 8 penalties on 763 snaps
FBS average = 160.0
Johnson takes the cake when it comes to keeping laundry off the field, drawing only one flag all year. Broderick Jones and Wright were also solid. Skoronski was slightly above average while Harrison and Dawand Jones struggled. It’s the only statistical blemish we have seen on Dawand Jones’ resume.
|Prospect||Press %||TPS Press %||TPS Freq||RBLK||Pen.||Avg.|
|Paris Johnson Jr.||6||5||2||3||1||3.4|
Statistically speaking, Peter Skoronski easily leads the pack. He was dominant in both phases, and his pass-blocking excellence is legitimized by his relatively high frequency of true pass sets.
Dawand Jones stands out as a prospect who might be getting overlooked. Jones is generally considered a second-tier OT prospect who should go in the late first or early second round. His concerns are mostly based on his lack of athleticism and the limitations that come with his enormous frame (6-foot-8, 374 pounds). However, his elite production against Power-5 competition suggests he may have the ability to overcome those concerns and remain dominant at the NFL level.
Broderick Jones has a mostly strong resume, backing up his status as a projected first-round pick. Paris Johnson Jr.’s stats are a little less impressive for a projected first-rounder.
Anton Harrison and Darnell Wright are clearly a step behind the other four prospects, cementing their billings as second-tier prospects.
I’m curious to know two things. 1) What were the penalties that each player got flagged for. Were they moving before the snap, or holding after getting beaten. 2) For the holds, if we add those plays to the pressure stats, how do the numbers change?
Skoronski at #13 sounds good to me.
What happened to Ben Jones being close to signed?
Yesterday a Fansided article had the Jets and Giants making a trade where the Jets trade down in both the 1st and 2nd rounds.
Jets go from 13 to 25 and 43 to 57 and receive the Giants 2024 1st round pick….a trade I do all day because at minimum we should get C Michael Schmidtz but the article had us getting Skorinski at 25 and Schmidtz at 57…Now that’s a trade(with the resulting players) I don’t think even trader Joe pulls off but I’d eat it up.
Very surprised Jones is so well regarded and definitely intriguing. But what worries me is him and becton going out to eat together. Strikes me a poor pair.