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The 2020 AGOP Champion

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Super Bowl LII - Philadelphia Eagles Victory Parade Photo by Corey Perrine/Getty Images

The contestants in the 2020 AGOP contest have submitted their entries. The entries have been reviewed. You all have voted. And in an extremely close vote, you have named our 2020 champion. That champion is krunchy313, squeaking out a victory over three other worthy contestants. Take a bow krunchy313, for a tight victory well earned. Contact me at macgregorwells@gmail.com to claim your prize.

Now, without further ado, we present the 2020 AGOP championship entry.

AGOP: Whose o-line is it anyway?

By krunchy313

The Jets need a new offensive line and Joe Douglas knows it. Every aspect of the offense improve when the line improves. Obviously, the run game is better and the pass protection is better, but these have implications. Receivers have time to get open, Sam has time to make the right decision, the offense tires out the opposing defense, the opposing defense has to blitz more leaving their secondary vulnerable, our defense has time to rest, the offense can run a more versatile playbook and keep defenses guessing, you name it. That’s why for this year’s AGOP, through trades, free agency, and the draft, I made it my first priority to significantly improve the line. With the changes I made, I believe that the Jets’ biggest weakness is now no longer a weakness, and will in fact become its greatest strength in only a few years. Without further ado, let’s get into it.

Cuts – STARTING CAP SPACE: $49.4 million

Before we start the re-signs, the Jets have a lot of cuts to make. There are several players who make far more than they’re worth, and with a new general manager, it is very plausible that this many players are released.

Darryl Roberts – +$6 million

- Doesn’t deserve anywhere close to 6

Trumaine Johnson – +$11 million (after June 1)

- One of the most disappointing signings I can remember

Quincy Enunwa – +$2.4 million

- A guy I really liked but his injuries are too severe

Josh Bellamy – +$2.3 million

- Head-scratcher of a signing by Macc

Nate Hairston – +$2.2 million

- His level of play is barely above vet minimum

Jonotthan Harrison – +$2.2 million

- Restructure: versatile but bad, bring him back in FA though

Guys who won’t make final roster – + $11 million

- Josh Adams, Kenneth Dixon, etc.

CAP ADDITION: +$37.1 million

ROOKIE RESERVE: -$7 MILLION

CAP SPACE: $79.4 million

Trades

Vegas receives Brian Winters, 2021 5th round pick (From NY Giants)

Jets receive Gabe Jackson, 2021 7th round pick

*This trade takes place after June 1 for cap reasons.* On March 10th, it hit the news that the Raiders were shopping Gabe Jackson. The Jets need a guard (as well as another guard, a center, and two tackles) and Jackson has had many good years but is coming off a down one. 28 years old is not old for an offensive lineman and I would imagine the Jets would have to cough little up to be able to acquire him.

This is a football trade. Both players are in need of changes in scenery and provide their own benefits. Winters is a team leader and locker room presence who is pretty solid when healthy. Jackson has had good previous seasons but looked less-than-great in 2019, plus his contract is far less favorable (3 x 9.6 remaining). Still, Jackson provides upside considering his previous good seasons, as he has posted a PFF grade of 67+ each year from 2014-2018, including a very impressive 82.2 in 2015 and 74.7 in 2016. Winters has only hit the 67+ marker twice in his career. In addition, Jackson has reduced injury risk as he has played 71 of the past 80 games, while Winters has played only 61 of the past 80 games.

CAP CHANGE: -$3 million

CAP SPACE: $76.4 million

Notable ‘Non-re-signs’

Kelvin Beachum

- He was solid but the Jets should go in another direction at this point

Ryan Kalil

- Experiment gone wrong

Demaryius Thomas

- Didn’t play well

Alex Lewis

- Wasn’t great and will be looking for at least 4 per year

Re-signs

Robby Anderson – 4 x $11 million – T-20th highest paid WR

- $11 million seems like less than what was predicted previously, but his comments on March 10th made it seem like A) he potentially takes a minor pay-cut since he likes being a Jet and/or B) the market for him is less than anticipated and he needs a fallback option. Either way, Anderson has cemented himself as one of the league’s top deep threats and has a seemingly good attitude. He has a knack for tracking the ball and getting separation from whoever is defending him. This past year, though, he made many tough contested catches that he has been unable to make in the past. I don’t think his development is done yet (he’s only 26) and I still think he has another year to hone his physical abilities. If not, Anderson is still a great asset for his deep ball skills. Plus, an improved line this year means Anderson has more time to get separation and his production will increase.

