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New York Jets 2023 Off-season Preview: Offensive Tackle

Jets Offensive Tackle

As the New York Jets gear up for the 2023 off-season, it is time to preview where each position stands. Whether there is talent already under contract, or New York acquires players through free agency or the draft, General Manager Joe Douglas looks to build a contender out of the franchise. That being said, let’s take a look at the Jets offensive tackle preview for the 2023 off-season.

New York Jets 2023 Off-Season Previews: Quarterback, Running Back, Wide Receiver, Tight End

New York Jets 2023 Off-season Preview: Offensive Tackle

Jets Under Contract for 2023

For starters – no, Alijah Vera-Tucker is not being considered an offensive tackle for this exercise. Despite his elite play and ability to play tackle, Vera-Tucker is an All-Pro caliber guard, and upon return from injury should return inside. Not to mention, Vera-Tucker is the lone offensive lineman that is a lock to start in 2023.

Only three offensive tackles are on the team’s payroll for 2023. The first is the veteran Duane Brown, who will turn 48 years old in August. He battled injuries to start 12 games in 2022, though is no longer his five-time Pro Bowl self. Brown is set to have a cap hit of over $11.2 million, and over $6.3 million in dead cap should New York release him. Therefore, chances are Brown will be a Jet next year.

As for Mekhi Becton and Max Mitchell, both are potential x-factors for the offensive front. The league knows the Pro Bowl upside of a healthy Mekhi Becton. Except, he has only played one game in the last two years. Relying on Becton as a surefire starter would be a bold move. The same is with Mitchell, who performed admirably for a day three rookie. Unfortunately, his status is unknown as his season ended after six games (five starts) once he was diagnosed with blood clots in his calf and lungs. Should all three be healthy and at full strength, the Jets already have three starting-caliber tackles. But that is a big “if”.

2023 NFL Free Agency Offensive Tackle Options

As things stand, the duo of Brown and Becton alone are set to make just under $30 million combined. That’s a big price to pay for two tackles who have health questions surrounding them. And with Mitchell’s status unsure, New York needs to replenish its depth. In free agency, the team is set to lose veterans George Fant, Cedric Ogbuehi, and Mike Remmers. In 2022, the three started 13 games, stepping up in a big way when called upon. Additionally, 28-year-old Greg Senat is a restricted free agent.

It is very difficult to imagine Douglas inking the likes of Orlando Brown Jr., Mike McGlinchey, Jawaan Taylor, or Isaiah Wynn. The Jets are more likely to add a veteran backup tackle who is capable of playing either on the left or right side. Last off-season, the name Riley Reiff floated around, who spent 2022 with the Chicago Bears. At the age of 34, Reiff started 10 of 16 games played and still has something to offer as a pass blocker. Watch out for Billy Turner, Calvin Anderson, and Cameron Erving, all of who played for Offensive Coordinator Nathaniel Hackett this past year in Denver. Maybe the Jets even inquire about a reunion with Kelvin Beachum, who played left tackle for Gang Green from 2017-2019.

2023 NFL Draft Offensive Tackle Options

During the 2023 NFL Draft is where Joe Douglas may look to add that premiere tackle prospect. Unless Becton and Mitchell return healthy a full year, the future of the position is unknown. With the 13th and 44th overall draft picks, New York could take care of the position in the early rounds. Thankfully, it is another loaded tackle class, with Peter Skoronski (Northwestern), Paris Johnson Jr. (Ohio State), and Broderick Jones (Georgia) all being in play in round one if still available. In the second round, Dawand Jones (Ohio State), Anton Harrison (Oklahoma), Jaelyn Duncan (Maryland), Darnell Wright (Tennessee), and Matthew Bergeron (Syracuse) are all targets. Regardless, there is plenty of early-round talent at offensive tackle for the Jets scouts to assess.

Jets Offensive Tackle Roster Construction Prediction

When training camp rolls around, all three of Brown, Becton, and Mitchell will hopefully be healthy. However, none are going to be handed starting jobs, as they will not only compete against one another but a rookie draft pick and a proven veteran free agent signing. Ultimately, with the durability concerns at the position, the Jets should carry five tackles on the final roster. And hopefully, Douglas can set up the offensive tackle unit long-term after years of trying.


Main Photo: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports


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