The Turn On The Jets 12 pack is back with an all New York Jets offensive line edition. This year’s group has the potential to be the deepest and most productive offensive line the Jets have put together in a few seasons. The big uglies never get enough love or recognition so this 12 pack is for you.
1. Nick Mangold – Great Beard, yes. On the field Mangold was arguably the best center in football from 2008-2010. He has struggled with injuries the previous two seasons and had a slight decline in his level of play, although still remaining very good. If he can stay healthy, the Jets get solid Guard play and Chris Ivory plays in all 16 games, the Jets could have one of the league’s better rushing attacks which should put Mangold back in the All-Pro discussion. His contract is a little gaudy when you look at it comparatively to other centers but at a minimum the Jets should be looking at 2-3 more very good seasons from Mangold.
2. D’Brickashaw Ferguson – Quietly had a very good 2012 season after a shaky 2011. Is Brick an elite left tackle? I’m not so sure he is at that level but he is a top ten player at his position and a needed consistent presence on the Jets front line. Despite claims to the contrary, his contract is actually very team friendly considering he should be able to give them 3 more solid seasons. Heading into 2016, the Jets can cut bait with Ferguson or look to re-negotiate his contract.
3. Austin Howard – An ascending player on the Jets offensive line who showed promise in his first full year as a starter. Howard is a very good run blocker who is a strong fit in Marty Morhinweg’s scheme because of his athleticism. He still struggles in pass protection but the quick releases incorporated in the Jets offense should help cover for that. If he improves his consistency in the passing game, the Jets could conceivably lose him in free agency next year.
4. Willie Colon – Big Willie is on a 1 year “prove it” contract and has the talent to be a high quality starting Guard. His health and stable play is a major x-factor as to just how productive the Jets rushing game will be in 2013. It will be interesting to see if the Jets make a big push to keep Colon around next off-season if he has a strong year.
5. Stephen Peterman – Described by Pro Football Focus as a “boom or bust” player, Peterman has lacked consistency and struggled heavily in pass protection at times. He has flashes of being a strong run blocker but the Jets could be stretching themselves thin if they rely on him as a every week starter.
6. Brian Winters – We haven’t been shy about being bullish on Winters here at TOJ and think he is likely to be the team’s starting Guard alongside Colon in week 1. Winters is a physical player with a mean streak who will probably never be great but always be steady enough to handle his job on the line. Peterman is experienced but Winters is the future at the position.
7. Caleb Schlauderaff – Mike Tannenbaum’s “Victor Cruz.” Schlauderaff has value because he can play Guard and Center and by all reports is perfectly capable of being a backup. He has never really been tested when the games matter but seems like the kind of guy who just sticks on the bottom of the roster.
8. Oday Aboushi – As Mike Nolan’s film breakdown demonstrated Aboushi likely isn’t ready to be a contributor this season. However, whether he is stashed on the bottom of the roster or on the practice squad, he could be in consideration at right tackle if Howard leaves via free agency heading into 2014 if he shows development for the coaching staff.
9. Dalton Freeman – We took a closer look at him today here at TOJ. Freeman has already earned praise from Rex Ryan and it should be pointed out he has long snapping experience. If he flashes enough long term potential in camp, the Jets might keep him on the final 53 as a backup to Nick Mangold and as the team’s long snapper. Tanner Purdum beware.
10. Vlad Ducasse – KING UGLY! I know we have a legion of Vlad fans here at TOJ but I’m not sold. Maybe I’m wrong. Yet, I don’t see Ducasse sticking on the final 53. There is too much talent and potential in front of him.
11. William Campbell – Look for Campbell to pull the old “get stashed on the practice squad for a year or two and hope you turn into the next Brandon Moore” routine.
12. Mike Devlin – Your new offensive line coach after coaching the tight ends since 2006. We know this, he isn’t Dave DeGuglielmo…and that is a good thing.