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Meet the NY Jets’ top OT targets in 2024 NFL draft

Joe Alt, Notre Dame, NY Jets, NFL Draft
Joe Alt, Notre Dame, NFL Draft, New York Jets, Getty Images

The New York Jets will be fixated on the 2024 NFL draft’s top offensive tackle prospects

As has been the case for over a decade at this point, the New York Jets’ offensive line needs serious help – especially at tackle.

Pursuing Packers tackle David Bakhtiari in the offseason is certainly an option, but considering he would be coming off his second season-ending injury in three years and is on the wrong side of 30, it would be tough to feel confident in him without some legitimate depth — especially on that MetLife turf.

Luckily, the upcoming draft class has some big-time prospects on the offensive line, and the Jets could be set up nicely to land one. Here are some of the top offensive tackle prospects to keep an eye on in the coming months.

Olumuyiwa Fashanu, Penn State

If Olu Fashanu’s name sounds familiar, it’s because he was included in the top ten of nearly every mock draft last offseason before opting to return to school for another year. He would have, in all likelihood, been the first offensive lineman taken had he thrown his name in the ring, but alas, he’ll settle for a good chance at the same outcome this year — and he’s still only 21 years old.

With a huge wingspan and standing at 6-foot-6, 317 pounds, Fashanu was built in a lab to play offensive tackle. His combination of strength, athleticism, technique, and most importantly, production at such a prototypical size makes him one of the better pass-protecting O-line prospects we’ve seen in a while. Fashanu can still improve in the run game, but he’s continued to do so year over year.

For such a young prospect, Fashanu is incredibly polished and will have a great chance to hear his name called ahead of everyone else at his position.

Joe Alt, Notre Dame

The other blue-chip offensive tackle in this class is Joe Alt out of Notre Dame. At 6-foot-8, 320 pounds, Alt has the tall and slimmer build of a Manhattan skyscraper. Son of former first-round pick John Alt, Joe knows how to use his proportions to his advantage and constantly demonstrates rare recovery ability, along with remarkably coordinated feet for someone of his size.

Being a former high school tight end, Alt has explosiveness and flexibility that you won’t find in most tackle prospects. He also has exceptional football IQ which, paired with his dimensions, gives him a serious chance to develop into one of the NFL’s best bookends fairly quickly.

Alt has some hiccups on film against bull rushes, but his recovery skills are so impressive that that weakness hasn’t come back to bite him very much in college. With some NFL coaching, he’ll presumably learn to anchor himself quicker against competition that will be stronger across the board.

It’s never a bad idea to bet on Notre Dame offensive linemen having successful NFL careers. Considering Alt has been a three-year starter for the Irish and one of the better linemen we’ve seen suit up in South Bend, consider his floor high, and his ceiling much higher.

JC Latham, OT, Alabama

Standing at 6-foot-6 and weighing in at 360 pounds, JC Latham looks the part of a franchise tackle. He has a broad frame with long limbs and a well-rounded build.

Latham’s biggest strength is… well, his strength. In fact, he’s one of the strongest players in all of college football, making him truly dominant at the point of attack. It’s that combined with his incredible movement skills that separates him in a loaded class at the position. His production speaks for itself, only allowing one sack in his collegiate career on more than 400 snaps.

One area Latham does need to improve in is his occasional overaggressiveness in the run game, which sometimes leaves him vulnerable to losing blocks against smarter defenders.

Something else to note about Latham is that he’s only played on the right side for Alabama — although there’s nothing to suggest that he couldn’t hold up well on the left too. It’s more of a testament to just how good he’s been at right tackle that Nick Saban has opted to keep him there.

Taliese Fuaga, OT, Oregon State

Like Latham, Taliese Fuaga is another prospect with more experience at right tackle than left. He stands 6-foot-6, 334 pounds and has a thick frame with great length.

Fuaga is awesome in the run game. He takes great angles and pretty much always looks to dominate the man in front of him, whether it be in space or a phone booth, which the Jets staff will absolutely love when evaluating him. He plays with the physicality and nastiness that the top O-line prospects consistently display and his motor is never off.

In pass protection, Fuaga occasionally gets beat on inside moves and has multiple bad habits that he’ll need to clean up, but his production throughout college hasn’t much been hindered by it. His lateral quickness is good enough, but leaves a little something to be desired as well. His anchor is phenomenal and he has powerful, technically sound hands, so he won’t be easily overpowered by NFL defenders, even as a rookie.

In a nutshell, Fuaga is a dominant run blocker with solid pass protection ability. He’s quickly ascended into one of the best tackles in the country and his draft stock is still pointing way up.

Amarius Mims, OT, Georgia

Amarius Mims is enormous, standing at 6-foot-7 and weighing 340 pounds. Aesthetically, he’s as prototypical as they come for a franchise tackle, boasting massive hands, long arms and a rocked-up build.

He moves so gracefully for his size and gets out of his stance instantly when the ball is snapped. His balance is impeccable and he’s about as strong as you’d expect someone of his stature to be. His raw traits are the best in the draft class.

The surface-level scouting report on Mims is nearly identical to that of his former teammate Broderick Jones from a year ago: a former five-star recruit from the University of Georgia with limited playing time, but who has been simply dominant in that sample size. Jones has had an impressive rookie season for Pittsburgh, so that will likely help Mims’ draft stock a lot if he chooses to declare.

The thing is, though, Mims’ sample size has been even smaller than Jones’, as he was injured for the first half of this season. That severe lack of experience, along with the injury concerns, could be concerning for teams, but if Mims declares, he’ll be an incredibly intriguing draft prospect. Maybe that injury history is enough to scare off the Jets after the season they’ve had, but there’s no denying the upside Mims provides.

Other names to keep an eye on: Graham Barton (Duke), Jordan Morgan (Arizona), Patrick Paul (Houston), Kingsley Suamataia (BYU)

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