Many NY Jets fans have been pleasantly surprised by the play of the team's offensive line through the first five games of the season. And perhaps the most surprising standout performer has been offensive tackle George Fant.
Fant entered the summer in a battle with free-agent pickup Morgan Moses for the starting right tackle job — a battle many presumed he was the underdog in.
Despite this, he won the starting job and was the team's Week 1 right tackle. He struggled in the first half of that game before shifting over to left tackle in the second half once Mekhi Becton went down with a knee injury.
Since then, he's started every game at left tackle and is one of only a handful of Jets players to play 100 percent of offensive snaps this season.
He hasn't just been playing either. He's putting together perhaps the best year of his career.
George Fant has been excellent for the NY Jets in 2021
Through six weeks, Fant is one of just five offensive tackles in the entire NFL to allow no sacks and fewer than 10 total pressures.
Fant has surrendered just seven pressures this season which ranks eighth in the NFL among qualified tackles. He's allowed just two QB hits and hasn't given one up in nearly a month.
On top of that, his 78.5 Pro Football Focus pass-block grade ranks seventh in the league among elite company such as Tyron Smith, Jake Matthews, Andrew Whitworth, and Tristan Wirfs.
His fantastic season has come a little out of nowhere after the former Seattle Seahawks lineman was nothing more than a league-average starter (if that) a year ago.
The Jets believed that Fant would perform better in their new offensive system that would allow him to take advantage of his athleticism — and evidently, they've been right.
Fant is also benefiting from a move back to his natural position after starting 14 games at right tackle last year. It'll be interesting to see what the Jets do when Becton returns.
There really isn't any doubt about where Becton will play — he'll step right back into his left tackle position. But as for Fant, it might be hard to keep him off the field.
Moses has played well too, and it remains to be seen how Fant would fare on the right side of the offensive line again.
That's a problem the Jets will have to face in the future. For now, they're enjoying a career year from a player many had already written off before the season started.