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2021 New York Jets Position Group Analysis: O-Line

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In this New York Jets position group analysis article, the offensive line will be discussed. Recently hired general manager, Joe Douglas has an offensive line background. In the two offseasons he has had, the position has been addressed in a fairly big way. Most of the group is now totally revamped. Having a fortified offensive line is crucial for Zach Wilson as a rookie quarterback.

Over Douglas’ first two drafts, he has selected an offensive lineman in the first round. Mekhi Becton was his first selection last year. In the draft this year, he made a trade-up to get Alijah Vera-Tucker. In his first offseason, he signed Connor McGovern, George Fant, and Greg Van Roten in free agency while retaining Alex Lewis, one of the first players he acquired as general manager.

This free agency, he signed Dan Feeney. After the draft, Morgan Moses was made available after being released and Douglas added him. Cameron Clark is a second-year player, he was drafted in the fourth round. Conor McDermott has been with the Jets since the 2019 season. The only player not acquired by Douglas apart of this group is the 2019 third-round draft pick, Chuma Edoga.

The players who round this position group out are Tristen Hoge, Corey Levin, Teton Saltes, Parker Ferguson, Jimmy Murray, and Grant Hermanns.

LOS ANGELES, CA – NOVEMBER 02: USC Trojans guard Alijah Vera-Tucker (75) during a college football game between the Oregon Ducks and the USC Trojans on November 02, 2019, at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by Jordon Kelly/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Jets Position Group Analysis: Starting Offensive Line

Mekhi Becton

The Jets 2020 first-round draft pick had a great rookie year. Becton has all the physical attributes to dominate and be one of the best for a long time. Moving forward, all Becton needs to do is be available week in and week out. Last year, injuries were his only real concern.

Becton is a big left tackle with great athletic ability at his size. He is capable of winning with power and he moves with ease. As a rookie, Becton was awfully dominant at times in both the run and pass game while doing it against some of the best. In 2021, expect that to continue from Becton.

Becton is a very young player with all the ability needed to be special for many years to come. He looks to be a great first draft pick for Douglas. Ideally, Becton is the blindside pass protector for Zach Wilson for the long haul. Left tackle is one of the most important positions in football and the Jets have a young and talented one in Becton.

Alijah Vera-Tucker

It was very exciting to see the Jets make the aggressive move to trade up for Vera-Tucker. He looks to be a very safe prospect with room to grow into one of the best. In college, Vera-Tucker has great success at both guard and tackle.

As a rookie, Vera-Tucker will start at left guard and should remain there in the future. As a pass blocker, Vera-Tucker was very productive in college. Vera-Tucker possesses the athletic ability needed in the zone running scheme the Jets will be implementing. It makes him a perfect fit.

As a prospect, Vera-Tucker should translate pretty seamlessly. He is a tremendous athlete which gives him the upside to be one of the better left guards in football. It would be awesome if the Jets did not have to address the left side of the offensive line for a long time with Vera-Tucker and Becton.

Connor McGovern

Last offseason, McGovern was a big free-agent signing for the Jets. He was coming off a great year. Unfortunately, he played through an injury he got early last season. It is still encouraging he fought through the injury and played.

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – DECEMBER 27: Connor McGovern #60 of the New York Jets during warm ups ahead of a game against the Cleveland Browns at MetLife Stadium on December 27, 2020 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Benjamin Solomon/Getty Images)

In 2021, expect a fully-heathy McGovern to play much better football. Also, the new scheme fits McGovern very well with his athleticism. It should translate to success as a run blocker. He has had great success in previous years as a pass blocker. It would be a big boost if he could be reliable in the passing game.

McGovern should have a bounce-back year and be an asset for the Jets. He has the talent to be an above-average center. Having better talent around him should work to his advantage as well. A good year is fair to expect from McGovern.

Morgan Moses

Moses was a solid addition the Jets recently made. He is coming off a good year. He was released after the draft when his replacement was added. After being on the market a short time, Moses and the Jets agreed to a one-year deal.

In 2021, Moses should remain productive for the Jets at right tackle. He certainly brings very good size on the outside. Expect Moses to be productive in pass protection. As a run blocker, he has enough athletic ability to fit the scheme.

As of now, Moses looks to be the best right tackle the Jets have had in a while. Ideally, Moses has an above-average season for the Jets. It would be a plus if he could be a consistent, reliable week-to-week contributor for the offensive line.

Greg Van Roten

Van Roten was signed last offseason in free agency. He started most of last year at right guard for the Jets. He had a slow start but a solid ending to the season. The way things look as of now, he should be the starting right guard.

This year, Van Roten is capable of doing a good job. Ideally, a better scheme that stresses lateral run blocking and play-action passing from it will help put him in a position to succeed. The surrounding talent this season also looks to be improved which could help.

