Joe Douglas was an offensive lineman himself in college and he has worked has made his main priority to fix a unit that was woeful last season. He added OL in free Agency, he added it in the NFL Draft, and he did not stop adding them as the Jets agreed to terms with Jared Hilbers from Washington as a UDFA.
Hilbers was a 2-year starter at Washington where he filled in for the injured Trey Adams at LT in 2018 and was the starting RT for the Huskies in 2019. Hilbers was solid on both sides of the line and flashed in the run game during his time at Washington. His versatility is something that Joe Douglas covets. He struggled however against speed rushers in college specifically against Utah and Stanford. Hilbers also does not have the proper arm length as his arms are only 31 ½ inches when the threshold for OT in the NFL is usually 34 Inches.Hilbers was a very good high school basketball player and possess good athleticism. At his pro day he ran the forty in 5.06 and put out an eye popping 7.56 in the 3 cone which shows really lateral agility. In the NFL, I think it would be best for him to move inside to guard where he can get his hands on people or as a swing tackle where he can showcase his athleticism.
It is nice to see Joe Douglas putting an emphasis on not just finding three competent starters for the OL but also trying to build real depth behind them. Injuries happen and Joe Douglas is using all the means he can to mitigate the drop off as Sam Darnold and the offense won’t survive if the Bret Qvale and Tom Comptons of the world are relied on to play like they did in 2019. If the 2018 and 2019 OLs are not the worst Sam Darnold plays with in his career, he is never going to become the franchise QB the Jets need him to be. It is great to see Joe Douglas is doing everything he can to make sure that does not happen.