Analyzing New York Giants Rookie OT Matt Peart’s Strengths and Weaknesses

New York Giants, Matt Peart

The New York Giants crushed the 2020 NFL Draft. After years of disappointing offensive line play, Dave Gettleman and the Giants made it a priority to invest in the trenches. New York spent the fourth overall pick on an offensive tackle, Andrew Thomas out of Georgia, then doubled down at the position in the third round, spending the ninety-ninth overall pick on Matt Peart out of UCONN.

Matt Peart is not expected to be a starter for the Giants in the 2020 NFL season, but he has the potential to be a starter down the road. Matt Peart was not a big-name prospect after playing for four years at UCONN. However, he was an excellent prospect and a great selection at the end of the third round.

Many fans might not know much about Matt Peart, being that he played offensive tackle for the University of Connecticut. So in this article, I will break down Peart’s top strengths and weaknesses for fans to familiarize themselves with the Giants’ potential right tackle of the future.

Strengths:

Excellent Footwork

Matt Peart has quick, agile feet. He gets out of his stance immediately with an excellent kick step. His angle sets are nearly always perfect, and he has more than enough lateral agility to stay in front of opposing speed rushers.

The most impressive skill that Matt Peart possesses is his ability to mirror defenders off the edge. He can quickly shuffle or pivot and stay in front of defenders the entire way around the pocket. Peart’s agility makes it really difficult for opposing edge rushers to get around him.

Rarely do Peart’s feet get flat and stop moving. They also infrequently get too close together or too wide. He has advanced footwork, and it is the biggest strength within his game. His baseline of technique gives him the ability to be at minimum an average offensive tackle in the NFL. But there are other factors to Matt Peart’s game that give him a much higher ceiling than that.

Great Bodytype and Athleticism

Matt Peart is a tall, lanky offensive tackle. He possesses insane 36 5/8” arms, which are “some of the longest the Combine has ever seen,” according to Pro Football Focus. Peart’s long arms give him incredible length when taking on opposing rushers.

Peart’s size, athleticism, and length, as Joe Judge and Dave Gettleman pointed out, give him plenty of upside and a “sizeable ceiling.” Peart also ran a 5.06 40 yard dash at 2020 NFL Combine. His impressive measurables and athletic testing had him standout amongst the offensive tackles projected past the second round.

Weaknesses:

Inconsistent Hand Placement

As proficient as Matt Peart’s feet are, his hands do leave a bit to be desired. Sometimes his hands get too far apart, leaving a huge strike zone on his chest for defenders to grab and control him or to bull-rush through.

There are aspects of Peart’s hand placement to like, however. He does get his hands up rather quickly to initiate the contact, and he does do a good job of clinching the defender’s jersey to easily control them. But Peart can only clinch and control defenders when his hands get inside of their chest, which is why the sometimes erratic and too-wide hand placement can create problems.

Needs To Add Strength

Matt Peart is not exactly a big mauler at offensive tackle. While he has enough strength to get the job done in Division I football, he needs to add strength to be competitive in the NFL. There were times where he was bull-rushed backward in college, causing the pocket to collapse on the quarterback. Sometimes that was the fault of poor hand placement, but other times it was caused by a lack of strength.

In the run game, Peart has good vision and the athleticism to get to the second level. But he does not always make an impact when initiating contact with the defenders on the line of scrimmage. Sometimes he engages in the block and gets no push off the line. Its a bit of a stalemate, and that is OK. But when you factor in the additional strength he will be facing in the pros; it can be concerning. Especially when you watch the film and notice that there are plays in which Peart is actually the one being walked backward while run-blocking, which is obviously the complete opposite of what is supposed to happen.

But Matt Peart is not a weakling. He managed to total 26 reps on the bench at the NFL Combine. That is an impressive number with such long arms. Matt Peart has strength, but adding a bit more power and muscle mass to fill out that large frame will only improve Peart’s game.

