The NY Jets are expected to be in the market for offensive linemen in the 2021 NFL Draft. And if they’re looking to address the position on Day 3, one player who makes sense is Texas Tech guard Jack Anderson.
A four-star recruit coming out of high school, Anderson was the fourth-best guard prospect in his class and had over 40 scholarship offers from schools like Alabama, Oklahoma, Georgia, and LSU.
He opted to attend Texas Tech, however, as one of the highest-ranked recruits in program history. Anderson started all 13 games as a freshman earning Freshman All-American honors.
The Frisco native would hold on to the starting job through all four of his seasons at Texas Tech being named first-team All-Big 12 in his final year.
Anderson is a physical, agile blocker with a mean streak matched by few offensive linemen in this class. Primarily seen as a Day 3 prospect, the Jets could have a chance to grab him later in the draft, even if they address the offensive line with an early pick as well.
I recently had the chance to sit down with Anderson and speak with him about his football career to this point, the draft process, and if he sees himself as a fit with the Jets.
Below is a transcription of our interview.
Interview with NY Jets draft prospect Jack Anderson
Justin Fried: “So you were born in Plano, went to Frisco High School, spent most of your childhood in the state of Texas. You’re a standout high school player, play in the Under Armour All-American Game as a senior, four-star recruit, you have offers from a number of top-tier Power 5 schools. I promise I’m not just hyping you up, I’m getting somewhere with this question. With offers from schools like Alabama, Georgia, USC, Oklahoma, you chose Texas Tech. What factored into that decision to choose Tech over those other conventional college football powerhouses?”
Jack Anderson: “The two biggest things are that my dad was part of the class of ’90 and my sister was class of ’16. She was at Tech when I was getting recruited so I could always go stay with her, it was really nice. And then Coach [Kliff] Kingsbury offered me in the middle of my 9th-grade season. He recruited me really early and I’m still close with Coach Kingsbury. That’s my guy, I really wanted to play for him. And I wanted to play early too so it worked out nicely.”
JF: “You were a four-year varsity starter in high school and a four-year starter in college if you include 2019. Do you think that experience will help give you a leg up over other rookies once you get to the NFL?”
JA: “Yeah I saw some PFF article the other day that said I have the most snaps out of any offensive linemen in this draft. I think the experience plays a big part. You don’t know what you’re doing until you’ve seen it all and all the bullets have flown by you.”
JF: “Now I know you played tackle and center in high school, but you exclusively played right guard at Texas Tech. You did play some center at the Senior Bowl, is that something you feel comfortable doing? And where do you see your best fit in the NFL?”
JA: “My last game in college our center went down so I got like 20 snaps at center. I’ve done it in a game before. And I’d [play center] in practice all the time at Tech so I feel really prepared. I feel like I did really well at the Senior Bowl and I might even be more comfortable there than at guard. I think I could play all three interior positions really well.”
JF: “Do you have any NFL players that you model your game after or just like to watch?”
JA: “Richie Incognito. We have the same agent so I talk to him every once in a while. We’re going to take a little trip to Mexico with the agency in a little bit. So I’m going to get to spend more time with him. I like the play he plays the game, and with his physicality and everything, I think we compare pretty well.”
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JF: “Yeah I could definitely see that nastiness on tape, that makes a lot of sense. Are there any teams that have shown a little more interest than others that you could potentially see yourself playing with?”
JA: “That’s a tough question because there are cities that are closer to where I’m from and stuff like that. But there are teams that I’ve met with four or five times and teams that I’ve met with more than others. I don’t really know what’s going to happen, though. The draft is kind of shocking and it comes at you quick. When I get that phone call, I’ll get that phone call.”
JF: “Finally, I do have to ask you since we are a Jets site. Have the Jets shown any interest and do you see yourself as a fit for the scheme they’re going to run? You know, maybe like a Kyle Shanahan-inspired zone blocking scheme?”
JA: “For sure, I talked to the Jets in-person at the Senior Bowl and since then I think I’ve taken one or two phone calls from them. I’ve talked to every team around that many times. It’s helped to sit down and watch film with these teams and see all their schemes. I think it’d be a good fit overall. I know the Jets need interior O-line help — really every team does. It’s a good draft to be an interior offensive lineman. We ran a lot of similar schemes at Tech so I think my game would translate well if the Jets want to pick me up.”
Special thanks to Jack for taking the time to speak with us. The Jets will surely be keeping an eye on offensive line prospects in every round of the draft.
Perhaps Jack Anderson is a player they wind up targeting.