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NY Jets C Joe Tippmann’s analytics scream ‘Day 1 starter’

Joe Tippmann, NY Jets, Wisconsin
Joe Tippmann, New York Jets, Getty Images, Jet X Graphic

Joe Tippmann should win the New York Jets’ starting center job right away

The center position was a glaring need for the New York Jets entering the 2023 NFL draft. Sure, the need was made less glaring by the Jets’ late-April re-signing of incumbent starting center Connor McGovern, but considering McGovern’s contract included just $1.25 million in guarantees, it was clear the Jets were not satisfied with McGovern as their primary option at center going into the 2023 season.

Fortunately, this draft featured a strong center class, and the Jets were positioned in the perfect spot to land one with the 43rd overall pick. Many people expected the Jets to attack the center position with that selection.

While the Jets did not match anyone’s expectations with their first-round pick – shocking Jets fans by taking edge rusher Will McDonald – they adhered to the script in round two, selecting Wisconsin’s Joe Tippmann at No. 43 to make him the first center off the board.

Let’s dig into Tippmann’s analytical profile, learning more about his strengths, weaknesses, schematic experience, and more. Tippmann boasts an intriguing profile that suggests he has a high chance of being the Jets’ Week 1 starting center.


Unfortunately, Tippmann did not participate in any drills at the combine or at his pro day, so his measurements are the only data we have available on his physical attributes. Here is a look at Tippmann’s measurements and how they compare all-time among centers at the combine:

  • Height: 6’6″ (97th percentile)
  • Weight: 313 pounds (88th percentile)
  • Wingspan: 80⅜” (80th percentile)
  • Arm length: 32¾” (50th percentile)
  • Hand size: 10¾” (97th percentile)

Tippmann is a giant for the center position. He’s about three inches taller than the average center, he has ample weight to match his height, and his hands are enormous. Tippmann’s arms are the average length for a center, but due to his height and broad build, his wingspan is still well above average, giving him great reach for the position.

Despite his unusually large frame, Tippmann moves very smoothly for a man his size. He likely would’ve shined in the agility and speed drills if he partook.


Tippmann played 1,445 of his 1,456 career snaps at center. He played 11 snaps at right guard as a redshirt freshman in 2020 but played all of his snaps at center over the following two seasons. In high school, Tippmann played tackle, so he’s quite new to the center position and the interior of the offensive line in general.

At Wisconsin, Tippmann played in a gap-heavy Badgers offense. According to PFF, Tippmann had a 36%/64% split between zone-blocking snaps and gap-blocking snaps in 2022.

Wisconsin’s gap-heavy scheme allowed Tippmann to shine as a puller. Tippmann was given plenty of opportunities to get out on the move and wallop defenders.

While Tippmann hails from an offense that leaned heavily toward gap-blocking concepts, the Badgers did run outside-zone occasionally, and Tippmann was just as impressive on those rare occasions as he was on gap-blocking concepts. Tippmann flashed great lateral quickness on outside-zone plays.

Unique blend of pass-blocking and run-blocking production

Tippmann provided elite production in both phases for the Badgers.

In pass protection, Tippmann was credited with allowing only five total pressures on 359 pass-blocking snaps in 2022. Tippmann’s allowed pressure rate of 1.39% ranked 11th-best out of 136 qualified FBS centers (min. 200 pass-blocking snaps).

Tippmann’s recognition of stunts and blitzes is the skill that stands out the most when I watch him in pass protection.

Tippmann also ranked highly as a run-blocker. Out of 136 qualified FBS centers, PFF ranked Tippmann as the seventh-best gap-blocker and the 11th-best zone-blocker.

It’s rare to see a center who thrives in all three of these categories (pass protection, gap blocking, and zone blocking). In fact, Tippmann was the only center in college football who ranked top-11 in all three of pressure rate, gap-blocking grade, and zone-blocking grade.

The last center prospect to enter the NFL with a three-way production profile that closely matches Tippmann’s was Creed Humphrey of Oklahoma. In 2020, Humphrey allowed a very similar 1.53% pressure rate (14th-best among C w/200+ pass-blocking snaps) while ranking as the ninth-best gap-blocker and the third-best zone-blocker.

Humphrey, like Tippmann, was a second-round pick, going 63rd overall to Kansas City. Two years later, Humphrey is a Pro Bowler and Super Bowl champion who has started every regular season and playoff game for the Chiefs since 2021. He was also third in Offensive Rookie of the Year voting, which is a stunning accomplishment for an offensive lineman.

Those are lofty expectations to thrust upon Tippmann, but it goes to show that a well-rounded center prospect can hit the ground running in the NFL.

Tippmann’s multi-faceted game is what sets him apart from Minnesota’s John Michael Schmitz, who was widely considered the consensus No. 1 center going into the draft but was passed over by the Jets in favor of Tippmann. While Schmitz led all centers in gap-blocking grade and zone-blocking grade, his pass protection is shoddy. He only ranked 61st out of 136 qualifiers in allowed pressure rate with a mark of 2.65%.

Schmitz ended up going to the Giants a mere 14 picks after the Jets nabbed Tippmann. The two will be closely compared throughout the next few years. Forget Aaron Rodgers vs. Daniel Jones – Tippmann vs. Schmitz is the intra-city positional battle everyone should be keeping an eye on.

Penalties can be cleaned up

One area where Tippmann can improve is the penalty department. Tippmann was called for six penalties in 2022. He averaged one penalty per 126.3 offensive snaps, which ranked 104th out of 136 qualified centers.

Tippmann projects as an immediate starter for New York

As far as center prospects go, Tippmann is about as clean as it gets. He has tremendous size, unusually graceful movement skills for his size, and a pristine track record of production against Power-5 competition in both phases of the game. Tippmann also has proven he can succeed in any run-blocking concept.

The Jets will tout a competition between McGovern and Tippmann, but in the back of their minds, they know this is Tippmann’s job to lose. Barring a surprisingly rough rookie-year training camp and preseason for Tippmann, he projects to start for the Jets in Week 1.

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Peter Buell
1 year ago

Before I watched some of the above videos I was thinking he might be best at guard given his size but WOW! on that stunt he stopped the Blitzer cold then continued to get him on the ground. Just wow!

1 year ago

Now you got me excited Michael. Could he be the next great Jets center, following Mangold, Mawae? Upgrading at C would help our OL incredibly, maybe allowing McGovern to play some guard if need be.

1 year ago

I don’t know who is to blame but the number of free runners up the middle over the past several years was appalling. McGovern never seemed to QB the line, and I have always said even though it may not have been his blocking responsibility for the free runner, it was his responsibility to get everyone in the right place. He was horrible at it, as proven by his current contract.

Let’s hope this is the beginning of a new era at C for the Jets.

Peter Buell
1 year ago
Reply to  Jets71

it’s so funny Spotrac had him 3 years at $12.5 per