Jets News

New York Jets Dakota Dozier Will Get His Shot In 2015

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Dec 28, 2014; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; New York Jets tackle

Dakota Dozier

(70) looks on from the sideline during the second half against the Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

I was discussing the Jets offensive line with a friend over lunch. The conversation went back and forth, covering the many options the Jets have at their disposal to fix the offensive line. When I brought up Dakota Dozier, my friend dismissed him offhandedly. “He was another Idzik mistake”, was his reply.

That conversation is like many others I’ve had concerning the Jets over years with my friend. We enjoy the back and forth banter. After picking up the bill (not sure how I always seem to do that), I began to think about Dakota Dozier and where he might fit in the Jets plans. So, let’s take a look at what the Jets have in Dakota Dozier.

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Dec 28, 2014; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan greets tackle Dakota Dozier (70) prior to the game against the Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

Dozier played his college ball at small school; Furman University.  At Furman he played in 44 games, all coming at left tackle. He was twice named for FCS All American Honors by the Associated Press.

Dozier measures out at an impressive 6’4″/312 pounds. He turned in a 4.52/ 40 and managed 23 reps of 225 at the 2014 Combine. Pre draft Dozier was projected as a 3rd or 4th rounder in last year’s draft.

The primary knock on Dozier heading into the draft was that he was a raw talent from a small school. He was seen as a developmental project for left tackle in the NFL.

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Aug 16, 2014; Cincinnati, OH, USA; New York Jets offensive tackle Dakota Dozier (70) against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Dozier was taken  in the fourth round by the Jets last year. When they drafted him, he was being viewed as a possible replacement for Willie Colon after last season. He was highly praised several times by Rex Ryan during camp last season.

During preseason he played well, he saw time with the #1’s as well as the second stringers. His rookie year behind him, the Jets will be looking for him to step up and compete for a spot. Last season ,Dozier was in the process of converting from college tackle to NFL guard. This season it will be interesting to see where new OC Chan Gailey and Offensive Line Coach Steve Marshall see Dozier fitting in.

Getting back to my friend’s backhanded dismissal of Dozier. I don’t believe it’s that simple. Dozier was taken by the Jets exactly where he was projected to be taken. Dozier played well for a rookie making a change of position last season. The Jets were looking for a replacement for Colon, and it would seem that Colon has seen his last snap as a Jet. The Jets sure could use for Dozier to meet expectations and be that guy.

There’s little more to say about Dozier, as we’ve seen so little of him. I think Dozier gets his shot in 2015. It’s likely the Jets will be looking for a guard in free agency. Dozier taking the next step in his development will be a bonus for the Jets if they do. Dozier will be in camp to compete, whether they see him in the guard spot or at tackle.

I’m looking forward to watching Dozier play this summer. I’m really hoping he can be a piece of the next generation Jet line. The change of offensive system and blocking schemes should play a key role in where Dozier is viewed going ahead.

There’s a look at Dakota Dozier. Do you think he can win a spot this year? Where do you see him fitting in? Let’s talk Jets football!

Next: Throwback Thursday: Don Maynard

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