Tyron Smith was 'utterly dominant' in NY Jets spring practices

Tyron Smith is still elite
Tyron Smith
Tyron Smith / Luke Hales/GettyImages

The NY Jets understandably have high expectations for left tackle Tyron Smith this season. Despite his advanced age and extensive injury history, Smith remains one of the best left tackles in the NFL.

The Jets got their first opportunity to watch Smith in action this spring during OTAs and minicamp. The future Hall of Famer was on a limited practice plan, but he was able to participate without any other restrictions.

And not only did he participate — he dominated.

The Athletic's Zack Rosenblatt reported last week that Smith was "utterly dominant" this spring, indicating that it was rare to see him lose a battle against an opposing defensive lineman, either in the run or pass game.

Smith clearly hasn't lost a step despite his age and mounting injuries. The Jets fully expect a healthy Smith to be a cornerstone of their offense in 2024.

NY Jets left tackle Tyron Smith is still playing at an All-Pro level

Smith's early dominance shouldn't be seen as a surprise to anyone who watched him play in Dallas last season. The 33-year-old started 13 games — his most since 2019 — and earned second-team All-Pro honors following another outstanding campaign.

The eight-time Pro Bowler was Pro Football Focus' highest-rated pass blocker at his position, allowing just one single QB hit all season. Smith played over 530 pass-block snaps and allowed 18 pressures and just one QB hit. That's about as dominant as it gets.

Only two qualified tackles in the entire NFL allowed fewer pressures than Smith, and both players registered fewer snaps than the longtime Cowboys standout. It was genuinely one of the best seasons of Smith's illustrious, Canton-bound career.

That's why the Jets felt confident signing Smith to a team-friendly one-year, $6.5 million contract this offseason. The contract is loaded with incentives, and if Smith is on the field, there's a good chance he reaches those incentives.

Of course, the key with Smith will be staying healthy. He hasn't appeared in more than 13 games in a season since 2015 and has played just 32 of a possible 67 games over the last four years.

The Jets plan to keep Smith on a limited practice routine throughout the season, similar to what the Cowboys did in 2023. The hope is that this routine will allow Smith to keep his body fresh and healthy for the season.

The Jets have one of the best left tackles of his generation on their roster. Now, the key is making sure he stays on the field.