The NY Jets' offensive line ranked just outside the top-10 after an overachieving 2021 season. These five starting linemen deserve nothing short of a standing ovation.
The Jets couldn't be more excited to see Mekhi Becton in action in 2022, but they were to be severely disappointed. Becton played just one game in Week 1 before sitting out the rest of the year due to a knee injury.
Instead, New York was pleasantly surprised by the unexpected competence of their offensive line in Becton's absence.
In 2021, the Jets' five starting offensive linemen all earned above-average overall PFF grades, and the unit as a whole was ranked 11th in the league, above the Indianapolis Colts and Detroit Lions.
In PFF's end-of-season NFL offensive line rankings, Sam Monson seemed optimistic about the future success of this Jets' offensive line.
"The Jets' offensive line overhaul has been a long-term process, but it’s starting to come together well — even if it’s being undermined a little by the tendency of their rookie quarterback to hold the ball too long and work his way into trouble."- Sam Monson
No one would deny who the superstar of the offensive line has been all season: George Fant. The left tackle started 15 games and could even challenge Becton for the left tackle role next year.
NY Jets' offensive line gets surprisingly high PFF ranking in 2021
Other than Fant, rookie Alijah Vera-Tucker had a solid showing at left guard and Connor McGovern did well at center after an up-and-down first season in green and white.
Right guard Greg Van Roten recorded one of the worst PFF grades in the unit at 67.5, and many fans (and even one NFL trainer) clamored for him to be replaced during the season. Ex-Chiefs lineman Laurent Duvernay-Tardif played a big role in patching up the right side alongside tackle Morgan Moses.
Wilson was sacked 44 times this year, but he did have a steep learning curve at the start of the season. All things considered, the offensive line should rightfully be recognized for protecting Wilson the best they could as well as aiding the Jets' run game.
Next season, an ominous cloud still hangs above Mekhi Becton's return to the team and whether Becton will keep his starting spot.
Ranking in the top half of the league should be considered an accomplishment for most teams, but especially the Jets. Looks like they're trending in the right direction.