Knowing the background of New York Jets general manager Joe Douglas, the construction of the offensive line was always going to be one of his focal points. Now, through three entire offseasons, Douglas has built up a respectable group of starters and depth. The top eight, all of whom are essentially final 53-man roster locks for the 2022 season, will be ranked. It is worth noting that if the Jets end up signing veteran offensive tackle Riley Reiff, he would likely rank sixth or seventh.
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Power ranking the top eight New York Jets offensive linemen:
8. Max Mitchell, OT
The Jets drafted Max Mitchell early in the fourth round of the 2022 draft. He just concluded four years at Louisiana. Mitchell has a strong reputation for his leadership. He is a tough player with good athletic ability. He fits the zone running scheme offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur runs. Mitchell has upside as both a run and pass blocker. He will take his rookie year to develop and get stronger. Mitchell turns 23 in October.
7. Dan Feeney, iOL
Dan Feeney is now going into his sixth NFL season. For a backup, he has gained a ton of NFL experience with 62 career starts and 4,051 snaps. He will play this season at 28-years-old. A few of the best aspects of Feeney are his durability and positional flexibility. He is usually reliable in terms of his week-to-week availability. Feeney can play center and guard, making him an even more valuable backup.
6. Nate Herbig, iOL
After the draft, the Philadelphia Eagles waived Nate Herbig, and the Jets signed him shortly after. Douglas was still with the Eagles when the team signed Herbig as an undrafted free agent in 2019. Over the last two years, Herbig started 17 games. He has accumulated 1,377 total snaps throughout his first three NFL seasons. Similar to Feeney, Herbig offers versatility to play both center and guard. Herbig has done some good things so far in his young career. As he enters his fourth NFL season, Herbig turns 24 next month.
5. Connor McGovern, C
Connor McGovern was one of Douglas’ first major investments to the offensive line as a free agent signing in 2020. McGovern had a solid 2021 season for the Jets. He started 15 games, played 972 snaps, and earned a good PFF grade of 75.9. McGovern only committed three penalties and allowed four sacks. He has good athleticism and fits the zone running scheme. McGovern is a tough, physical, and aggressive pass blocker. He will play the 2022 season at 29-years-old. As he enters the final year of his contract, anticipate McGovern’s best season as a Jet.
4. Alijah Vera-Tucker, RG
Alijah Vera-Tucker had a good rookie season for the Jets in 2021. Douglas made a thrilling trade-up to get Vera-Tucker in the draft. He started 16 games as a first-year player and played 1,026 snaps. Vera-Tucker only allowed two sacks. As a run blocker, he made his impact felt in a big way in certain games. He played at left guard last year and will be making the move to right guard in 2022. Versatility is a huge plus to his game as he has played tackle and guard. Vera-Tucker turns 23-years-old this week. He should only continue to ascend as a key piece to the Jets’ long-term plans.
3. Mekhi Becton, OT
Mekhi Becton should get back to himself this season. If he does, the Jets are adding a difference-maker up front on their offensive line. He only played 48 snaps last season after a tough knee injury. In his rookie season, though, Becton showed his tremendous potential. His size is imposing, and his movement ability at his massive frame makes him unique. It allows him to help the Jets as a run blocker in a big way. He will play his third year at 23-years-old. It will be interesting to see if Becton plays left or right tackle. Either way, he should be an added asset to the Jets in 2022.
2. George Fant, OT
George Fant was possibly the Jets’ best player in 2021. He was signed by Douglas in free agency of 2020 and is now entering the final year of his contract. An extension should come to fruition sometime soon. Fant was a great pass blocker for the Jets all of last season at left tackle, only allowing one sack. He will turn 30 next month and should have another three to four years of his prime ahead. Similar to the main point with Becton, it will be fascinating to see if Fant ends up starting on the left or ride side at tackle. Fant is a proven contributor to the Jets’ offensive line and will remain an anchor for Zach Wilson this year.
1. Laken Tomlinson, LG
The Jets’ big-ticket signing in free agency, Laken Tomlinson, tops this group. He was a Pro-Bowler in 2021. Tomlinson will play this season at 30-years of age. He will be a difference-making run blocker. Tomlinson has spent the last five seasons in this offensive system with the 49ers. He earned a 75.9 PFF grade a season ago and only allowed two sacks as a pass blocker. Week-to-week, he is as reliable as it gets. Tomlinson has not missed a snap over the last three seasons. He has not missed a start since Week 1 of 2017, which was shortly after the 49ers traded for him. Tomlinson brings substantial credibility to the Jets’ offensive line and will be a key addition right away.