August 8, 2022
Several NFL executives raved about a clear 23-year-old building block for the New York Jets this week.

When New York Jets general manager Joe Douglas arrived in 2019 the offensive line was in shambles. Despite the issues, they hadn’t selected a hog molly in the first round in 14 years.

That desolate wasteland was the unstable foundation of a losing organization. Fast forward to 2022 and the line is in good health and has a few budding stars that earned some extra attention this week.

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Some Much Deserved Notoriety

Every NFL offseason, ESPN reporter Jeremy Fowler has polled a large collection of NFL executives, players, and coaches to determine the top 10 at every position in the league.

On Sunday, July 10 he revealed the results for the interior offensive linemen. Once again no member of the Jets made that elite group, but several were listed among the honorable mention category.

We’ll start with Alijah Vera-Tucker who was listed as a “clear building block” for the future.

“Vera-Tucker played 975 offensive snaps as a rookie for the Jets, a clear building block for an offense that could be on the rise in 2022. Vera-Tucker ranked 62nd among 68 guards in run block win rate last year (62.5%), and his 90.5% pass block win rate was 43rd. His presence in the honorable mention category is more an acknowledgment of where his career is going as opposed to a reward for his rookie year.”

AVT was an absolute road grader in the run game but left some meat on the bone during passing sets in his rookie season. Although when you talk to any number of NFL personnel they believe he is a future All-Pro and a multi-time Pro Bowler and his placement on this list only solidifies those beliefs.

This offseason the former USC stud got some help via free agency. Gang Green splurged on the high end of the market to lure Laken Tomlinson from the west coast to the east coast.

It cost them $40 million over the next three years, but the talented big man is already winning headlines.

“The former first-round pick by Detroit had a successful five-year stint with the 49ers, earning his first Pro Bowl in 2021. “He’s a perfect example of how scheme and fit matter,” an NFC executive said. “He started slowly [in Detroit] but was a great fit in San Francisco, which used his athleticism.”

Tomlinson also earned a place on the honorable mention category of Fowler’s list for ESPN.


A Good Bet to Make

The Jets haven’t been very good over the last 11 years and by virtue have had several empty ballots as it pertains to the Pro Bowl.

Although if you were placing some future bets ahead of the 2022 season, the positional group you may want to lay some scratch on is the interior offensive line.

AVT has turned heads as a youngster and now he will be learning from one of the best guards in the business.

Vera-Tucker will be flipping from the left side to the right side so Tomlinson can stay at his natural left guard spot. Tomlinson is the senior statesman and is coming off of a Pro Bowl campaign. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it line seems appropriate here.

It also speaks to how confident the Jets coaching staff is that AVT is so versatile that they can put him anywhere and he won’t miss a beat. To AVT’s credit, he has handled the move like a champ and pointed to his days at USC where he had experience across the offensive line.


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