The New York Jets have traded an undisclosed draft pick to the Carolina Panthers for tackle Jeff Otah, a former first round pick in the 2008 NFL Draft. He has started 29 games for the Panthers but has been very banged up the past two seasons, with knee and back injuries. Otah has only played in 4 games over the past two seasons but is a “dominant run blocking right tackle” when health.
There have been questions about his conditioning and toughness in the past. However, if he can stay on the field, Otah would be a substantial upgrade over Wayne Hunter. At a minimum, this is the competition that the Jets needed to bring in for Hunter who didn’t deserve to have the job handed to him. The Jets aren’t going to cut Hunter because of the money they owe him but now have a viable threat to his position on the roster. There had been some chatter about potentially adding Vernon Carey but Otah has a much greater upside.This will likely be an open competition from day one in camp and further proves the Jets have zero faith in players like Vlad Ducasse or Austin Howard to be major contributors.
Otah is 6’6, 330 pounds and attended the University of Pittsburgh.
It is a fair assumption that the compensation will be determined by Otah hitting a certain snap count, look for the pick to slide anywhere from a 4th to 7th rounder. It is a small risk for a player with as much upside as Otah, particularly at a positon of need for the Jets whose depth is looking much better now at tackle, as they also have another former starter Stephon Heyer on the roster.
Do not be surprised if the Jets make another move or two in the coming days. They still need a blocking tight end and depth at running back.