Recap

A four-year starter for UCONN, Matt Peart is stepping into the NFL with plenty of playing experience. He also competed amongst other talented pass-rushers at the 2020 Senior Bowl. Nevertheless, do not expect to see Peart on the field much in 2020. The Giants simply do not need to rush him out there. They have the necessary depth at the offensive tackle position to give Matt Peart time to sit and develop. But being that his technique is already great and he has the prototype body and athleticism to be an offensive tackle in the NFL, odds are Peart will progress well enough to earn that starting spot in a year or two. I truly believe that Matt Peart was a steal at ninety-nine overall and that he will be a long-term starter for the New York Giants.

This article is also accompanied by a YouTube video of a film breakdown on Matt Peart. You can check that out here.

Should the New York Giants pursue former first round pick DE Taco Charlton?

New York Giants, Taco Charlton

Taking a look at Taco Charlton and if the New York Giants should pursue him in free agency:

After a short stint with Miami in 2019, former first-round selection by the Dallas Cowboys, Taco Charlton, has been waived by the Dolphins. Having logged five sacks last season with Miami and his obvious familiarity with Giants’ defensive coordinator, Patrick Graham, there is a connection that could result in some interest by Big Blue.

Charlton struggled in his first two seasons with the Cowboys as a defensive end, tallying just four total sacks. Taco is a bit too big to feature as an outside linebacker in the 3-4 scheme, the expected scheme for the Giants. However, Graham could plan to implement a mesh of 3-4 and 4-3 but predominantly will utilize the former. It could open up the idea of adding the former first-rounder who clearly has untapped potential based on his sack total in just five started games last season.

It seems as if Graham brought the best out of Charlton and could utilize him with Big Blue in 2020, despite his 6-foot-6, 270-pound frame. With the Giants desperately needing more pieces to add to the pass rush unit, Charlton could provide value as a rotational piece or scheme-specific player. He would count less than $2 million against the cap if picked up.

Where do the Giants currently sit with the OLB position?

At the moment, Graham is a bit thin at edge rusher, unless Markus Golden ends up sticking with the Giants for 2020 on the FA tender. That would guarantee 110% of his 2019 salary, meaning he would only count about $5 million against the cap for next season. Adding a double-digit sack producer for $5 million is fantastic, and considering his familiarity with the team and 2019 rookies, it would be beneficial.

Aside from Golden, the Giants still have Lorenzo Carter and Oshane Ximines, with the latter of the two preparing for an improvement in 2020. Ximines posted 4.5 sacks on just 45% of defensive snaps. Factoring in the expectation of improvement, Ximines could post double-digit sacks next season, which would give the Giants a solid foundation to build around at the position.

New York Mets’ former captain David Wright tells amazing stories involving deGrom and McNeil

New York Mets, Jacob deGrom

The New York Mets‘ Cookie Club, hosted by Dominic Smith and J.D. Davis, had a special guest on Wednesday’s episode. David Wright, the former captain and club legend, participated in the show and told amazing stories about current stars Jeff McNeil and Jacob deGrom.

If you are a fan of the New York Mets, you probably know by now that deGrom, the team’s ace and one of the faces of the franchise, is one competitive dude. However, according to Wright’s story, he has inner fire.

“Jake is a different type of intense. The fire that burns within him is amazing,” Wright said, per SNY. “And it’s not like outwardly where — you’re not gonna see him break a lot of stuff. Although, I do have a great memento from Jake.”

Wright continued: “He got beat up a couple of starts. … And he came in after like the second or third poor start — which is shocking, that he’d have that many poor starts — and he ripped his jersey off, and buttons are flying everywhere. And he just threw it in the middle of the ground. I’m being serious, but from afar I’m trying not to laugh. So then he tries to pull off his Nike shirt, and he’s like trying to ‘Hulk Hogan’ it, and he’s going and he’s going and he’s going, and it won’t rip! So finally he just sits in his chair and he looks at me and goes ‘I give up.'”

