NY Jets rookie center Joe Tippmann took an important step on Wednesday

Joe Tippmann's stock is trending up as we approach mid-August
NY Jets, Joe Tippmann
NY Jets, Joe Tippmann / Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

When the NY Jets drafted Joe Tippmann in the second round of this year's NFL Draft, many assumed that the rookie center would step in as an instant starter in the team's offense. At the very least, the expectation was that Tippmann would compete for a starting job.

That hasn't exactly been the case, though. Tippmann has primarily worked with the third-team offense this summer and doesn't appear to be a serious threat to start at center. At least...until now.

The Jets held their first joint training camp practice with the Carolina Panthers on Wednesday, and while much of the attention was on Aaron Rodgers and the subpar performance of the team's offensive line, Tippmann quietly took a major step forward.

The former Wisconsin standout took his first reps with the second-team offense this summer, snapping to Zach Wilson for the first time. That's a notable development for a player who has been stuck snapping to Tim Boyle and Chris Streveler in practice.

Could Joe Tippmann start at center for the NY Jets this year?

Tippmann's promising performance in the Hall of Fame Game last Thursday seemed to improve his standing with the coaching staff. Head coach Robert Saleh even referred to Tippmann's performance as a "pleasant surprise" after the game.

Now, perhaps that isn't the best way to describe an impressive debut from a player you drafted 43rd overall just a few months ago, but it does suggest that Tippmann's showing helped improve his stock.

It's no coincidence that the Jets allowed Tippmann to work with the second-team offense just a few days after his preseason performance. The question now remains, is there any chance he could push for the starting job?

Saleh has previously indicated that he would like to have a good idea of who the Jets' starting center is going to be by the end of the team's second preseason game on Saturday against the Panthers. That doesn't leave much time for Tippmann to earn a starting role.

The incumbent Connor McGovern has been competing with veteran free-agent signing Wes Schweitzer this summer, but it appears as though McGovern is the odds-on favorite to start Week 1.

The Jets will give Tippmann another extended look in Saturday's preseason game, but it's hard to imagine he can do enough to earn the Week 1 starting job at this stage. McGovern is your likely starter to begin the season.

McGovern is a quality starting center despite what many might suggest, but the Jets won't hesitate to make a change if he begins to struggle. They drafted Tippmann for a reason, and he's passed every test to this point.

It makes sense why the Jets want to be patient with their young center. He's transitioning from a very different offensive system at Wisconsin, and the team seemingly prefers to have a veteran snapping to Aaron Rodgers.

That said, Tippmann is clearly the future. The future might not be ready by Week 1, but he continues to make progress this summer. Wednesday was an important step in the right direction for the young center.