Matt Hennessy is one of the top centers in the 2020 NFL Draft, and he should be a target for the New York Jets as they need an upgrade at center.
The New York Jets need an upgrade at center, and Matt Hennessy should be their guy. If the last name looks familiar to you, it’s because his brother Thomas is the long snapper for the team, and a good one at that.
For Matt, he’s a good upgrade for the center situation the Jets are currently in. They did sign Connor McGovern, but his position flexibility allows for them to draft a center and move him to guard.
So, why should the Jets draft Hennessy? Let’s take a look.
His biggest intangible strength is intelligence. He’s a smart player who understands both protections and what the defense is doing. So, he will bring a lot to the table there.
As far as functional stuff that’s easily seen — on the field — his technique is top-notch. His footwork and punch are excellent. Hennessy also brings athleticism to the table. He can pull on outside zone runs and rollouts (if Gase is willing to do more).
There are two main concerns with Hennessy. The first being the length of his arms. With short arms, it may be easier for the defender to escape and get to the backfield. That said, that’s where intelligence and technique comes in. He can figure out a way to compensate for that.
The second major concern is size and strength. He doesn’t win with power at the point of attack, and this may become an issue against some of the stronger interior defensive linemen in the NFL. Also, at 307 pounds, he’s going to need to add weight to be effective in the NFL. He’s going to have to do so without losing his athletic ability.
Fit for the Jets
With the patient running style of Le’Veon Bell, Hennessy would be a perfect fit. He does well sustaining blocks, and that will open things up for the Jets running game.
One of Sam Darnold’s biggest strengths is throwing on the run and doing do with accuracy. With Hennessy’s athletic ability, Adam Gase could potentially open his playbook and design more rollouts to take advantage of Darnold’s biggest strength, which wasn’t done in 2019 and that’s likely due to the offensive line.
Hennessy is definitely a Day 2 selection. Unfortunately for the Jets, he may not fall to the number 48 selection. That means a potential trade up to make sure they get him.
He’s a good all-around fit for what the Jets should be doing. The Jets should make the move up and draft Hennessy if they can.