The NY Jets are understandably taking things slow with rookie center Joe Tippmann. The team's second-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft has worked exclusively with the third-team offense thus far in training camp, but he was given a massive opportunity to prove his worth in Thursday's Hall of Fame Game.
Tippmann started at center for the Jets in last night's preseason opener and played 46 of the team's 50 offensive snaps. No offensive player was on the field more than Tippmann last night.
It's safe to say that Tippmann made the most of his opportunity as well. The Wisconsin product didn't allow a single pressure on 24 pass-block snaps, finishing with an outstanding 82.9 Pro Football Focus pass-block grade.
His 68.2 PFF grade ranked among the top-five offensive players for the Jets in the game, and he managed to do so with a significantly larger sample size than some of the others ranked above him.
It was an incredibly encouraging performance for a player Jets fans hope will anchor the team's offensive line for the foreseeable future.
Joe Tippmann made a strong first impression in the NY Jets debut
The Jets have been very patient with their rookie center this summer. Part of that is likely due to the difficult adjustment coming from a run-heavy offense at Wisconsin.
Tippmann wasn't asked to snap the ball out of the shotgun formation much in college. It makes sense for the Jets to take it slow with his development, especially with an experienced quarterback like Aaron Rodgers running the show.
That said, Tippmann's performance in the preseason opener was a strong indication that he probably deserves more opportunities in practice. Thursday night was the first time he had even snapped to Zach Wilson in live reps.
Connor McGovern seems likely to beat out veteran Wes Schweitzer for the starting center role, but it might not be long before Tippmann starts to push him for the job. More performances like this one will certainly go a long way toward helping him climb up the depth chart.
The Jets aren't rushing anything with their 2023 draft class, but Tippmann is making an early case to force them to rethink that strategy. This was a flawless debut from the rookie second-round pick.