Building A Solid Offensive Line Is Going To Take Time For Jets, Who Likely Will Need To Invest In Those Positions In 2018 Draft

April 30, 2017

By William McInerney


The New York Jets offensive line does not look like it is going to be a strong suit in the 2017 season. The team is entering a rebuild, and are hoping to rebuild the line. Going into this year, the starters are Wesley Johnson at center, James Carpenter and Brian Winters at guard and Ben Ijalana and Kelvin Beachum at tackle. That’s a group that doesn’t inspire a ton of confidence.


Carpenter and Winters make up arguably one of the better guard combinations. Carpenter has been surprisingly healthy the past two years, but before he came to the Jets he never made it through a full season. It is fair to wonder if he will make it through a third straight season healthy. Winters is coming off a major surgery. While I would believe they should be fine, if one of them does get hurt the only strong part of the line may start to struggle. Their depth at guard right now is Dakota Dozier, Craig Watts and Jonotthan Harrison, none of whom are particularly good.


The tackle position is an interesting one. While Ijalana has started before, I believe he is better off as a backup. He isn’t awful, but he’s nothing special either. Beachum is the other tackle that the Jets plan to start this year, as he was signed from the Jaguars this offseason. Beachum has only played 16 games once, although he did play 15 games for the Jaguars last year. However, it is important to note he was graded as one of the worst tackles in the NFL last year. While he may have been hurt by playing on a bad line, he’ll be playing on a pretty bad line this year as well.


Center is an interesting position. Johnson has shown himself to be a capable blocker, but he has had some issues with snapping the ball. While that could be due to a lack of taking snaps with starting quarterbacks due to Nick Mangold being the center, it is still concerning. Hopefully he can work out those issues this offseason. If he can he may be able to be a solid piece for the Jets. If not the Jets should invest in a center in free agency or the draft next offseason.


The Jets are rebuilding this year. The team isn’t going to be good. I’m not going to say they should have brought in more offensive linemen, because at the end of the day, they weren’t going to piece together a dominant offensive line through free agency. Building a line takes time, and it needs to involve the draft. That said I understand why they didn’t take a lineman early. Frankly there weren’t any linemen worth the sixth overall pick. Building the line is going to take time this year. But that means the line is going to struggle this year. That’s the nature of rebuilding.


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