The New York Jets have four picks in the top 80 of the NFL Draft this year and should look to be using at least two of them on the offensive line, regardless of what happens in free agency.
Today, let’s look at four offensive tackles the Jets could look to use their first round pick on, as well as some centers to look at in rounds 2-3…
Jedrick Wills, OT, Alabama
A two year starter at right tackle at Alabama, where he covered the blindside of Tua Tagovailoa. Wills is at his best in pass protection, as his technique is pristine and in his 28 starts at Alabama, he only surrendered 2 sacks.He improved his run blocking this year to balance out his game. Wills moves fluidly and has good footwork for a guy of his size. Some have asked whether Wills can make the move to play left tackle. Yet, Ryan Ramczyk, Lane Johnson, and Mitchell Schwartz have shown how right tackle can be just as important as left and I in 2-3 years Wills will be in this class of talent.
Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia
A three year starter at Georgia. Thomas is an absolute mauler in the run game and his ability to move SEC linemen with ease is truly special. He was inconsistent in pass protection, as his footwork is average and sometimes relies too much on his upper body instead of his feet to block defenders when they get a step. Thomas has the ability, with the right coaching and scheme to be a franchise tackle.Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville
Becton has been one of the biggest risers in the draft, as he has such a unique set of skills. Becton is an absolute behemoth at 6”7, 370 pounds and moves quite gracefully for someone his size. He is a destroyer in the run game and has the most power and strength of any tackle in this draft. Becton uses his size to help him in pass protection and his length allows him to keep pass rushers away. He can get a little reckless with his hands sometimes and gets away with it because his physical tools are so overpowering.
Tristian Wirfs, OT/OG, Iowa
Wirfs played right tackle for Iowa this year but was able to switch to the left side for spot duty. He is an exceptional athlete who is as strong in the run game as he in the pass game. Wirfs biggest issue is he was on the ground too much as pass rushers took advantage of him being off balance too often. He could project to being a good tackle but also could be a perennial Pro Bowler at guard if he slides inside. It fits his skill set better to get kicked inside and the idea of pairing him on the right side with a free agent like Jack Conklin is intriguing.Lloyd Cushenberry III, Center, LSU
Cushenberry was the anchor of the offensive line that helped Joe Burrow to a Heisman and LSU to a National Championship. That offensive line won the Joe Moore award for the best OL in college football and Cushenberry was a big reason why. His feet are tremendous and he is stout in both passing and run blocking. Recently, Cushenberry shined at the Senior Bowl going head to head with projected top 10 pick Javon Kinlaw, showing an ability to hold his own. A potential second round target for the Jets.
Tyler Biadzaz, Center, Wisconsin
The latest from the NFL offensive line factory that is the University of Wisconsin. Biadzaz looked like a projected first round pick coming into the year but struggled a bit in 2019. There are questions about his athleticism and his ability to defend the super athletic interior DL that we are seeing dominate the NFL like Chris Jones, Aaron Donald and Ed Oliver.
Nick Harris, Center, Washington
Harris is an athletic center who excels in zone run schemes, where can he get out to the second level and wreak havoc. Harris is excellent when uncovered in the pass game, as he has very quick feet and a high IQ as he was a 3-year starter at Washington under Chris Petersen. Harris is a scheme specific prospect but he will be highly effective in the NFL if you allow him to play to his strengths. In round three, Harris would give the Jets a guy who can contribute from day 1 which is something they are going to need from all of their first four picks in this upcoming draft.