The New York Jets are lucky to have a legitimate future franchise quarterback in Sam Darnold. But a quarterback can only be as good as his offensive line. Here’s an in-depth breakdown of the 2019 offensive line class.
New York Jets fans howl over their inept offensive linemen. But truth be told, this unit is middle-of-the-pack — just look at the nightmare scenario of their MetLife Stadium co-tenants, unable to execute the simplest of blocking schemes.
Many decisions must be made. One of their top lineman, guard James Carpenter, faces free agency after his worst season at age 30. If not him, Buffalo’s Ryan Groy or Jacksonville’s Patrick Omameh would pair nicely with the solid Brian Winters. The Jets also must develop young tackles behind stellar free agent signing Kelvin Beachum and so-so former fifth-rounder Brandon Shell.
The logical move at center would be to have maximum money thrown at Denver’s Matt Paradis. Or if they question the Broncos’ recent surgery rehab, all signs point to versatile Bengal Trey Hopkins, who thrived under new offensive line coach Frank Pollard. And don’t be stunned if they re-sign Spencer Long at a discounted rate; he owes them big-time for last season’s injury-riddled fiasco.
But the Jets youth movement and player development start with this April’s NFL Draft. Between the seven rounds, undrafted free agents and unpolished prospects, here is a comprehensive guide for the Florham Park brain-trust to digest.
Day 1 Talent
Jonah Williams, T, Alabama — As for the Jets, the only question is whether they value this ‘Bama bruiser worthy of the third pick. May project as a guard in the pros. Greg Little, T, Mississippi — Like Williams Little is a devastating underclassman, but with issues with technique and motivation. A classic boom or bust prospect. Jawaan Taylor, RT, Florida — Want an upgrade over Brandon Shell? Here’s your guy. Some see this junior two-year starter as this draft’s top tackle. Cody Ford, G, Oklahoma — This nasty redshirt-junior starting RT projects as a plug-in-and-play top-tier interior lineman. A smart, tough mauler type. Dalton Risner, G/T, Kansas State — The two-time All-Big 12 Wildcat is like a soldier, ferocious and nasty in the trenches. Questions arise over his age (24) and the speed of the game.
Next: Day Two O-Linemen
Day 2 Talent
Chris Lindstrom, G, Boston College — This BC Eagle isn’t the biggest or the nastiest. But he is this draft’s most game-ready interior lineman. Elgton Jenkins, C, Mississippi State — A cerebral snapper, versatile lineman, and articulate leader. But can he handle today’s NFL interior defensive line ferocity? Andre Dillard, LT, Washington State – This All-PAC 12 Cougar may be that LT project to sit for the Jets for a while before replacing the aging Kelvin Beachum. Kaleb McGary, RT, Washington — He just proved his NFL acumen at the Senior Bowl. Jets insider Brian Costello detailed his heart-wrenching story. Isaiah Prince, T, Ohio State — This man/mountain, Urban Meyers’ favorite captain, may be too much of a project for a team needing 2019-ready talent.
Martez Ivey, G, Florida; Garrett Bradbury, C, NC State; Beau Benzschawel, RG, Wisconsin; Ross Pierschbacher, G/C, Alabama; Yodny Cajuste, T, West Virginia; Michael Deiter, G, Wisconsin; Terrone Prescod, G, NC State; Hjalte Froholdt, G, Arkansas; David Edwards, T, Wisconsin; Nate Herbig, T, Stanford
Next: Day Three Blockers
Day 3 Talent
Chuma Edoga, G, USC — Blocked in 34 games for the Trojans, including all of 2017 at right tackle for Darnold. A standout at this year’s Senior Bowl. Tyree St. Louis, G/T, Miami — After an unspecial ‘Canes career, the Tampa kid flashed serious versatility at the Shrine Bowl. Worth a late-round flier. Bunchy Stallings, C/G, Kentucky — The latest fruit of the Stallings family tree opened holes for Benny Snell on one of the NCAA’s top teams of 2018. Tytus Howard, T, Alabama State — A massive former QB who dominated the DII SWAC and excelled at the Senior Bowl. Could be a day one starter. Max Scharping, G/T, Northern Illinois — The four-year starter gave up just one sack in the past four seasons. Needs some work, but is a legit NFL baller.
Tariq Cole, OT, Rutgers; Nick Allegretti, C/G, Illinois; Dru Samia, G, Oklahoma; Scott Frantz, OT, Kansas State; Nate Davis, T, Charlotte; Yosuah Nijman, OT, Virginia Tech; William Sweet, OT, North Carolina; Alex Bookser, OT, Pittsburgh; Vitas Hrynkiewicz, C, Youngstown State
Next: Priority Free Agents
Priority Free Agents
More from The Jet Press
- NY Jets: Why the team should target cornerback Shaquill Griffin
- NY Jets reportedly non-tendering linebacker Harvey Langi
- NY Jets: Why the team should not cut Jamison Crowder
- NY Jets should try to sign Kenny Golladay in free agency
- NY Jets: Jonnu Smith would be a smart free-agent target
Justin Skule, T, Vanderbilt — This 6’6,”315-pound All-SEC road-grader could fall from the seventh-round due to foot-speed concerns. Don’t fall for that one. Sean Krepsz, C/G, Nevada — A big-bodied blocker with unusual versatility. The 2017 Remington Trophy finalist will find a role on the next level. Larry Allen, G, Harvard — The son of the same-named Cowboys offensive line legend was an All-Ivy Leaguer and top FCS lineman. Blood is thicker than Gatorade.
James O’Hagan, C, Buffalo; Garrett McGhin, OL, East Carolina; Dino Boyd, G, Cincinnati; Connor Dintino, G/C, Pittsburgh; Colton Jackson, T, Arkansas; Cohl Cabral, C, Arizona State; Reggie Bain, OT, Florida Atlantic; Brock Ruble, T, Toledo; John Keenoy, C, Western Michigan; Daniel Cooney, OT, San Diego
Next: Small College Projects
Small College Projects
B.J. Autry, OT, Jacksonville State — The JuCo star turned Baylor washout excelled at the Senior Bowl, and some now rate him a day two selection.
Lanard Bonner, G, Arkansas State — The ultimate big nasty project with an overpowering physical presence. Don’t sweat the weak technique. Ethan Greenidge, G/T, Villanova — A Long Island kid with NFL upside. The four-year CAA starter, an FCS All-American, just got invited to the Combine.
Shamdu Nalls, G, Virginia Union — This two-time All-CIAA beast crushed on the small college level. A business major smart enough to invest in.
Justin Brown, G/T, Benedict — The 2018 DII All-American honorable mention and three-time All-SIAC OL ranks highest for his leadership skills.
Israel Helms, LT, Wayne State; Joshua Miles, RT, Morgan State; Marquez Tucker, OL, Southern Utah; Robert Hunt, RT, Louisiana-Lafayette; Trapper Ward, OL, Minnesota-Duluth; Phil Berton, G, Dartmouth; Nathan Trewyn, C, Wisconsin-Whitewater; Corbin Finlayson, T, Prairie View A&T; Maurice Bibaku Simba, T, Concordia (Canada)