The offensive line of the NY Jets doesn’t have many familiar faces returning to the team in 2020.
To sum up the NY Jets‘ 2020 training camp in one word, it would be, weird.
With the season fast approaching and Adam Gase preparing his team for Buffalo, the sense of urgency has definitely gone up. Injuries have altered the Jets’ plans, and will likely affect the Week 1 depth chart heading into Western New York.
While the team has experienced many absences due to injury over the past couple of weeks, one unit that has stayed relatively healthy has been the offensive line.
It’s a bit surprising, albeit, this group has stayed fairly intact throughout the majority of training camp.
With the exception of right guard Greg Van Roten, who has missed some time this camp season with an oblique injury, and left guard Alex Lewis who’s missed time as well. Van Roten has returned to practice and is preparing to protect quarterback Sam Darnold for the foreseeable future.
The offensive line should be much improved from last year’s erratic deployment of players the team scattered across Darnold’s forefront. The offense, itself, will look very different.
General manager Joe Douglas took to his word and completely overhauled an offense that ranked close to last in every major statistical category that matters in 2019.
He’s building the team his way — that usually takes more than one season to perfect. Although, first-round pick Mekhi Becton already puts Douglas off to a good start, so it seems.
NY Jets’ first-round pick Mekhi Becton received rave reviews in training camp.
The former Louisville standout appears poised to protect Darnold’s blindside for this upcoming season and beyond.
With no in-game NFL experience under Becton’s belt, his ability to continue to hold ground in training camp against proficient pass-rushers, whose only job is to get around Becton, says something about the 21-year-old left tackle.
Not to mention other veterans along that offensive line being able to mentor Becton about everything it takes to make it in the NFL, to take nothing for granted.
With Lewis, center Connor McGovern, Van Roten, and right tackle George Fant all having sufficient experience, it’ll prove vital to Becton’s development as an all-around foundational piece of a roster that hasn’t had a premier offensive lineman since the Nick Mangold/D’Brickashaw Ferguson days.
Training camp hasn’t gone the way many would’ve envisioned it, with mask-wearing on the field and extra pre-cautions off, it sure looks like a new NFL, a new world.
Staying safe and healthy is the number one priority while taking part in a game as dangerous as football that these players go through, day-in and day-out.
If this team, especially the unit mentioned above, stays relatively healthy throughout the season, many will be in for a pleasant surprise.