With the offseason underway, we’ve been taking an in-depth look at each of the Jets’ new signings. We continue with a look at offensive lineman Josh Andrews.
The 28-year old is listed at 6’2” and 311 pounds and was undrafted out of Oregon State in 2014. Andrews has played in 25 NFL games but is yet to make his first start. He was with the Colts over the past season and a half, having been poached from the Eagles’ practice squad.
Josh Andrews played left tackle at high school in California, where he was a three-star recruit. He headed to Oregon State to play college football for the Beavers and red-shirted his first season in 2009.
In 2010, he was the back-up center and played in six games, mostly on special teams, but then he moved to left guard and made six starts, although he missed a few due to injury. Over the next two years, he was the full-time starter at left guard as he finished his career with 30 starts in a row at the position.
Having not been invited to the scouting combine, Andrews had a good pro day and ended up getting signed by the Philadelphia Eagles as an undrafted free agent.
Andrews was released in final cuts in 2014 and spent his rookie year on the Eagles’ practice squad. Having signed a futures deal, he made the team in 2015 and was on the roster as a back-up for two seasons. He played 13 games in 2015 and three more in 2016, almost exclusively in a special teams role.
In 2017, Andrews was again released in final cuts and ended up spending the year on the Eagles’ practice squad, collecting a Super Bowl ring when the Eagles beat New England in Super Bowl 50.
Andrews signed for the Vikings in 2018 and was waived/injured during final cuts following a preseason injury, so the Eagles acquired him for a third stint on their practice squad.
In November, the Colts poached Andrews, who at the time had played just two offensive snaps in his four and a half year career. Over the next season and a half, he played in nine games and saw action on 97 offensive snaps.
The Jets signed Andrews to a one-year contract during the first week of free agency.
Let’s move onto some more in-depth analysis of what Andrews brings to the table, based on in-depth research and film study.
Andrews has good size and nice length and, like the other offensive linemen the Jets brought in this offseason, he put together some outstanding workout numbers. These included a 5.03 in the 40-yard dash and outstanding agility numbers.
His vertical jump was average and his broad jump was poor and he managed 25 bench press reps.
The majority of Andrews’ regular season action came in two games where he came off the bench as an injury replacement for the Colts. He played 33 snaps at right guard against Houston in 2018 and 50 snaps at center against Pittsburgh in 2019.
In preseason action, he’s played a mixture of center and left guard over the years. He’s also played some snaps as a jumbo package tight end in regular season action.
When playing the guard position in 2018, Andrews was often employed as the spare man, keeping his head on a swivel to give help to his center or the tackle on his shoulder. However, when exposed to one-on-one match-ups, he was susceptible to the bull rush.
Overall, he has limited pressure to an acceptable level in pass protection, but he did give up one sack in preseason. His left guard didn’t help him much here and left him at a leverage disadvantage without much chance of recovering.
At center in 2019, he gave up a few pressures but looked more comfortable overall. Here’s an impressive rep one-on-one.
In the early part of his career, strength was an issue for Andrews and could limit his effectiveness at the point of attack. He’ll still get stood up at times but is showing signs of getting better at overpowering his man.
His athleticism enables him to make some blocks in space, but on this particular example he is too tentative and allows the linebacker to take him on and make the play.
He has shown some ability to pull and trap from the center position, including on this spectacular pancake block.
In short yardage situations, Andrews works well in combination with his fellow linemen. On this play he makes an effective combo block to open a lane for the short yardage conversion.
Andrews shows the athleticism to get out in front of a screen but hasn’t had a chance to display this at the NFL level. The Colts ran a couple of screens with him in the game over the past few years but on one he couldn’t find anyone to block and on the other he got held up at the line of scrimmage and couldn’t get out in front.
Andrews is light on his feet, moves well laterally and extends his arms well when locked onto a block. Whether he has the explosiveness to recover in a phone booth is questionable and may be something he has to continue to work at.
One thing he needs to try to avoid is bending at the waist to lunge after his man, because he can get off balance in these situations.
He had some issues with bad snaps when playing the center position in college before converting to guard but doesn’t seem to have had issues with this at the NFL level.
Andrews hasn’t had a penalty in his 99 regular season offensive snaps. However, he has had four in preseason action, although that constitutes well over 500 snaps. On this play he let his man get into the backfield and got called for holding.
As noted, Andrews was often employed in a reactive role in pass protection and showed an ability to identify and pick up stunts or blitzes, but he did have lapses at times.
In the running game, Andrews - who was called “smart” by Chip Kelly in Philadelphia - shows the ability to adjust the angle of his blocks or move onto another target.
Andrews has seen plenty of action on special teams, but only as a blocker on the placekicking unit.
Andrews has good character, as evidenced by him going on a charitable trip to Ethiopia when he was at Oregon State. He also reportedly has a good work ethic.
On the field, he shows a nasty streak at times, seeking out contact and driving his man well out of the play after the whistle. On this play he peels to the second level and finishes strong.
At the NFL level, Andrews has missed time with a broken hand in 2017 and had an ankle sprain in preseason in 2018.
While still at Oregon State, he missed three games with a knee injury in 2011 but then started the last 30 games of his career.
When Andrews was poached from the Eagles’ practice squad by the Colts in 2018, this meant current assistant general manager Rex Hogan’s organization was stealing him from that of current general manager Joe Douglas. Douglas hadn’t been with the Eagles when they first signed Andrews, but was with the organization when they re-acquired him. Either way, there are plenty of people in the front office who know what he brings to the table.
Once again Andrews fits that profile of being athletic, versatile and having good character that all the other offensive line additions this offseason bring. He could compete for a role as a back-up at any of the three interior line positions and shows signs of being effective in man/power or zone schemes.
He’s been teammates with several players on the roster, including Josh Adams, Tarell Basham, Arthur Maulet, Pierre Desir, Ross Travis and Nate Hairston.
Andrews has been in the league for six years and played less than 100 snaps. However, he was stuck behind veterans like Brandon Brooks, Jason Kelce and Stefen Wisniewski that whole time, otherwise he might have got more chances. He had generally graded out well in preseason action and made it onto some teams that were regarded as being deep on the offensive line, even if he didn’t get a chance to play.
When called upon by the Colts over the past few seasons, he had mixed results, but certainly made some positive contributions and also seemed to be more comfortable in 2019 than in 2018, so he’s perhaps growing in confidence.
When this deal was announced, Andrews seemed like he might be a camp body and perhaps someone Douglas and Hogan felt would be a solid hand to throw into the camp competition. However, he seems to have some upside and should compete with Jonotthan Harrison - another ex-Colts player - to be one of the main reserves on the interior.