New York Jets fill a massive hole by bringing back Connor McGovern
Keeping the O-Line together.
Welcome back @McGovenator60!!!
— New York Jets (@nyjets) April 24, 2023
McGovern has been mostly strong for the Jets since signing his original three-year contract. He started out rough, as his first eight weeks with the team in 2020 saw him earn a 48.3 grade from PFF that ranked fourth-worst among qualified centers. However, he quickly turned it around, as from Weeks 9-17, he had a 68.7 grade, placing eighth-best among centers. He’d follow that up in 2021 with a 75.9 grade, ninth among centers, and in 2022 with a 69.6 grade, 11th among centers.
McGovern is best known for his athleticism and run blocking. Over the last two seasons, he’s ranked seventh (2021) and 10th (2022) among centers in PFF’s run-blocking grade. That clearly appealed to the Jets coaching staff as the team looks to build around a west coast system that relies heavily on the running game, even with Aaron Rodgers potentially coming to town.
Of course, McGovern isn’t without his warts. His pass blocking has been spotty, to say the least. In 2022, McGovern allowed five sacks, third-most among centers, and 24 pressures, sixth-most among centers. McGovern has allowed 15 sacks since joining the Jets, leading all centers over the past three seasons.
While the terms of the deal are unknown at this time, it’s likely that this is a short-term deal that will allow McGovern to hit the free agent market again soon. That means the Jets will likely be on the lookout for another center in the near future. As such, there’s still a chance they select a center at some point in this week’s draft.
While it now seems less likely they will use a second-round pick on one of the top centers in the class, like Joe Tippmann or John Michael Schmitz, the Jets could still draft a center later on.
Arkansas’ Ricky Stromberg has a 9.75 RAS and is considered a future starter by many in the draft community, though he’s knocked for his size. He could be a fit in the fourth round. There’s also Michigan’s Olusegun Oluwatimi, who is a stronger pass blocker due to his elite play strength, but he is a lesser athlete and has limitations in the run game. He’s also a potential fit on Day 3.
So, while McGovern may be the Jets’ answer at center for this year, don’t be shocked if they look to grab his future replacement later this week.
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