Our Jets roster countdown moves onto Brandon Shell.
Name: Brandon Shell
Year with Jets: 2nd
Projected Role: Competing for starting right tackle job/possible swing tackle
His 2016: The Jets traded up for Shell in the 2016 Draft. His Jets career got off to a rough start with a brutal preseason. The finale against the Eagles was so bad that I was left to wonder whether he would even make the team. He did, and some late season injuries led to him starting the final three games. Pro Football Focus was quite high on his play.
In three starts to end the 2016 season, Jets offensive tackle Brandon Shell was an elite pass protector. pic.twitter.com/EhlU1YAmog— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) June 17, 2017
Was he really that good? I would argue the answer is no. The Jets schemed to help him out quite a bit. It made his job easier in some instances and bailed him out in other. I also thought his run blocking could stand to be more consistent. Still, there was stunning improvement from the preseason in a very short period of time. He certainly looked like he belonged, which is a major plus for any fifth round rookie.
2017 will be a success if: Shell grabs the starting job. It might not be easy. His competition figures to be Ben Ijalana, who got a healthy contract from the Jets. Ijalana’s deal might indicate the Jets think he’s starter material. I think any chance this team has of getting quality right tackle play relies on Shell earning a starting job. Ijalana is a poor player without upside. Shell showed a lot of progress over the course of his rookie season. If he grows as a similar pace during the offseason, he could end up being a quality starter. A team like the Jets needs to hit on some late round picks to find cheap contributors to fill holes. Perhaps Shell can be one of them.
Odds of making the roster: Probable (75-99%)