The New York Jets made it a priority to improve their offensive line this offseason, and it was imperative they did considering the potentially catastrophic effects of them avoiding the issue.
While a majority of the Jets’ team has been built around the idea of youth, their offensive front has a veteran core that brings years of experience to the table. Arguably the best blocker upfront is Kelechi Osemele, formerly of the Oakland Raiders.
via team reporter Olivia Landis, the veteran is very impressed with how the unit is progressing:
This is a very mature group. A lot of these guys have been starting for a long time already, so there really isn’t any pressure for me to be anybody’s big brother to babysit. Guys are professionals and we have a lot of guys who are trying to come into some bigger contracts and want to do well for themselves. And there’s obviously guys that want to play at a Pro Bowl level. Everybody has an accountability and something that they’re trying to accomplish on this line, so we’re pretty self-sufficient and self-motivated, and we’re pretty driven.
Why does the offensive line need to improve for the New York Jets?
In 2018, the unit allowed an unacceptable 37 sacks (ESPN) – not as much as some teams, but way too much for their rookie quarterback to endure, which saw him pick up minor injuries along the way. The primary reason this group must perform at a higher level is because of Darnold and his youth.
They need to ensure he remains healthy and on the field, as injuries will only stunt his growth and development. Bringing in players like Osemele to mesh with Kelvin Beachum, Jonotton Harrison, Brian Winters, and Brandon Shell will help protect Darnold from taking unnecessary sacks and staying in the pocket.
We don’t want to have an Eli Manning situation on our hands where Darnold is looking for incoming pressure before reading his progressions. Hopefully, the line can stay healthy over the course of the season and help the young quarterback take his game to the next level.