It is fair to expect Van Roten to play better this season. If he could be an average right guard it would be sufficient. He showed us last season went on he can be effective.

UNIONDALE, NEW YORK – MAY 22: Dan Feeney of the New York jets attends the game between the New York islanders and the New York Jets in Game Four of the First Round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Nassau Coliseum on May 22, 2021 in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Jets Position Group Analysis: Rotational Players

George Fant

Last offseason, Fant signed with the Jets on a three-year contract. He had a good season last year. If he were to start this season, it would have been fine. Unfortunately for Fant, adding Moses was simply an upgrade the team had to go for.

Barring an unforeseen trade, Fant will be with the Jets this season. He provides excellent depth as a third tackle who can play as a swing on the left or right side. As a player, Fant has tremendous athleticism. This makes him a much more ideal fit in Coach LaFleur’s scheme.

Going into 2021, the Jets have to feel great about having Fant as a depth piece. He is reliable enough if called upon. Fant makes for a very good backup tackle.

Dan Feeney

The Jets added depth to the interior of the offensive line in free agency in Feeney. He can play either guard position or center. Having this versatility is a plus. Arguably the best aspect to Feeney is his durability and experience. In four NFL seasons, he has started 57 games. Feeney has not missed a game in three years. He has tons of starting experience for a backup. In 2021, Feeney brings good depth to the offensive line.

Alex Lewis

All offseason, there was uncertainty as to whether or not Lewis would be back. The Jets and Lewis ultimately agreed to a restructure. Similar to Fant and Feeney, Lewis provides starting experience for a backup. Over the last two years, he has started a good amount with the Jets. Possibly, Lewis wins the starting right guard position with a strong showing this summer. He does bring adequate depth as a third guard who can play on either side of the line.

FOXBOROUGH, MA – JANUARY 03: New York Jets offensive guard Cameron Clark (72) in warm up before a game between the New England Patriots and the New York Jets on January 3, 2021, at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Cameron Clark

Clark is entering his second season, he was drafted in the fourth round a year ago. Unfortunately, he did not get any playing time as a rookie. In college, Clark played tackle. It seems like the Jets view him as more of a guard in the NFL. As of now though, we have not seen anything. Clark possibly has a slim chance of winning the starting right guard job. Also, this could be another developmental year for Clark in which he provides depth. It would be great if in the future he could be a core member of the group.

Conor McDermott

McDermott is now entering year three with the Jets. He was extended for this year during last season. Clearly, there has to be something that Douglas likes. Late last season, he did get experience at tackle. Going into training camp, he could be competing for the fourth tackle spot. It seems like McDermott has a good chance to make the team as a backup.

Chuma Edoga

As the longest-tenured player of this group and a recent third-round draft pick, there is a major unknown currently surrounding Edoga. In two offseasons, Douglas has added three starting tackles. On the field, Edoga has had both good and bad reps. Heading into the summer, it seems like he is either competing with McDermott for the fourth tackle position or the two could both make the roster. Hopefully, Edoga earns a spot on the team and provides adequate depth as a young player.

Jets Position Group Analysis: Depth

The offensive linemen making up the rest of this group are Tristen Hoge, Corey Levin, Teton Saltes, Parker Ferguson, Jimmy Murray, and Grant Hermanns.

After the 2021 NFL Draft, the Jets signed four of these players as undrafted free agents. Those four are Hoge, Saltes, Ferguson, and Hermanns. Hoge has the best chance to develop as a player. He likely starts on the practice squad. Saltes has great athletic ability. Ferguson is currently placed on the injured reserve list, it will be interesting to see when he gets back. Hermanns is a big and physical player.

Levin was added in free agency. He has experience playing center. Murray has been on the Jets practice squad for the most part over the last two years. Late last season, he was activated to the gameday roster. All six of these players seem unlikely to make the final roster for this season. A few of the undrafted free agents could end up on the practice squad.

Conclusion

In 2021, with an upgraded scheme and group of talent, hopefully, the Jets offensive line can take a step up into the top 20 in the NFL. Douglas deserves credit for bolstering the position as it certainly looks better. Becton and Vera-Tucker should start to build something special together for many years. A healthy McGovern should execute well in a better system. On the right side, ideally, Moses and Van Roten are reliable most of the season. The depth looks good if any are needed to fill in. There are a few developmental players here as well. It will be interesting to see this group.

Thanks for reading my article on the New York Jets offensive line. For more NFL content follow us @OTH_Football and me @_Ryan_Moran_

Main Image Credit

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – DECEMBER 27: Mekhi Becton #77 of the New York Jets before entering the field ahead of a game against the Cleveland Browns at MetLife Stadium on December 27, 2020 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Benjamin Solomon/Getty Images)

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