The NY Jets went into the 2023 NFL Draft with one primary goal in mind: to protect their new quarterback. They didn't add an offensive lineman on Day 1, but Aaron Rodgers will likely be happy about the team's selection on Day 2.
The Jets selected Wisconsin center Joe Tippmann with the 43rd overall pick in this year's draft, adding increased depth and versatility to their offensive line.
Tippmann was seen by many as the top center in the 2023 draft. A two-year starter at Wisconsin, Tippmann was twice named an honorable mention All-Big Ten selection.
The Jets already re-signed Connor McGovern earlier this week, so the team didn't need to draft a center. That said, it's hard to argue with the approach of adding more flexibility to the offensive line.
Joe Tippmann could be the next great NY Jets center...or guard
The Jets have a storied history of standout centers. From John Schmitt to Jim Sweeney to Kevin Mawae to Nick Mangold, the Jets are hoping that Tippmann could be their next long-term starter at the position.
However, that doesn't necessarily need to be the case. Tippmann has the versatility to play either center or guard in the NFL, and at 6-foot-6, 310 pounds, some see him as a better fit as a guard.
That versatility is massive for the Jets, and it's likely a big reason why they chose him over Minnesota's John Michael Schmitz and Ohio State's Luke Wypler.
The Jets can play Tippmann at guard and move Alijah Vera-Tucker to tackle if need be. Tippmann could be Laken Tomlinson's replacement at left guard in 2024. Or, of course, he could simply be the long-term starting center.
The Jets have options, both in 2023 and beyond. Tippmann's athleticism makes him an excellent fit in the team's zone-blocking scheme as well. He fits exactly what the Jets were looking for.
Aaron Rodgers got his offensive line help. It didn't come in the first round, but the Jets made sure to bolster the position group the next day.