This week the New York Jets offensive line took a massive hit with the loss of Mekhi Becton.
While still not official, early reports indicate he will miss the entire 2022 season. This begs the question: What is next for the Jets and their offensive line? They have several options worth exploring.
Robert Saleh Likes The Offensive Line Situation
Despite the severe injury to their former first-round pick, Head Coach Robert Saleh likes the offensive line depth the team has. The team has really made it a point to invest in their offensive line in recent years. Apart from Becton, they also used a first-round pick on Alijah Vera-Tucker in 2021. This past draft class they again went to the offensive line well and selected Max Mitchell in round four.
Robert Saleh is asked about Mekhi Becton's injury and if it underscores the Jets' need to sign an OL:
"Getting a guy like Duane Brown is being spoiled in a sense of having so much great talent at one position. We do have faith in our backup offensive linemen." pic.twitter.com/5DOCvLhjYl
— Jets Videos (@snyjets) August 8, 2022
The 33rd Team’s Head of Scouting, T.J. McCreight, thinks Mitchell may be the one to watch as camp unfolds. When asked about the Jets’ offensive line and tackle situation he shared “Conor McDermott is on the roster and is a capable player.”
He goes on to add that Mitchell “intrigues me…Mitchell is one that I thought really has some ability. I am sure they are getting him ready and he will play a ton in the pre-season.” Mitchell caught more than just McCreight’s eyes in the draft process this year, he also received a Senior Bowl invite. This allowed the Jets to spend more time with Mitchell and see him up close sooner than anyone else in the draft process.
They have some decent depth, and this should allow Saleh and General Manager Joe Douglas to be patient in making any further moves.
The Free Agent Wildcards
The team has been monitoring former All-Pro tackle Duane Brown since April when he worked out with the team. He again came in for a workout earlier this week just before Becton’s season ended early. While Saleh likes the Jets’ offensive line as it stands, every team is always weighing every option.
For the Jets, they have done extensive homework on Brown and Mike Tannenbaum, a former NFL Executive and Founder of The 33rd Team, thinks them taking a “look at Duane Brown amongst others,” is something they should do. Tannenbaum added: “a good offensive line is imperative for Zach Wilson to have a chance to be successful.”
Besides Brown, there are no reports of the team pursuing additional help at the tackle position. While the team continues to stress how comfortable they are, those outside the building express concern. As Tannebaum pointed out, this is a critical year for Zach Wilson. Getting him the best offensive live possible to go along with the upgraded offensive weapons is important. The situation surrounding the Jets’ offensive line will be one worth monitoring as Week 1 of the preseason ramps up.
Andrew Harbaugh contributed to this report.