NY Jets' pursuit of Orlando Brown hints at their draft plans
By Justin Fried
The NY Jets haven't made a ton of noise in free agency this offseason. Outside of the Allen Lazard addition, the Jets have been very quiet on the open market, of course, aside from their pursuit of Aaron Rodgers.
That hasn't been due to a lack of trying, however. The Jets have been in on the markets of players like Jake Brendel, Fletcher Cox, and even four-time Pro Bowl offensive tackle Orlando Brown Jr. Unfortunately, they struck out quite a few times in the process.
It's no surprise that the Jets were interested in players like Brendel and Cox, given the team's obvious holes at center and defensive tackle. Their pursuit of Brown, on the other hand, is a bit more notable.
It shows that the Jets are still looking to make a major addition at offensive tackle. The Jets' failed pursuit of Brown might just be a prelude to what's to come in the 2023 NFL Draft.
The attempted Orlando Brown signing suggests the NY Jets plan to draft an offensive tackle
At the moment, the Jets are projected to start Duane Brown and Mekhi Becton at left and right tackle, respectively. 2022 fourth-round pick Max Mitchell is also in the mix at right tackle. It's highly unlikely that's the Jets' plan for the 2023 season, though.
Brown is coming off offseason shoulder surgery and will turn 38 years old in August. Becton has played just one game since his rookie season, while Mitchell dealt with his own health ailments last season. The Jets need additional security at the position.
They could target someone on Day 2 or 3 of the draft or even look to sign a veteran, but the Jets' pursuit of Orlando Brown suggests they have bigger plans in mind.
Brown was the top available offensive lineman on the market this offseason. The Cincinnati Bengals signed him to a four-year, $64 million contract worth an average of $16 million per season. The fact that the Jets were in the ballpark of that range suggests they're eyeing a big-time addition at the position.
Provided the Jets don't trade away the No. 13 overall pick in an Aaron Rodgers trade, which seems unlikely at this stage, the safe bet is to assume they target an offensive tackle at that spot.
Whether it's Paris Johnson, Peter Skoronski, Broderick Jones, etc., that rookie could compete with Brown at left tackle while Becton and Mitchell compete for the right tackle job. That seems to be the most likely outcome for the Jets' offensive tackle situation.
The Jets may not have landed Orlando Brown, but their pursuit of the Pro Bowl tackle tells us a lot. It suggests that the Jets are looking to make a sizable investment in the offensive tackle position this offseason.
Put your money on an offensive tackle at pick 13 (not actual financial advice).