NY Jets Optimistic Roster Breakdown: OT Chuma Edoga

NY Jets (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images)
NY Jets (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images) /

The NY Jets will be hoping for big things from former third-round pick Chuma Edoga in 2020.

The NY Jets‘ offensive line was an absolute mess last season, there’s really no way around that. From over-the-hill veterans to underachieving young players, nothing seemed to go right for the unit.

2019 third-round pick Chuma Edoga fell into the latter category.

Edoga represented one of the few attempts by former general manager Mike Maccagnan to address a struggling offensive line. Unfortunately, he failed to impress in his rookie season.

The former USC standout started eight games for the Jets in 2019, most of which came on the right side of the offensive line. However, he wasn’t exactly an improvement over the incumbent Brandon Shell.

Edoga finished the year with a woeful 48.9 Pro Football Focus grade which ranked him among the worst offensive linemen in the NFL. Out of 82 qualified offensive tackles, only three finished with worse overall grades.

The Jets knew that Edoga would be a project coming out of college, but his struggles in 2019 certainly have plenty concerned.

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But what could he do to right the ship and make 2020 a successful season?

How Chuma Edoga can find success with the NY Jets in 2020

As much as Edoga may have struggled in 2019, it’s evident that the Jets are still high on him. They still feel that he could be a long-term starter on the right side and the signing of George Fant in the offseason doesn’t change that.

However, Fant does provide an obstacle for Edoga to overcome.

If Edoga is going to find success in 2020, he’s going to have to start by beating out Fant for the starting job. That shouldn’t be too challenging seeing as though Fant is hardly an established starter, but he’ll need to show considerable improvement from last season.

Edoga was overwhelmed in his rookie season struggling to anchor his body and failing due to inconsistent footwork. His functional strength was always a concern coming out of college and that issue was amplified in the pros.

Too often we’d see Edoga overpowered in pass protection by bull-rushing defenders or simply blown back into the backfield while run blocking. He must get stronger at the point of attack and learn to anchor his body more effectively.

But it was more than just his strength. Edoga’s footwork was an absolute mess last season — that’s probably the biggest disappointment from his rookie campaign.

Edoga was seen as a high-upside developmental prospect coming out of USC because of his excellent length, athleticism, and linear footwork. Unfortunately, he didn’t really show much of the latter.

Speed rushers absolutely worked Edoga flashing a variety of pass-rush moves to get past the young offensive tackle. And that’s the thing that was the most surprising about his rookie season.

Edoga has the length and athleticism to be able to handle speed rushers, but his lack of refinement remains concerning. The Jets’ coaching staff must work with him to iron out the kinks in his footwork much as they must do for first-round pick Mekhi Becton.

Ultimately, Edoga’s poor technique and lack of play strength tanked his rookie season, but he has the physical tools to be a starting-caliber offensive tackle.

And if he could show considerable growth and beat out Fant for the starting right tackle job, he could change his perception in one season.

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Expect the Jets to give Edoga every opportunity to maximize his opportunities in 2020.