New York Jets fans were thrilled when Joe Douglas was hired in June of 2019 for many reasons. He had a respected pedigree with multiple Super Bowls. The Jets were struggling to draft well, and Douglas started as an entry-level college scout.
As much as anything, though, Douglas has an offensive line background from his playing days. The Jets needed more resources allocated and a better eye for talent at the position. Jet fans knew Douglas was going to work to build up a strong unit.
When Douglas took over for the Jets a little over three years ago, the Jets offensive line was arguably the worst in football. It was a group that consisted of poor talent. Now, through three offseasons, Douglas has committed a ton to improve the line. Currently, Chuma Edoga is the only player a part of the unit not acquired by Douglas.
The starting five projects to be George Fant, Laken Tomlinson, Connor McGovern, Alijah-Vera-Tucker, and Mekhi Becton. These five are a massive upgrade compared to when Douglas took over in 2019.
All five of these players were invested with premium resources. Becton and Vera-Tucker were first-round picks back-to-back years. Douglas traded up for Vera-Tucker. Fant, McGovern, and Tomlinson were all signed to three-year contracts worth a fairly significant amount.
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PFF Jets’ OL ranking
Recently, Mike Renner of PFF ranked every offensive line in the NFL. He had the Jets ranked 13th, a respectable spot for the group Douglas has worked to build up. While the group still has questions and needs to prove themselves, the talent and room for growth collectively is there for the Jets to rank in this range by the end of the 2022 season.
Fant and Tomlinson are both coming off career years. Tomlinson was a Pro-Bowler last season. Fant was one of the Jets’ best players, if not the best, in 2021. If Fant remains at left tackle, this side of the line is set and could be dominant.
As a rookie, Vera-Tucker showed the promising potential he had as a draft prospect. He should only grow in his second year. Whether he is at left or right tackle, Becton has the talent to give the Jets’ running game a boost. If he and Vera-Tucker are on the right side together, they could form a difference-making duo as 23-year-old players.
In the middle, McGovern has proven himself to hold down the center position. He is coming off a nice bounce-back season in 2021 for the Jets. Playing for a new contract, McGovern should have his best year as a Jet.
Overall, there is not necessarily a weak link to the Jets’ offensive line. All five players were added with significant resources. Douglas has done a terrific job in three years of completely rebuilding up this position group for the Jets.