Where Jets offensive line stands after NFL Draft 2020

Where Jets offensive line stands after NFL Draft 2020

Since the day Joe Douglas arrived in Florham Park to take over as general manager of the Jets, he has spoken about one thing: improving the offensive line.

It was his No. 1 priority entering this offseason, something that was clear from his words and then his actions. With free agency and the NFL draft now over, the 2020 offensive line is likely set.

So how did he do?

Douglas attacked the position with volume. Rather than spending big money on a top free-agent like tackle Jack Conklin, he spread his money around in free agency and then committed his first-round pick to tackle Mekhi Becton.

The Jets have 17 offensive linemen on their roster. That is a lot of beef.

Douglas signed four linemen in free agency, re-signed one, drafted two and added an undrafted free agent. He has performed a Total Home Makeover: Offensive Line Edition.

Whenever the Jets take the field, their offensive line is going to look completely different. A group that was one of the worst in the NFL in 2019 has been completely overhauled. There could be five different starters than the Jets had in Week 1 last year. Guard Brian Winters is the only holdover and he may not start or even be on the team once the season arrives.

Alex Lewis did not open last season as the starting left guard, but made 12 starts at the position, so he counts as a returning starter. Outside of Lewis and Winters, though, this group will look very different.

Will the overhaul work? Time will tell. Douglas does not have many sure things on the line. Instead, he is rolling the dice on several players, figuring some of them will stick.

One thing that Douglas clearly values in linemen is versatility. The Jets plan on cross-training all of their linemen at different positions. Players will be at different spots in training camp and then the Jets will settle on the combination of the best five for the season.

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Here is a look at each position along the line:

Left Tackle

Last year’s starters: Kelvin Beachum (13 starts), Chuma Edoga (3)

2020 projection: First-round pick Mekhi Becton will get every chance to win this job. The 6-foot-7, 363-pounder is a road grader who will open holes for Le’Veon Bell and could be Sam Darnold’s blindside protector for years to come. Becton likely will get work at both left and right tackle in training camp, along with George Fant, who the Jets signed to a three-year, $27.3 million contract in March.

Cameron Clark, a fourth-round pick on Saturday, will also work here as a backup.

Left Guard

Last year’s starters: Alex Lewis (12), Kelechi Osemele (3), Brent Qvale (1)

2020 projection: Douglas brought back Lewis on a three-year, $18.6 million contract after trading for him last summer. Lewis brought toughness to the offensive line and helped stabilize things after early-season struggles.

Clark should also see some work here in training camp as well as Josh Andrews, who signed a one-year deal with the team.

Alex Lewis and Connor McGovernGetty Images, AP


Last year’s starters: Jonotthan Harrison (9), Ryan Kalil (7)

2020 projection: Connor McGovern was signed to a three-year, $27 million in March to take over the pivot for the Jets. McGovern was a starter for the Broncos and the Jets were excited when he became available. Harrison can slide into the backup role and give the Jets solid depth in the interior of their line.

Right Guard

Last year’s starters: Brian Winters (9), Tom Compton (5), Conor McDermott (2)

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