The New York Jets walked away from their 34-28 loss to the Los Angles Chargers with a handful of new injuries. Running back La’Mical Perine and kicker Sam Ficken went on injured reserve. One of the most notable injuries is to starting right tackle George Fant. Fant, who has already missed one game this season, suffered both knee and ankle sprains. The veteran’s MRI from Monday revealed that he could miss more time, leaving Chuma Edoga in line to enter the starting lineup. A disappointing former third-round pick, this might just be Edoga’s final chance to prove he can be an option opposite Mekhi Becton.
Injuries Give Chuma Edoga Another Shot at Starting
His Rookie Season
Part of Mike Maccagnan’s final draft as New York Jets general manager, Edoga was selected 92nd overall in 2019. At 6’3” and 308lbs, his stature is rather small, however, he has the length and athleticism to play tackle. Coming out, Edoga was known as more of a developmental prospect with the ability to play both tackle positions.
His skill to play both spots was necessary early last season, after injuries to left tackle Kelvin Beachum and so-so play to right tackle Brandon Shell forced Edoga into a regular role. From Week 5 to Week 12, Edoga started every game, most at right tackle. That was until an MCL injury against the then Oakland Raiders sent Edoga to injured reserve.
It came as no surprise though when new general manager Joe Douglas sought out a new pair of tackles. Edoga struggled mightily in his rookie season, as it became clear why he needed time to develop. According to Pro Football Focus, Edoga earned a 48.9 grade, which ranked 79th out of 81 qualifying tackles. He gave up six sacks to go with six penalties and could not hold his own on the outside.
Slight Improvement in 2020
This season, Edoga’s play has improved, at least in the run game. He has a 61.3 grade, ranking 59th out of 77 qualifying tackles. He has been fantastic in the run game in 2020, though continues to be a liability in pass protection. Penalties continue to be a problem, with five total in seven games (four starts). Of those four starts, he has only finished three, with just one being at his primary right tackles spot from a year ago.
While his play in some areas has been intriguing this season, he has yet to justify his third-round selection. Technique and strength issues have continued to haunt him in year two. That is unless he takes advantage of starting in place of Fant, however long that may be.
Last Word on Chuma Edoga
With George Fant likely to miss time, second-year right tackle Chuma Edoga will get one more chance to prove himself. Drafted as a developmental prospect, he now must piece his game together quickly before the Jets determine where he stands in 2021. After all, with the way Fant’s contract is structured and his play so far, the right tackle job may be up for grabs next season. Thus, leaving the question, can Edoga finally prove himself to be a long-term option?
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