Breaking down the mess of an offense line
By Michael Pallas
It doesn’t matter who the New York Jets put behind center if they don’t fix their mess of an offensive line.
The New York Jets need to learn something from the mess that is the Indianapolis Colts. You can draft a franchise quarterback, but if you fail to protect him, it doesn’t really matter.
It’s actually easy to see why the Jets can’t get the offensive line thing down. They’re settling too much in free agency, and not drafting and developing talent. In the last three drafts, the rest of the league has drafted 118 offensive linemen. That’s an average of around 3.8 per team. On the other hand, the Jets have drafted exactly two offensive linemen with their 22 picks.
Of their 22 picks, only 9.09 percent of them have been linemen. The rest of the league has an offensive line pick rate of 15.9%. That discrepancy is staggering. Now, the Jets are beginning to see what that lack of depth is doing, because Christian Hackenberg was running for his life against the front seven of the New York Giants and the Detroit Lions this preseason.
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You can debate whether or not Josh McCown is the right choice to start in 2017 till the cows come home.
You can also hope the Jets land the number one overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft and land Sam Darnold.
In the end, it doesn’t really matter. Until the Jets start drafting quality offensive linemen, the quarterbacks will continue to struggle.
They may be able to catch lightning in a bottle, once, like they did with Ryan Fitzpatrick. In the long-run, though, it won’t work. They can’t hope to land guys like Kevin Mawae and Jumbo Elliott in free agency. Even that offensive line had Jets homegrown talent on it, though. Kerry Jenkins and Jason Fabini were both drafted by the Jets.
Regardless of what happens this season at quarterback, until the offensive line gets fixed, there’s no hope for the offense. That’s the real issue in New York.
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