The New York Jets have so many needs, but for the present, it doesn’t seem like offensive tackle is one of them. D’Brickashaw Ferguson has been a mainstay in New York for eight years and Austin Howard is coming off a surprise, contributing season that should have him back at right tackle for 2014. But all that said, this doesn’t mean the Jets will absolutely steer clear of a some offensive line help in the upcoming NFL Draft.
Ferguson will turn 31 in the middle of next season and has already shown signs of decline. Last year, though he was still clearly an above-average offensive lineman, he didn’t have the burst we’ve seen in previous seasons. If the Jets are expecting further decline, maybe we start to see them prepare for 2015 or 2016 in this season’s draft.
Over at the main site, Buck Stanton put together a list of the top-10 offensive tackles in the 2014 NFL Draft. Here’s an excerpt:
10. Joel Bitonio (Nevada)
Bitonio was able to shine throughout his career at Nevada, being one of the best players on the field week in and week out. He was quick, tenacious and strong, providing the Wolf Pack with help in both the passing and running games. But there are concerns about him making the leap to the next level. His measurables suggest he may have to move to guard in the NFL.
9. Billy Turner (North Dakota State)
Light on his feet, teams love Turner’s athleticism. They can envision him having little trouble manning the edge, dealing with the speed and quickness of pass-rushing defensive ends. But there is some concern with his fundamentals and technique. At NDSU, Turner was able to dominate opponents in spite of some bad habits; that won’t happen at the NFL level.