The Mets’ ace wants to “beat and embarrass you”

The former Mets’ captain claims he still has the jersey, and wants deGrom to put his signature on it.

“The fire that Jake has is from within, like he takes it personal,” Wright said. “When he’s on the mound, it’s like a mano a mano thing. Not only does he want to beat you, but he wants to embarrass you. That’s a different level.”

Now, to McNeil: the New York Mets great remembers that the Squirrel’s mouth got him in trouble while he was in the minors.

“I was with McNeil in St. Lucie,” Wright said. “They asked him to come into the front office of St. Lucie. … and they’re like, ‘dude, you gotta cut out the obscenities that you’re yelling out after striking out. There’s like 12 people in the stands, and they can hear everything that you say. Let’s pump the brakes a little bit, guy.'”

New York Jets Draft Pick Bryce Hall Shares Marriage Proposal on Instagram (Video)

After he was chosen by the New York Jets, Bryce Hall’s week got even better, as he shared a video of a successful proposal to his girlfriend.

No matter how your week is going, it’s going to very hard to stop how the past few days have gone fro Bryce Hall.

The former Virginia cornerback was first chosen by the New York Jets last Saturday afternoon in the fifth round of the 2020 NFL Draft. Hall has now donned a ring before playing his first professional down.

On Instagram, Hall revealed that he proposed to his girlfriend, fellow Virginia Cavalier Anzel Vilojen. Like Hall, Vilojen partook in Virginia athletics, representing the school’s field hockey team as a back. She led the team with 26 points (7 goals, 12 assists) and helped them reach the semifinals of the 2019 NCAA Division I Field Hockey Championship in November. The New Zealand native also earned second-team All-ACC honors.

Hall shared his surprise proposal, which Viojen accepted, on Instagram.

“She’s in it for the long Hall,” Hall declares in his caption “excited [sic] and ready to start this next phase of life with my best friend, lover, ride or die and answer to all of my prayers!!”

In the video, Hall is asked by an unseen party what convinced him that Violjen was “the one”. He happily recalled Vilojen visiting him in the hospital after a broken ankle suffered in an October tilt against Miami ended his season.

“When she came to my hospital after I had broken my ankle, that’s when I was like, yeah this is the one, “It was 11:00 at night, everybody else went home and it was just me and her chatting it up. So I knew she was one to keep then.”

Hall’s engagement comes five days after he was the penultimate pick (158th overall) of the Jets’ 2020 draft proceedings. He put up 154 tackles and five interceptions during his four-year tenure in Charlottesville to go with 38 pass breakups. Of that latter tally, 21 came in 2018, which led the nation.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

New York Yankees’ president is “surprised” by change in Anthony Fauci’s tone regarding MLB return

New York Yankees

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, made the news this week after he cautioned that the season could be canceled entirely if minimum health conditions weren’t met at some point. However, the New York Yankees president Randy Levine seems somewhat surprised by Fauci’s remarks.

Levine isn’t giving up in having a season in 2020, and said he thinks everybody with a stake in Major League Baseball getting its season started should cooperate with each other in order to achieve that goal.

Speaking on Fox News Radio’s “The Brian Kilmeade Show,” quoted by the New York Post, Levine stated that “I really believe everybody should just work together to do this. I was kind of surprised this morning when I saw one story about Dr. Fauci where he said that now he doesn’t — he thinks some sports might not play till next year, but last week on the YES Network, he said that — quite the opposite,’’ Levine said.

Will we see the Yankees again this year?

Here are Fauci’s recent comments: “Safety, for the players and for the fans, trumps everything. If you can’t guarantee safety, then unfortunately you’re going to have to bite the bullet and say, ‘We may have to go without this sport for this season.’ I would love to be able to have all sports back. But as a health official and a physician and a scientist, I have to say, right now, when you look at the country, we’re not ready for that yet.”