Brian Poole – 3 x $10 million – T-18th highest paid CB

- Poole was one of PFF’s highest graded CBs this year, a true diamond in the rough. He’s only 27 and fits into GW’s defense. (For what it’s worth, I had the Jets signing Poole in my AGOP last year)

Jordan Jenkins – 4 x $11 million – T-23rd highest paid EDGE

- Jenkins has been a solid rusher for this team. He’s only 25 years old and his sack numbers have increased each year of his career. According to this graphic posted by analyst Seth Walder, Jenkins had an above average pass rush win rate despite being double teamed very often in 2019.

Lachlan Edwards – 2 x $2.5 million – T-13th highest paid P

- Very solid punter

Arthur Maulet – 1 x $1.5 million (bring back during camp for cap reasons)

- Not a bad player

James Burgess Jr – 1 x $1.5 million (bring back during camp for cap reasons)

- Not a bad player

MONEY SPENT: $37.5 million

CURRENT CAP SPACE: $38.9 million

Free Agency

This year, the Jets get very few FAs. My rationale: this is a bad FA class for the Jets in terms of their needs. Everyone who is great will become the highest paid at their position, everyone who is good will get top dollar, and everyone else will be overpaid. That’s the story of every FA but I feel like this for this class especially.

Big-Ticket FAs

Jack Conklin OT – 5 x $18 million – Highest paid OL in NFL

- PFF grade of 78 this past year, 71.8 in 2017, and 80.6 in 2016 when he was first team all pro. He has played 57 of 64 possible games and can anchor this line for years to come and, being only 26 years old, has many years left in the league. This is the one big-ticket free agent that I don’t mind splurging on. He helped bring the Titans to the post-season and up to the conference championship. He is a premier run blocker who will help Bell return to his 2017 form.

Mid-tier FAs

Graham Glasgow OG – 4 x $11 million – 7th highest paid OG

- Has had a PFF grade of over 70 each of the past 3 years with a 74.1 in 2019. Dressed for 62 of 64 possible games and can play either guard or center. I would put him at left guard, but he has good experience at each position along the interior.

Low-tier FAs

Kyler Fackrell EDGE – 1 x $6 million

- Recorded 10.5 sacks in 2018 but didn’t start in 2019 after Green Bay signed Za’Darius and Preston Smith. Great size at 6’5” 245 lbs and can join the pass rush committee. Give him a one-year deal to prove 2018 wasn’t a fluke.

Jonotthan Harrison C – 1 x $1 million

- Can either play guard or center (bring back during camp for cap reasons)

MONEY SPENT: $36 million

REMAINING CAP: $2.9 million

Draft *DISCLAIMER: I used Lindy’s Sports Pro Football Draft magazine for draft, along with other mock drafts and analyst projections

1. Cincinnati Bengals – Joe Burrow QB LSU

2. Washington Redskins – Chase Young DE Ohio State

3. Detroit Lions – Jeffrey Okudah CB Ohio State

4. New York Giants – Jedrick Wills OT Alabama

5. Miami Dolphins – Tua Tagovailoa QB Alabama

6. LA Chargers – Justin Herbert QB Oregon

7. Carolina Panthers – Isaiah Simmons LB Clemson

8. Arizona Cardinals – Derrick Brown DT Auburn

9. Jacksonville Jaguars – Tristan Wirfs OT Iowa

10. Cleveland Browns – Mekhi Becton OT Louisville

11. New York Jets

12. Las Vegas Raiders

13. Indianapolis Colts

14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

15. Denver Broncos

Joe Douglas receives a call from Denver GM John Elway. Elway wants to move up to 11 from 15 and is willing to cough up their 2nd in the process.

