NY Jets: George Fant has a good chance to win starting RT job

NY Jets, George Fant
NY Jets, George Fant / Chris Pedota, NorthJersey.com via Imagn

When the NY Jets signed Morgan Moses in early July, the belief was that the veteran would immediately replace the incumbent George Fant as the team's starting right tackle.

The Jets insisted that the two would compete for the starting job this summer, but most assumed that the competition was more a formality than anything else.

However, as the weeks and months have gone on, Fant seems like more and more of a viable starting option. In fact, it wouldn't be a surprise at all if he's the team's Week 1 starter at right tackle.

That's the sentiment shared by ESPN's Rich Cimini who said on the Turn on the Jets podcast on Friday that "it would not shock [him] if Fant was [the Jets] starting right tackle on opening day."

The NY Jets might start George Fant at right tackle over Morgan Moses

Fant joined the Jets as a free agent prior to last season and he went on to start 14 games with the team in 2020. He was a serviceable starter, although his 61.6 Pro Football Focus grade that ranked 64th out of all offensive tackles was hardly anything to get excited about.

Moses, on the other hand, finished his seven-year stint in Washington with one of the best seasons of his career as his 79.9 PFF grade was not only a career-high, but good for the sixth highest-graded right tackle in the NFL.

For that reason, it seemed likely that the longtime Washington tackle would win the starting job. But Moses has struggled at times in training camp while Fant has made up ground after missing time earlier in the summer due to a bout with COVID-19.

The Jets always believed that Fant would be a much better player in the team's new offensive scheme. It's very much a movement-based scheme that emphasizes athleticism — something that's always been a strength of Fant's game.

Connor McGovern and Greg Van Roten have adapted well to the new scheme. As for the Jets' projected starting tackles, Moses and Mekhi Becton, they've run into their fair share of struggles.

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It remains to be seen who the Jets will give the start at right tackle come Week 1. Tonight's preseason finale could provide a good indication as to what their plans are for the regular season.