The Yankees’ executive went on: “He [Fauci] said that he, like the governor [Andrew Cuomo], would like to see games with fans in the seats … — I’m sorry, with no fans in the seats and there — if there is mitigation, possibly, depending on conditions on the ground, fans in the seats. So I mean it’s confusing, and that’s why all of us with good intentions have to come together, need to come together and put a plan together that works.”

In the end, the only factor that will determine whether the New York Yankees will return to the field this year is the coronavirus. “It’s going to be the virus that determines what the timetable is because if we get the virus under really good control, it is conceivable that you may be able to have some baseball with people practicing physical separation,’’ Fauci said. “Namely, you don’t pack a stadium.’’

New York Yankees’ outfielder Giancarlo Stanton donates 15.000 face shields

New York Yankees, Yankees, Giancarlo Stanton

Because of the coronavirus crisis affecting the world and, most notably, the United States, MLB had to suspend the start of the 2020 season. New York Yankees‘ fans, as well as the other 29 teams, are currently waiting for an official resolution regarding the future of the season, if there is one. All parties are optimistic, though.

In the meantime, society, especially healthcare professionals, are doing everything they can to ensure that the virus stops spreading so quickly, in addition to treating patients in need.

Thankfully, people are helping within the limits of their own possibilities. Yankees’ outfielder Giancarlo Stanton is among them, as he is donating 15,000 reusable face shields to medical professionals in Southern California and New York.

As you probably know by now, face shields are a powerful barrier to prevent the virus from spreading with ease. The COVID-19, as it is also named, has killed thousands of people around the planet since its appearance late in 2019.

Each area, (Southern California and New York) will get 6,000 face shields. They will be distributed among several places and facilities. Stanton also promised 3,000 additional face shields in the near future, according to a report from MLB.com.

The Yankees’ slugger keeps working out

The 30-year old New York Yankees’ superstar is currently working out at the George M. Steinbrenner Field facility in Tampa, Fla.

“I’ve seen the growing needs of the healthcare workers,” Stanton told the New York Post. “I’ve kind of been doing research and seeing what they need the most, what can benefit them through the long haul of this. I know they’ve had to exchange masks throughout the day, and with the limitation on masks in general, I thought it would be a smart idea to get those face shields to cut that number down.”

Also in Stanton’s plans is directing some face shields to the Miami area, where he played eight seasons with the Marlins.

“It’s wild, man,” Stanton said. “Obviously, we’ve never seen anything like this. It just seems like every new notification on our phones, or however we get our information, isn’t positive. You’ve got to keep moving forward, see what you can do while staying at home.

“When there isn’t any positive news out there, for me it’s just trying to keep ready to go, keep a positive mindset, try to improve things, learn new things, better myself. Always. That’s really all you can do.”

Did the New York Giants get a steal in UDFA WR Binjimen Victor?

New York Giants, Binjimen Victor

Taking a look at UDFA Binjimen Victor and if the New York Giants gained a solid talent in the wideout:

Binjimen Victor didn’t start a single game for the Ohio State Buckeyes in his first three seasons with the team. He played a total of 21 games from 2016 to 2018, but he saw an increase in production and reps in 2019. Over 12 games last year, he posted 573 yards and six touchdowns.

Victor has a lanky body with extremely long arms allowing him to challenge contested balls in the air. In 2017, he recorded seven touchdowns on 23 receptions. That’s 1/3 of his catches resulting in points. In 2019, he logged six touchdowns, proving that he can be a solid red zone and deep-ball threat for the Giants if he makes the active roster.

Despite not starting any games in his first three years he was consistently utilized as a menace on offense. As a former four-star recruit, Victor undoubtedly has the talent to be a solid pass catcher in the NFL.

