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Jets 2018 Roster Countdown: Number 72 Brandon Shell

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New York Jets v Tampa Bay Buccaneers Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images

Our Jets roster countdown now moves on to Brandon Shell.

Name: Brandon Shell

Number: 72

Year with Jets: 3rd

Projected Role: Starting right tackle

His 2017: After spending most of 2016 sitting on the bench, Shell got the starting right tackle job in his second NFL season. The results were a mixed bag. I thought he struggled quite a bit to block with authority in the run game. His work as a pass blocker was more up and down. When he was good, he was very good. When he was bad, he was very bad.

Stats from PFF paint a similarly mixed picture. Only four right tackles allowed more than the 6 sacks Shell surrendered. With those sacks only came 1 QB hit and 16 pressures, which puts him in the upper tier at the tackle position for total disruptions allowed. It might mean that he was very unlucky to allow 6 sacks in 23 disruptions. It also might mean that when he gets beaten, he REALLY gets beaten.

Sometimes the eyeball test is right. Sometimes the numbers are right. In this case, I think I lean on the side of the numbers. I wasn’t impressed with Shell on film, but 23 disruptions for a full-time starter is very good. It seems like a case where the sacks might have just stuck in my mind and made me think Shell was worse as a pass blocker than he really was.

2018 will be a success if: Shell becomes a quality run blocker. You can make a viable argument either way about whether Shell is a good pass blocker or not. I don’t think there’s much debate that his run blocking needs to get better.

There is a difference between “I can live with this guy as my right tackle on a cheap rookie deal” and “This guy is a good player who deserves a second contract.” I think Shell is currently the former. And it is worth saying that beats the heck out of most fifth round picks. With that said, Shell needs to get better as a run blocker to be a quality starting right tackle.

Odds of making the roster: Unless he gets hurt, you can put in ink that he will be the starting right tackle. He’s a Lock (>99%).