In the newest edition of FPC Jets Live we will tackle the offensive line of the New York Jets. Center is one important position, and they should target it in round 2.
One of the priorities for the New York Jets and general manager Joe Douglas heading into the 2020 offseason was fixing the putrid offensive line. While he made some changes so far, what he’s done isn’t enough. This is addressed in the latest edition of FPC Jets Live.
So far his biggest addition is adding interior offensive lineman Connor McGovern
, a player many fans had on their radar. The best part of the signing is it gives the Jets flexibility. McGovern can play guard or center.
The Jets currently hold the 48th pick overall in the 2020 NFL Draft. They should target a center in the second round, but someone may fall to their first third round pick as well.
Fans won’t like it, but in order to land a center in the second round the Jets will have to trade up. The Jets only have eight picks in the draft, but trading up may have become a necessity after the way they handled free agency. Their are three major options for the center position in the second round: Cesar Ruiz, Lloyd Cushenberry III, and Matt Hennessy.
Matt Hennessy was outlined here.
Cesar Ruiz, IOL, Michigan
Like Mekhi Becton is at offensive tackle, Ruiz is a mountain of a man. At 6’4″, 314 pound,s he’s a big man, relatively speaking. As a result of his size, he’s difficult to move, and he uses his size to his advantage in the running game.
He’s very athletic, which is a surprise, given his size. He’s also one of the best in pass protection in this class, which is just what the Jets are looking for.
Length is an issue for Ruiz. He’s a more of a box blocker. Ruiz doesn’t get wide with his hand, but he makes up for it with footwork and technique. His strength also allows for him to be more of a box type blocker, but this may get him in some trouble with quicker defenders in the NFL if he doesn’t win with power.
Fit for Jets
His combination of athleticism and strength is just what the Jets need for both the running game and passing game. With Le’Veon Bell’s ability to be patient and find holes, he’d be a perfect addition, because of his ability to sustain blocks. Also, one of Sam Darnold’s strength is throwing on the run, and with his athleticism, presuming Adam Gase actually designs some of those plays for Darnold, rollouts would be great.
Lloyd Cushenberry III, IOL, LSU
Cushenberry is an intelligent and athletic center. He dramatically improved his play in 2019, despite LSU changing their offense. Cushenberry also can pull and get to the second level with ease. Unlike Ruiz, he uses length to his advantage. He also doesn’t commit penalties despite his length. Something the Jets desperately need.
Cushenberry is a finesse center. He has limitations with anchor and power. Due to intelligence and savy he can make up for his lack of power, but he will get beat occasionally if a team decides to constantly bull rush him.
Fit for the Jets
While his lack of power isn’t ideal, his athletic ability, and ability to climb to the second level makes him a good fit for a running game with Le’Veon Bell, and much like Ruiz, his athleticism is a perfect for for what Darnold does well.