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New York Jets: Breaking down new offensive lineman Conor McDermott

New York Jets (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
New York Jets (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
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The New York Jets have claimed former Buffalo Bills offensive lineman Conor McDermott off waivers. Here is an analysis of what he brings to the table.

The New York Jets have made an interesting addition just days before their Week 5 showdown with the Philadelphia Eagles as they have reportedly claimed offensive tackle Conor McDermott off waivers, per ESPN’s Field Yates.

McDermott was originally drafted by the New England Patriots in the sixth round of the 2017 NFL Draft but the towering offensive lineman was waived as part of final roster cuts.

He would be claimed by the Buffalo Bills the next day which is where he’s spent the last two years of his career, serving mostly as a backup swing tackle. The 6-foot-8, 305-pounder has a rare blend of size and agility but has failed to put everything together in the NFL.

Somewhat surprisingly, McDermott was actually a very successful high school basketball player having been a finalist for the McDonald’s High School All-American team as a senior. He was also named Mr. Basketball for Division II-AA in the state of Tennessee.

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But he ultimately decided to stick with football and he would attend UCLA where he would start the final two seasons of his collegiate career with the Bruins at left tackle. In both seasons, he was named second-team All-Pac 12 and he parlayed that into a sixth-round draft choice.

However, his success — and playing time in general — in the pros has been limited.

McDermott played in just three games during his rookie season back in 2017, only playing a grand total of one offensive snap.

He saw slightly more playing time the following season appearing in five games while totaling 22 offensive snaps — most of which came in the team’s Week 17 blowout loss to the New England Patriots.

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Ultimately, offseason additions seemed to all but seal his fate this season but he surprisingly made the 53-man roster despite being buried on the depth chart. However, after being inactive for the team’s first four games, the Bills officially waived him.

The Jets certainly need all the offensive line help they could get as the unit has likely been the team’s worst position group through three games thus far. McDermott’s addition now means that the team will be carrying 10 total offensive lineman which is more than most teams typically roster.

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In a subsequent move, the Jets waived defensive lineman Bronson Kaufusi. Kaufusi had actually impressed quite a bit in the preseason and early portion of this season making his release a bit surprising.

In three games, the 28-year-old had totaled seven tackles, 0.5 sacks, and one QB hit — arguably better numbers than starting defensive lineman Leonard Williams who didn’t record a solo tackle until Week 3.

However, the team likely feels deep enough at the position with younger players like Kyle Phillips and Folorunso Fatukasi shining in recent weeks.

With changes expected to come to the Jets offensive line soon if their play doesn’t improve, we might just see McDermott get some playing time this season.

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At the very least, it certainly doesn’t hurt to have options.

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