Over the next few weeks, we’re going to take an in-depth look at each of the Jets’ offseason acquisitions, continuing today with offensive lineman Corey Levin.
The 26-year old is listed at 6’4” and 307 pounds and was a sixth round pick out of Tennessee-Chattanooga in 2017. He’s made one start in his NFL career but hasn’t played in an NFL game since 2018.
Levin wasn’t heavily recruited out of high school, and ended up playing at the FCS level at Tennessee-Chattanooga. After redshirting his first season, Levin established himself as a four year starter, making 51 starts, including 45 in a row to end his career.
Over those four seasons, Levin was a three-time all-American and a two-time winner of the SoCon Jacobs Blocking Award.
Having earned an invite to the scouting combine, Levin was considered a late round sleeper heading into the 2017 draft and eventually got selected by the Titans in the sixth round.
He didn’t play in his rookie year, but then played in every game in 2018, starting one and seeing significant action in a few others.
In 2019, he was released in final cuts and claimed by the Broncos, who shortly afterwards waived him and placed him on their practice squad. The Bears poached him before the end of the season but he didn’t see any action with them and then was released in final cuts again in 2020.
He spent two days on New England’s practice squad in 2020 but otherwise was not signed to a team all season. The Jets signed him to a one-year deal during free agency.
Now let’s take a look at what Levin brings to the table, divided into categories.
Levin had mixed results during his combine workout, although he does flash good athletic ability on film. He ran a 5.16 in the 40-yard dash and posted a 106” broad jump and 7.55 in the three cone drill, all of which are good numbers. However, his vertical and short shuttle were poor.
Levin is slightly undersized for a guard and probably built more like a center. He has average length, although he also has very big hands.
According to mockdraftable.com, 2020 Jets draft pick Cameron Clark is one of his closest comparables in terms of his combine measurables.
Levin was extremely versatile in college and has made use of that at the NFL level. He started off each of his first three seasons at left tackle, but then moved inside halfway through the season in his redshirt sophomore and redshirt junior season. As a redshirt senior, he was a full-time left guard, although he started one game at right tackle.
At the NFL level, he’s seen action at both guard spots and also at center. His one start was at left guard. He hasn’t played tackle at this level, but did play some snaps as a jumbo package tight end.
Levin had a pretty good record as a pass blocker with the Mocs. Notably, he played four games against FBS opposition since 2014 and didn’t give up a single hit or sack according to Pro Football Focus.
On this play, the defensive lineman slaps his hands away but does a good job of resetting his hand placement and keeping his feet moving so he can drive his man upfield.
He also moves his feet well and positions himself to take his man down aggressively on this play.
When he saw regular season action with the Titans, they did a good job of giving him help or using him as a spare man so he could double-team with and give help to his fellow linemen.
On this play, however, he finds himself in a one-on-one situation and overreacts badly to the inside jab step and is unable to recover and prevent the pressure.
Levin shows an ability to control his block at the point of attack and also to block on the move or in space. However, he’s been inconsistent at the NFL level so far.
On this play, he gets driven back off the snap by Cam Heyward, allowing him to penetrate into the backfield and blow up the run.
However, he does a better job at the point of attack on this play, staying on his block and eventually gaining control of his man to drive him to the ground.
He works well in combination with his fellow interior linemen. On this play he is able to peel off and climb to the second level to make a block.
When blocking in space he can be unbalanced at times and seems to sometimes take questionable angles.
Levin shows some good abilities in short yardage situations, including on this play where the back ran it in for a touchdown behind his effective driving combo block.
On another short yardage conversion, he made a good block to kick out his man on a stretch zone play.
Levin has the athletic ability to get out in front of a screen pass, although - as noted - he doesn’t always find a target to lock onto in space. He did that well on this play, though, angling his man off well.
While he has some technical issues that need cleaning up, hopefully these are fixable issues. On this play, he allows his man to stand him up and get under his pads so they can shed his block and get in on the stop.
He mostly just needs to work at preventing defensive players from getting their hands inside on him so that they can control him and gain a leverage advantage.
Levin has said he prefers playing center to playing guard, but he’s had some issues at times with his snaps in camp and preseason, so that’s an area that might need extra work.
Levin’s on-field discipline has been good at the NFL level, with just one penalty in preseason and regular season action. That came as he was unable to get out in front of his target on the move and ended up inadvertently tripping another play over to earn a clipping call.
Levin’s only contributions to special teams have come as a blocker on the placekicking unit. He hasn’t made any significant errors within this role.
As noted, Levin is often required to read and react when pass protecting. That led to a sack on this play as he was late to come off his initial double-team to pick up the blitz.
Levin is considered smart, having been on the dean’s list and honor roll throughout his college career.
Apparently, he once completed an aptitude test while with the Titans and was determined to be at a “genius” level based on his results.
Levin is a hard-worker with a good work ethic, who displays some nastiness on the field but has a likeable character.
He was a team captain in high school but apparently not during his college career although he was credited with being one of the key leaders behind a “culture change” at Chattanooga.
Injuries don’t seem to have been an issue so far for Levin in his career. He was ever-present in college and all his absences at the NFL level have been as a healthy scratch.
The only time he has been listed on the injury report at the NFL was due to illness and he didn’t miss any games because of that.
As noted, Levin’s size perhaps makes him a better fit at center, but he’s probably been brought in because his versatility makes him a good potential backup. He’ll presumably be looking to beat out Clark and Dan Feeney for that role as the first interior lineman off the bench and will face a battle to earn a roster spot, especially if the Jets draft bring in some rookies, as seems inevitable.
His skill-set and measurables should mean that he would be a good fit for the Jets’ system, if he does get to play.
Levin has been a teammate of Sharif Finch and Corey Davis in Tennessee and Connor McGovern while with the Broncos.
Levin isn’t a player that will be expected to compete for a starting role and may not even make the roster if everyone remains healthy.
However, he’s a versatile player who will fit their system and should add another body to what figures to be a healthy competition for roles in training camp.