5 moves the NY Jets must make to compete for a Super Bowl in 2023
2. The NY Jets must solidify their offensive line
It might not matter who the Jets have at quarterback in 2023 if they don't have an offensive line to protect them. The Jets' offensive line was decimated by injuries last season, and the belief of many within the organization is that the unit's struggles were largely a result of those injuries.
An unbelievable seven different offensive tackles spent time on the injured reserve in 2022, including the likes of Mekhi Becton, George Fant, Duane Brown, Max Mitchell, and Alijah Vera-Tucker (if you include him as a tackle).
Becton missed the entire season. Vera-Tucker's very promising sophomore campaign was cut short after just seven games. Fant played through a knee injury all season, while Brown did the same with a shoulder injury.
It was difficult for the Jets to find any sense of stability or continuity on the offensive line given the ever-changing pieces they were working with. That, more than anything, absolutely contributed to the team's struggles up front.
That said, the Jets need to address the unit this offseason. They need to figure out a plan at offensive tackle, first and foremost. Brown could retire, Fant is a free agent, and Becton has played one game since his rookie season. Drafting a tackle early seems likely.
The Jets must also figure out what the plan for Vera-Tucker is in 2023. Do they move him back to right guard? Do they keep him at tackle? It's an important offseason discussion that has been a little overlooked.
Center Connor McGovern is also a free agent, as well as veteran spot starters Nate Herbig, Dan Feeney, and Cedric Ogbuehi. The Jets might need to find a new center if McGovern walks.
There's a lot of uncertainty with the Jets' offensive line entering the offseason. The Jets need to formalize a plan and ensure that the unit is improved going into the 2023 season.