In three of the five Drafts Mike Tannenbaum has run with the New York Jets, the team has taken an offensive lineman in the late rounds. Jacob Bender was New York's sixth round pick in 2007. Nate Garner went in the seventh round in 2008. Matt Slauson went in the sixth round in 2009.
This feels like a trend, particularly because the Jets only had two and one pick after round three respectively in 2007 and 2009. They took a lineman in both seasons. The reasons Tannenbaum has done this seem obvious. The Jets love Bill Callahan's ability to groom linemen. There are a lot of project players available with physical ability in the late rounds. The reason they go late is their games are unrefined. Tannebaum likes to give Callahan a chance to work with them.
The record of success seems decent. Slauson is currently the starting left guard for the Jets. Garner is no longer with the team but caught on in Miami and saw some starting action. Bender is still something of a project, but six other teams have seen enough in him to give him a shot.
The genesis of these picks is also somewhat evident. Tannenbaum probably saw Bender on film while scouting Adam Carriker, a 2007 first round prospect who many pegged as a great pick for a 3-4 team at end. Bender at Nichols State had a great game against Nebraska. Garner was likely found as Tannebaum watched film on his college teammate, Darren McFadden, a guy some thought the Jets might get at pick 6 in the 2008 Draft. Callahan was Slauson's head coach in college and thus had an insider's viewpoint. If the Jets grab an offensive lineman late, there will likely be another similar story. Do not be surprised if Trader Mike grabs another project for his line guru.