Why it makes sense for the Broncos: Denver wants Ruggs but the Raiders and Colts need receivers. The Raiders’ top WR Tyrell Williams put up 651 yards this past season and Gruden would like to put another weapon around Carr. Williams is a pure deep threat and Hunter Renfrow lacks the size to play outside. The Colts’ top WR Zach Pascal put up 607 yards this season as TY Hilton battled injury the whole year. The Colts are looking to snag a WR with this pick and Elway knows it. Elway wants Henry Ruggs, and with two teams selecting a receiver before Denver, there is no guarantee that Ruggs is still there. Elway then trades up to get his guy.

Why it makes sense for the Jets: Andrew Thomas is on the board, and with such a good player at a position of need, it would make sense for the Jets to just select him. But with the run on receivers that is about to take place, Gang Green could squeeze out more value while still snagging Thomas. It’s a big risk, sure, but it would come with a big reward. With Denver drafting Ruggs, the Jets need to worry about Vegas, Indy, or Tampa Bay taking Thomas. Vegas has former first-round pick Kolton Miller at LT and Pro-Bowler Trent Brown at RT. Their line was phenomenal this year and they want a receiver. Likewise, Indy’s offensive line is known for being one of the best around and, as explained before, they want a receiver.

That leaves, Tampa who actually got good play from their OTs Donovan Smith and Demar Dotson, both of whom posted a good PFF grade of 70. Assuming they bring back Dotson, OT is not their biggest team need. However, Tampa’s secondary is truly awful – other than up-and-coming CB Carlton Davis – and LSU safety Grant Delpit fills a massive hole and is one of the most talented players in the draft in terms of raw talent. As an LSU fan, I thought Delpit looked like Jamal Adams 2.0 as a sophomore but had a somewhat down junior year. Still, he looks like he could become a top safety in the league and leader of the secondary, and Todd Bowles gets another LSU star safety.

VALUE: A 2nd round pick to move from 11 to 15 seems like pretty fair value for both sides. Buffalo gave up two second round picks to move from pick 12 to pick 7 in 2018 for comparison’s sake. The Broncos may be slightly overpaying but keep in mind they’re trading up from mid-round to almost a top 10 pick. A 2nd may be somewhat steep but it’s not far off from the trade value chart. They want their guy and are willing to give up good draft capital to get there.

11. Denver Broncos – Henry Ruggs WR Alabama

12. Las Vegas Raiders – Jerry Jeudy WR Alabama

13. Indianapolis Colts – Ceedee Lamb WR Oklahoma

14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Grant Delpit S LSU

And with the 15th pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the New York Jets select…

Andrew Thomas, offensive tackle, Georgia.

(1) 15: Andrew Thomas OT Georgia.

- Since the beginning of the season, Thomas was the guy I wanted the Jets to get. It seemed like he’d be a top 5 pick, but his draft stock has fallen quite a bit recently (something that I still don’t understand). Thomas has good size and strength, along with patience. When he latches onto a rusher, he rarely lets go. He has terrific character and maturity and started 42 out of 43 possible games. A true prototypical tackle that will anchor this line for years to come. Lindy’s player comparison: Russel Okung

DAY 2

(2) 46: Lloyd Cushenberry III, LSU

- Most people talk about Hennesy, Ruiz, and Biadasz but Cushenberry is my guy at center. Somewhat of a project but has major upside, which is good based on my safer additions to the line. Great agility and awareness along with good size. Accurate shotgun snap who can recover quickly. Gets to the second level with ease. Lindy’s player comparison: Chase Roullier

(2) 48: Jaylon Johnson CB Utah

- First team All-Pac-12 the past 2 years. Has the athleticism and ball-skills to be a ball-hawk in the NFL. Possesses a high football IQ and jumps routes like a pro. An aggressive, nimble, and versatile cover corner who shadows receivers. Lindy’s player comparison: Janoris Jenkins

(3) 68: Josh Uche EDGE Michigan

- Explosive off the edge, one of the better EDGE rushers in a lackluster class. Uses his lack of size to his advantage and can blow through o lineman with speed. Uche put up 14.5 sacks over the past two seasons at Michigan but comes with some injury risk. Lindy’s player comparison: Kyle Fitts

