FOXBORO MA - DECEMBER 06: (L-R) D'Brickashaw Ferguson #60 Wayne Hunter #78 and Matt Slauson #68 of the New York Jets look on dejceted late in the fourth quarter against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on December 6 2010 in Foxboro Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
It's been almost 2 weeks since the draft, and I have spent a lot of time trying to pick up the hints the Jets front office threw down. We can discern just as much from the picks we did make, with the picks we didn't make. The moves and picks we made this offseason, also says a lot about what we may do in the future. Of course, at any moment, Tanny can do something unexpected. When he does that, everything we once thought, gets turned on its head.
Everything starts with what the feelings were before the offseason even started. I think most people would agree, our biggest positional weakness last year, was right tackle. There is no question that the most hated starter in 2011, was Wayne Hunter. Rex and company were chirping that they were comfortable with what they had at right tackle. Naturally, none of us believed the chirps, and thought Hunter would be cut before his contract became guaranteed. That day came and went, and before we knew what happened, Hunter was guaranteed a spot in 2012.
Then free agency started, and there were a number of solid tackles the Jets could have brought in. As we all know, they pass on taking that rout. Fans were starting to get an uneasy feeling that Hunter was actually going to be our starter. Some people proclaimed doom, but some held out hope for the draft. All 8 picks were made, and none of them were an OT. Tanny and Rex fooled us all with the truth. Hunter's status on this team is guaranteed, but him starting isn't.
What this tells me is that Rex and Tony seriously believe that either Hunter, Vlad, or Howard will be a suitable starter. At 1st glance, this group of raggamuffins doesn't seem to have a single starter among them. In the front office's mind, they might think a full off-season, and more of a running game focus, will help these guys a lot. They very well might be right, but it's still a risky non-move in my opinion. From where we stand now, it looks like there is going to be a 3 way competition for the position. That's not to say that at any moment, Tanny won't bring in a Vernon Carey to nail the RT spot home.
What I think will happen is, Hunter will most likely beat out both Vlad and Howard for the starting spot. He might even look slightly improved. This may be because of all the running we do, or by the full off-season. Either way, I think it's only a matter of time before Rex wants to open up the passing game once again. If that is to ever happen, a new RT will be needed. Unless Hunter or whoever, dominates on the right side, I see someone new being brought in for 2013.