At 6-foot-4 and 198 pounds, he is lanky and long, which indicates he could probably use some extra muscle mass. I imagine the Giants will try to bulk him up a bit and make him stronger off the line of scrimmage. At this point in time, he is strictly a vertical receiver and can glide into slant routes delivering a large wingspan for Daniel Jones to utilize.

While Victor isn’t the fastest pass-catcher on the field at any given time, posting a 4.6 40-yard dash, he has extremely long strides and a massive catch radius supplementing some of his speed. His 16.1 yards per catch average over his career is astounding and gives the Giants a real deep threat alongside Darius Slayton.

Realistically, he will need to earn one of the final few slots at the position if not land on the practice squad. He is competing against Corey Coleman, Cody Core, Derrick Dillon, Da’Mari Scott, David Sills, and Reggie White Jr. for a roster spot.

Reggie White Jr. and Victor have a similar body frame, with the latter of the two being two inches taller and weighing about 10 pounds less. If the former Ohio State wideout can harness his natural abilities and put a few more pounds of muscle on, he could easily earn a back-end wide receiver spot. With the injuries at the position in 2019, the Giants could use some more depth-talent to rely on.

 

Andrew Thomas vs Chase Young is the Top Rookie Matchup for 2020

New York Giants, Andrew Thomas, Georgia Bulldogs

The New York Giants missed out on Ohio State edge rusher Chase Young, arguably the best player in the 2020 NFL Draft, last week when the Washington Redskins selected Young with the second overall pick.

The Giants, picking fourth, countered that measure by taking Georgia offensive tackle Andrew Thomas, considered by many to be the best all-around left tackle prospect coming out of the collegiate ranks this year.

The Giants and Redskins – as NFC East Division rivals – face each other twice each season and Pro Football Focus believes the Young-Thomas head-to-head matchup is the top rookie battle to watch in 2020, and perhaps beyond.

“Two of the top four picks in the draft will see plenty of each other in the coming years. Young is the best defensive player in the draft, coming off the best season we’ve seen for an edge defender, with a 96.0 overall grade. Thomas has the cleanest grading profile of any offensive tackle in a deep class, as he ranked fifth as a pass blocker last year at 89.0 and second as a run blocker at 91.7. Thomas likely starts his career at right tackle, while Chase Young may start on the other side, but look for him to move around to maximize his rushing skills from both sides of the line.”

The incumbent at left tackle for the Giants is Nate Solder, who had a down year in 2019. He is 32 and heading into his 10th NFL season. Solder is in the third year of a bloated four-year deal and is no longer effective in handling speed rushers which was evident last year as rookie Daniel Jones took a bit of a pounding. That opens the door for Thomas to start at left tackle, a position he played at a high level at Georgia.

Whether or not Thomas will get matched up with Young regularly remains to be seen. If the Redskins employ a 3-4, you can count on the two tangling a lot. If head coach Ron Rivera installs the 4-3, Young will likely still line up at linebacker, but it could change his responsibilities in the passing game on many downs.

It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, though, to hold Young back from rushing the passer. Yes, he can do it all, but for the Redskins to get their bang for the buck, they need him going downhill on most plays.

When he does, it would behoove the Giants to have Thomas there waiting for him.

Did the New York Yankees make a mistake extending Luis Severino?

New York Yankees, Luis Severino

Taking a look at Luis Severino and if the New York Yankees made a mistake extending him for four years.

When the Yankees offered Luis Severino a four-year, $40 million contract in 2019, most believed it was a good deal. At just 25-years-old and plenty of potential left to be extracted from the starting pitcher, $10 million per season was a steal.

Hindsight is always 20/20, indicating that nobody could have predicted the second injury in 2020. Severino succumbed to Tommy John surgery this off-season after feeling discomfort in the final postseason game against the Houston Astros.

