FanPost

Maccagnan and the Offensive Line in the Draft


Let me preface this article by stating that I think Mike Maccagnan should have been let go with Todd Bowles at the end of last season. He has done a poor job overall in the draft, which is even more unacceptable give the buildup he was given as an excellent judge of talent. Not only has he missed on the majority of his draft picks but he also has passed over the opportunities to draft quality talent.

However, I feel the need to step in and defend him against the charge that he has ignored the offensive line in the draft. Many of the regulars on this site know that I have beaten the drums for drafting offensive linemen for years. But there has been a well documented dearth of offensive linemen coming out of college for at least the past 5 years if not longer. The quality linemen have not always gone at the top of the draft. The highly touted linemen have been as a group below average.

I created a table showing the first 3 rounds of the drafts from 2013-2018. Why did I pick 2013? Mangold and Ferguson were drafted in 2006. 2013 would be their 8th season in the NFL. By any statistical measurement of NFL longevity the clock is running down on their careers. Prudence would dictate that the Jets start looking for their replacement, especially for Mangold, as rookie centers tend to need at least a year to be ready to take over the center position. Most likely he would start as a guard his first year anyway. Why only rounds 1-3? Because the comment is often made that Macc has not invested premium picks in the offensive line. I listed the players the Jets drafted, the last offensive lineman drafted before the Jets picked and the next offensive lineman drafted after the Jets pick.

Year

Round

Pick #

Drafted

Previous Offensive Lineman Taken

Next Offensive Lineman Taken

2013

1

9

Dee Milner

Jonathan Cooper (7)

Chance Womack (10)

2013

1

13

Sheldon Richardson

D. J. Fluker (11)

Justin Pugh (19)

2013

2

39

Geno Smith

Kyle Long (20)

Menelik Watson (42)

2013

3

72

Brian Winters

Menelik Watson (42)

Terron Armstead (75)

2014

1

18

Calvin Pryor

Zack Martin (16)

Ju'Wuan James (19)

2014

2

49

Jace Amaro

Cyrus Kouandjio (44)

Jack Mewhort (59)

2014

3

80

Dexter McDougle

Spencer Long (78)

Gabe Jackson (81)

2015

1

6

Leonard Williams

Brandon Schif (5)

Ereck Flowers (9), Andrus Peat (13)

2015

2

37

Devin Smith

Donovan Smith (34)

Mitch Morse (49)

2015

3

82

Lorenzo Mauldin

John Miller (81)

Chaz Green (91)

2016

1

20

Darron Lee

Ryan Kelly (18)f

Joshua Garnett (28)

2016

2

51

Christian Hackenberg

Nick Martin (51)

Cody Whitehair (56)

2016

3

83

Jordan Jenkins

Le'Raven Clark (82)

Graham Glasgow (95)

2017

1

6

Jamal Adams

None

Garrett Bolles (20)

2017

2

39

Marcus Maye

Forrest Lamp (38)

Ethan Pocic (58)

2017

3

79

ArDarius Stewart

Dan Feeney (71)

Antonio Garcia (85)

2018

1

3

Sam Darnold

None

Quenton Nelson (6)

2018

2

None

2018

3

72

Nathan Shepherd

Brandon Parker 65)

Geron Christian (74)

Looking at the Jets draftees the record for the first two days is indeed abysmal, going back to the Rex/Tannenbaum and Rex/Idzik drafts.. But looking at the offensive linemen taken around the Jets draft picks on days 1 and 2 of these drafts, the list is not encouraging, to say the least. I can really only kill Mac for one omission. The trade for Hackenberg that resulted in the Bears taking Cody Whitehair where the Jets would have picked is indefensible. Idzik passing over Gabe Jackson was just stupid. But in total the Jets didn't miss out on any stellar prospects on the offensive line since 2013. Antonio Garcia was signed last year after the Patriots cut him. Travis Swanson was taken at #76 the year Long was taken (Terence Books was taken at #79 the same year). The places where the OLs were taken after the Jets picked is also telling. Most are 10 spots or more where the Jets picked. And none of those are household names,

If Macc had hit on some of the other picks he's made on the first two days of his drafts the offensive line issue would probably be somewhat overshadowed. The overall failure to add talent to the roster in the past 6 drafts is what leads to the large amount of cap space available, the lack of comp picks that come from losing quality draftees that can't be fit under the cap, and having to go out and buy talent at inflated prices every year.

It's a GM's #1 job is to acquire talent and if necessary be creative in how the job is accomplished. Overall Macc is a failure at that job, but, in all fairness, the offensive line is probably the last place he can be blamed for not spotting the best OL talent in the draft. Most of his peers have been equally unsuccessful.

This is a FanPost written by a registered member of this site. The views expressed here are those of the author alone and not those of anybody affiliated with Gang Green Nation or SB Nation.