The selection of Alijah Vera-Tucker in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft filled a big hole up front, and the offensive line appears better equipped for the season ahead. However, right guard is still up for grabs, and a training camp face-off for the unclaimed spot will continue to be a big story.
In an effort to find the best man suited to protect their young signal-caller, the Jets added another big body to the competition with the addition of UDFA Tristen Hoge. A former teammate of Zach Wilson, Hoge began his career with Notre Dame before transferring to BYU in 2017.Hoge, who sat for a year because of NCAA transfer rules, started all 13 games in 2018. He suffered a leg injury in 2019, appearing in only five games, and 2020 remained an especially rough season for Hoge off the field; he contracted COVID-19 and battled pneumonia, limiting him to 8 appearances for the Cougars. Despite the setbacks, Hoge took over RG duties upon returning and didn’t appear fazed by his recent struggle with illness. According to PFF, Hoge posted his highest run blocking (84.1) and pass blocking (82.3) grades of his collegiate career.
Besides being reunited with Zach Wilson, his familiarity with an outside zone boot-style offense is an intriguing aspect of this signing. The Cougars ran outside zone on 52% of their runs compared to 26% in 2019; a correlation between the system and his improved play is apparent. I doubt Hoge wins a starting job, and he may not even make the final 53, but he’s a decent fit for the scheme and could potentially develop into a starting-caliber OG.
Check out some of Hoge’s impressive play courtesy of OL guru Brandon Thorn.
Tristen Hoge has some intriguing flashes of explosiveness/power. Reminds me a little of Ross Reynolds coming out. pic.twitter.com/B1dnMnvZeH
— Brandon Thorn (@BrandonThornNFL) March 26, 2021