Having just pitched three total games last season, Severino was set back significantly. Having pitched more than 191 innings consecutively in 2017 and 2018, backing it up with a 12 inning performance last year was not the developmental step the Yankees anticipated him taking. He was expected to bounce back after a solid postseason performance, but with the coronavirus pandemic shutting down MLB operations and Severino set to miss the entire campaign regardless, the Yankees are now looking back and wondering about their extension offerings.

Will Severino ever become the pitcher they know he can be, or will he fall into a pit of development where he never reaches his potential?

Realistically, at 26-years-old, the Dominican Republic native has plenty of time to reach his potential and find his rhythm once again. He was projected to earn $10.5 million this year and slowly increase by no more than $750K. The Yankees have a 2023 club-option that includes a $2.75 million buy-out if they wish to pick that up. At that point, Luis will be 30-years-old and count $15 million against the salary.

So was Severino’s extension justified? I believe so.

Ten million per season doesn’t even compare to the amount they are paying J.A. Happ. Happ is earning $17 million per year, a significant more than Severino, but should indicate how positive this deal really is. If Severino can return and reach his peak performance, the Yankees will have a dominant starter on a team-friendly contract.

Unfortunately, the word “if” is often referred to in this circumstance.

The New York Jets’ Last Draft Pick Might be Their Most Crucial (at least immediately)

The New York Jets’ sixth-round choice of Braden Mann raised some eyebrows, but the Texas A&M punter could be their biggest new contributor.

Ah, the punter. He’s football’s living, breathing white flag, a personified excuse to get a beverage refill or visit the restroom. His prescience, at least in his designated kicking duties, is a de facto admittance of failure to score, an admission of defeat that gives the other team the ball back.

Even a punter’s finest moments, at least when performing his designated duties of pinning the opponent deep can be erased. Few remember, for example, the New York Giants Steve Weatherford pinning the New England Patriots at their own six-yard-line after the opening drive of Super Bowl XLVI. When the Patriots were called for an intentional grounding penalty on the very next play, Weatherford became indirectly responsible for providing the Giants early momentum in the form of a safety. It set the pace for a 21-17 path to a fourth Super Bowl title, as the Giants built an early lead by scoring a touchdown shortly after. Whereas Weatherford’s part in a championship laid forgotten, it breaks the internet if a punter gets kicked in the fact on a return, as Spencer Lanning of the Browns found out the hardy way.

The New York Jets are certainly used to the concept of punting defeat. No one in the NFL has punted more over the last four seasons, as 339 drives have ended with a boot. By no coincidence, the Jets rank dead last both yardage and points scored over the same span. Their cumulative 21-43 record outranks only lowly Cleveland.

It’s no wonder why the Jets have spent the most recent transaction periods making headline news. They would spend their first top-three draft pick in over two decades on quarterback Sam Darnold in 2018. A $52.5 million payday awaited running back Le’Veon Bell, even after he sat out a whole year in Pittsburgh.

When it became clear that those two were mere athletes and not miracle workers, they brought in offensive linemen during the 2020 free agency process. Last week’s draft, rife with shifts via trade up and down the board, was equally heavy on offense. The team opted for further protection in the form of Louisville blocker Mekhi Becton (11th overall) before bolstering their receiving corps with Baylor’s Denzel Mims (59th). Using their next two picks defensively, the final day of the draft reverted to an offensive theme. Spell options for both Bell (Florida’s Lamical Perine) and Darnold (Florida International’s James Morgan) were chosen before another block in a logjam in the 120s. Secondary depth would in the fifth round through cornerback Bryce Hall.

Then, with their final pick in the sixth round, the 191st overall selection…the Jets took a punter.

Even at such a late stage, wedged between third-day interest enhancers like Zoom concerts from Luke Bryan and One Republic, the selection of Texas A&M’s Braden Mann raised eyebrows. Surely, the Jets could’ve used the pick further replenishing their needs? Interior blocking help in legacy fashion would go immediately after when Green Bay took Jon Runyan Jr. at No. 192. Robby Anderson’s departure left plenty of renovations in the receiver’s department…surely an option like First-Team All-AAC receiver James Proche would’ve sufficed? Options at furthering their pass rush and secondary were likewise available…so why Mann, the punter? Even the NFL’s historic ledgers weren’t so kind. Of the eleven punters with the highest averages in NFL history, four (including second-ranked Johnny Hekker) were undrafted.

