Prior to the Duane Brown signing, the Jets brought in two other offensive linemen to provide some depth to a group with multiple injuries and we’re going to be breaking them down for you this week. We start today with an in-depth look at Chris Glaser.
The 22-year old Glaser is listed at 6’4” and 306 pounds and is an undrafted rookie out of Virginia, where he played in 54 games over five seasons, starting 44 at multiple positions. Prior to signing with the Jets he had been in Kansas City.
Glaser was a three-star recruit out of high school and, having decided to attend Virginia, the plan was originally for him to redshirt his freshman season in 2017. However, when the Cavaliers suffered some injuries down the stretch, he ended up playing in five games, starting two.
In 2018, he played in all 13 games, starting seven, and then became a full-time starter in 2019. In 2020, he was an all-ACC honorable mention and then, having taken the extra year of eligibility that was available due to the pandemic disruption, he was named as an honorable mention on Pro Football Network’s all-American team in 2021.
Glaser wasn’t invited to the combine and didn’t immediately sign as an undrafted free agent following the draft. He was invited to try out with the Chiefs and Colts at rookie camp and performed well with Kansas City to earn a contract with them.
The Chiefs released Glaser early on in training camp and the Jets picked him up a few days later. Other than Max Mitchell, he’s the only rookie offensive lineman on the team.
Now let’s take a look at what Glaser brings to the table, divided into categories.
Glaser isn’t particularly big and has below average length, but he has big hands and put up 29 bench press reps during his pro day workout.
He doesn’t jump off the screen as an outstanding athlete but his pro day workout speed and agility numbers were solid, including a 5.21 in the 40-yard dash. His explosiveness numbers were mediocre though.
Glaser has outstanding versatility, having played snaps at all five offensive line positions with the Cavaliers and also as a jumbo package tight end. In his freshman year, he filled in at both tackle positions and then mostly played left guard in his second season. He played primarily as a right guard for the last three years.
At the NFL level, he’s more likely to play center than tackle because he lacks ideal length. That’s despite the fact he only played eight snaps at center in his career. With the Jets, he saw action at left guard in the Eagles game last Friday.
Glaser’s pass protection numbers were pretty solid throughout his career, but he was put to the test in 2021 when Virginia went extremely pass-heavy. Glaser didn’t surrender a sack in 2020, but gave up four in 2021. His pressure rates were still pretty good though, although he did have one game against Wake Forest where he gave up seven pressures. That was the only game in his last two seasons where he allowed more than two pressures.
He does a good job of getting back into his stance and moving his feet to get in front of his man, but can struggle to recover if he loses a leverage advantage.
Against a bull rush, Glaser generally holds up pretty well and is usually able to re-anchor to buy the quarterback time, but he can be moved off his spot at times.
Glaser showed improvement over the course of his career and the Cavaliers posted the best numbers in the ACC for yards before contact when running behind him in 2021.
He gets out of the blocks aggressively and can use his power at the point of attack to drive his man.
When battling in the trenches, he can be overpowered and allow his man to shed his block. This will probably be more of an issue when facing NFL-level talent in preseason and was already the case a few times on Friday night.
He can also be effective at the second level with the ability to find a target and angle his man off.
Glaser has also shown that he can pull effectively and is capable of creating good impact on the move.
The Cavaliers have had some success running behind Glaser at the goal line, scoring 21 rushing touchdowns in 2021 alone. He does a good job of turning and controlling his man to seal him to the outside here.
Virginia hasn’t had much success on screen passes in recent years, but this throwback went for a first down as Glaser displayed good hustle, although he didn’t manage to lock onto his block cleanly and kind of got in the ball carrier’s way.
He had one holding penalty on a screen pass in 2020.
Virginia’s offensive line coach, Garett Tujague, described Glaser as a “demanding technician” who had worked hard to improve over the course of his career. Here’s a good example of that, as he executes the reach block well.
Even so, there’s still some things that he needs to work on. He can get off balance when moving laterally, allowing his man to get off his block. In addition, he will lean into his man when blocking in space rather than keeping his feet moving. On this play, he allows the pass rusher to get the first shot in, giving him the separation to gain a leverage advantage from which Glaser cannot recover.
Glaser’s on-field discipline has been solid as he only had eight penalties in his five year career, with just one (a false start) in 2021. In 2020, he had three - a false start and two holding penalties.
Like most offensive linemen, Glaser has primarily served as a blocker on the placekicking unit when playing special teams. He’s lined up at guard, tackle and at the end position within this role.
He’s also lined up in the backfield in punt protection at times and briefly served as a blocker on the kickoff return unit at Virginia.
You would automatically expect Glaser to have an excellent football IQ and to be able to pick up new systems based on the fact that he’s played so many different roles.
In pass protection, he’s often been employed as the spare man, so he has to read the defense and pick up any rushers or help out his linemates if they need it. He doesn’t do such a good job of that here though.
On this play, which appears to be designed to go left, Glaser’s initial job is to help the center to control his reach block, which he does well. He’s then required to peel off and block the linebacker, but the linebacker gets upfield on him quickly. Glaser reacts and smartly changes the plan and seals him outside instead so that the running back can cut back for a nice gain.
Glaser developed into one of the Cavaliers’ most important leaders as he was described as someone with a “warrior mindset” that spread to the rest of the team. Apparently, he would often get into his teammates’ faces and call them out if they did anything wrong.
His coaches praised how unselfish he was with regard to the situation with his redshirt, along with his toughness. He’ll stand up for himself and his teammates on the field too.
Glaser gutted it out during the 2020 season after being diagnosed with a torn labrum in his hip. He started every game and then got surgery after the season and missed the spring.
He didn’t miss any games due to injury, although he was knocked out of a couple. In one, he thought he might have a concussion after having dealt with double-vision on the field. However, this was diagnosed as having been caused by ocular migraines.
As noted, Virginia went pass-heavy in 2021 having previously been a run-first team. They operate with both zone and gap-based run blocking schemes, but usually with more zone. Over his five seasons, Glaser should have picked up some valuable experience to help him translate to the NFL.
He was a teammate of current Jet Bryce Hall for the first three of his five seasons with the Cavaliers.
Glaser was primarily brought in because the Jets were shorthanded on the offensive line. This is a good opportunity for him to get some decent playing time in preseason to try and earn a practice squad spot either with the Jets or another team, though.
It might make sense for the Jets to look to develop a rookie lineman on their practice squad and, assuming Mitchell will be on the main roster, Glaser is the only rookie lineman they have, so potentially has a shot at this.
Equally, he could be one of the next round of cuts now that the Jets have brought Brown into the fold. However, it seems likely they’ll need bodies for the last preseason game, so Glaser will hope to get more chances to put some good things on film.