(3) 79: Michael Pittman JR. WR USC

- Comes from a football lineage with his father Michael Pittman SR being an 11-year pro at RB for Arizona. Had two years with Sam, and a fantastic senior season at USC, posting 1275 yards and 11 touchdowns. Possesses great size at 6’4” 223 lbs. His speed isn’t great but is very solid for a guy his stature. An imposing and efficient route-runner who keeps defensive backs guessing. Lindy’s player comparison: Michael Thomas

DAY 3

(4) 120: Bryan Edwards WR South Carolina

- A WR projected to be round 3 but I imagine his foot injury that caused him to miss the Combine hurts his draft stock. The combine is overrated to me – Edwards has good size at 6’2” 215 lbs and reliable hands. He ran a balanced route-tree and fights hard for extra yards. Lindy’s player comparison: Alshon Jeffrey

(5) 159: Ke’Shawn Vaughn RB Vanderbilt

- A lot of teams have huge success with late-round RBs and it’s time for the Jets to join the party. Exploded as a junior with 1280 yards and 7.9 ypc but slowed down as a senior player on a very lackluster roster. Compact frame that allows him to accelerate smoothly and make quick cuts. Uses the stiff arm effectively and catches the ball well. Lindy’s player comparison: Wayne Gallman

(6) 192: Brian Lewerke QB Michigan State

- Has a good rhythm and fires quick, accurate passes. Places the ball away from defenders, especially on quick, in-cutting routes. Has a strong arm but possesses a somewhat slow windup. Tricks DBs by looking one way and throwing the other. A smart kid with a bachelor’s in Economics. Lindy’s player comparison: Case Keenum

(6) 212: Simon Stepaniak G Indiana

- 37 reps at the bench. Stubby but strong with good initial quickness. Very physical, latches onto opponents and controls them. Has experience at both guard positions. NFL-ready balance and agility. Lindy’s player comparison: Jordan Roos

Final Roster

QB: Darnold, Lewerke

- Darnold makes a large stride with a massively improved line and plays like a top-10 QB

RB: Bell, Vaughn, Cannon

- Bell returns to his 2017 form and explodes for 2000+ yards with the new line. Vaugn provides a nice change-of-pace

WR: Anderson, Crowder, Pittman, Edwards, Doctson, Berrios

- Anderson headlines with deep ball ability and has more time to get open, Crowder cleans up underneath, and the rookies add production outside

TE: Herndon, Griffin, Brown, Wesco

- Herndon actually plays and plays well, proving to be a reliable starting TE

OT: Thomas, Conklin, Edoga

- Conklin anchors the line as a top RT in the league while Thomas transitions to the NFL. This duo could be a top OT duo in only a few years

OG: Glasgow, Jackson, Stepaniak

- Glasgow and Jackson add some stability to the interior and open holes for Bell

C: Cushenberry, Harrison

- Cushenberry is a project with great upside, and with Glasgow, Thomas, Jackson, and Conklin next to him, I’m content with a project.

DE: Williams, H. Anderson, Phillips, Shepherd, UDFA

- Qubert makes a big stride in his development and racks up good sack numbers while others help with the run game

DT: McLendon, Fatukasi, Kaufasi

- McLendon provides a veteran presence while the others prove helpful against the run

EDGE: Jenkins, Fackrell, Uche, Basham, Willis

- Pash rush by committee as Jenkins, Fackrell, and Uche rotate and provide good sack production from the edge

ILB: Mosley, Williamson, Cashman, Burgess

- Mosley and Williamson dominate the middle of the field and headline the top run defense in the leauge

CB: Poole, Johnson, Austin, Maulet, UDFA

- Poole locks up the slot while Austin and Johnson provide solid play on the outside

S: Adams, Maye, Farley, Cioffi

- Adams continues his all-pro play but picks up more INTs and FFs this year. Maye’s coverage skills continue to improve, and this becomes the top S duo in the league

K: Maher

P: Edwards

LS: Hennessy