The selections of Becton and Mims are the ones that already lasting long-term effects on the franchise’s well-being. But of the nine athletes added to the Jets’ roster during 2020’s virtual selections…Mann may be the one that can lead the team to the most immediate wins.

Regardless of your opinion of Darnold so far, there is no denying that the Jets are a team that struggles to reach the end zone on a consistent basis. Until that happens, a good punter is a must-have accessory in New York. The Jets got it right, or at least had the right idea, when it came to Mann.

Current free agent Lac Edwards, the overworked soul tasked with the excess booting, was serviceable (45.5 average) after joining the team as a seventh-round pick in 2016. But the Jets can’t afford serviceable efforts right now. It’s similar to when a team substitutes an acceptable quarterback for an extraordinary, dynamic talent in the interest of providing a spark. New York’s defense, while packed with talent, can’t afford to begin drives with their backs immediately pressed against the wall. Last season, the possessions of Jets opponents typically just past their own 31-yard-line (an average starting spot of 31.26, to be precise) Only Tampa Bay (31.70) was worse.

With no traction made in Edwards’ case to return, the Jets offered a future contract to former Pittsburgh preseason participant Ian Berryman. But with the offense’s struggles and defense’s desperation being the critical issues stifling the Jets’ efforts to achieve a mere winning record, a more reliable commodity was needed.

Should he fulfill his potential, Mann can at least provide levity toward those crucial issues.

One could argue that Mann might’ve been available after the draft, but that probably wouldn’t have been the case. Not only did another punter go in the seventh-round (Atlanta chose Syracuse’s Sterling Hofrichter), but Mann literally had a career for the ages in College Station. His historic junior season saw him become a literal field flipper, as his 51 yards per kick became an all-time NCAA record. Other shattered records included most punts of at least 60 yards (14) and the single-game punt average tally (60.8 in a September tilt against Alabama).

Mann’s trek to history led to the 2018 Ray Guy Award (bestowed to the nation’s top punter) and unanimous All-American honors (joining new Jets teammate Quinnen Williams in such an honor). It takes a lot for a season that featured a 47.1 punt average and all-SEC honors to appear as a slight disappointment…but that’s just how hard it was to live up to Mann’s 2018 antics.

To top it all off, those complaining about eschewing defensive depth for a punter had their prayers answered nonetheless. The Jets shipped their final pick of the afternoon, the 211th selection acquired from Kansas City over to Indianapolis in exchange for cornerback Quincy Wilson. Instead of a potentially expendable final pick, the Jets now have a veteran that can truly compete for a roster spot and one that will work alongside former Colts teammate Pierre Desir.

The Jets’ selection of a punter is not the one fans necessarily wanted, but one they needed. Mann can buy an offense struggling to gain traction some time as they work out their growing pains. While the Jets have undoubtedly improved, no one is expecting them to engage in a scoring shootout with their Week 1 opponent. Chemistry must be developed on the offensive line and Darnold must find a new favorite target.

Until that time comes, Mann is going to be the one putting both sides of the ball at ease. He can give a defense a favorable spot to work with and alleviate pressure from the offense to score on every single play while they get their act together. Perhaps a microcosm of the Jets’ draft as a whole, Mann (and, to a lesser extent, potential kick return candidate and third-round choice Ashtyn Davis) is the type of selection that can improve all three aspects of the game.

The Jets’ draft class is set to be long remembered for what Becton and Mims accomplish. But the early stages of Mann’s career could truly fuel the opening stages of what the tri-state area hopes is a lasting franchise turning point.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags