Could the New York Jets be looking to upgrade the tackle position in the 2020 NFL Draft?
NFL analyst Brian Baldinger offered his insight into the state of the Jets’ offensive line, specifically mentioning that GM Joe Douglas could still be in on a tackle despite allocating plenty of resources toward the unit in recent months.
Free agency has seen Gang Green land a new left tackle in George Fant, a guard in Greg Van Roten, a center in Connor McGovern, and the draft could result in a right tackle.
“I think he [Joe Douglas] did a lot in free agency as we all know right now, but I think he has a lot more to do,” said Baldinger of Jets GM Joe Douglas. “It was very clear that he told Sam Darnold’s parents, ‘I’m going to get Sam protected, he’s not going to be a sitting duck back there.’ I think he comes from two organizations in Philadelphia and Baltimore where he’s been a big part of winning Super Bowls. On both of those teams, they had tremendous depth on the offensive line.”
“They invested on the offensive line, they spent resources on the offensive line. When they lost one player, they were replaced by another player of almost near quality. I think Joe is looking at this draft and there are some top-end tackles and offensive linemen in this draft.”
I would be surprised if the Jets passed on a tackle in the draft, especially singe Douglas has experience building offensive lines and understands the importance of the unit. Ultimately, Darnold’s protection is a priority, and upgrade the line will also benefit LeVeon Bell in the run game.
The defense is all but situated, with the lack of a true No. 1 corner being the one major hole. The positions the Jets need to inject more talent into are corner, wide receiver, and right tackle. If a player like Jedrick Wills is on the board, I anticipate Douglas looking no further.
“I think if the Jets lined up and played Week 1 tomorrow, they could line up and play right now,” said Baldinger of the revamped O-line. “Douglas has been around two Hall of Fame left tackles, so that’s his standard. George Fant is still very young and raw to a degree, but he will play a lot of games, and he’s played well. I think when Joe looks at an offensive line, he’s looking to anchor it with a near or HOF-type player. There might be those level of players in this draft, and if Joe has a chance at getting one, he’s not going to turn that down.”