The Jets are expected to start Aaron Rodgers at quarterback in the 2023 season.
The extent to which his skills have declined is an open debate. Was his subpar 2022 season a result of injuries? Was it a poor supporting cast dragging him down? Was it age finally catching up with the future Hall of Famer? Maybe it was some combination of all these things.
We will find out in 2023 how much Rodgers has left in the tank. One of the tangible areas where he has clearly shown signs of erosion, however, is mobility. At earlier points in his career, Rodgers was as good as anybody at throwing impossible passes on the run with pinpoint precision. He can’t move as well as he used to. This isn’t to say he’s a statue in the pocket like Joe Flacco, but any team that puts him at quarterback needs to put a quality offensive line in front of him.
Unfortunately the Jets have plenty of questions up front. The team doesn’t even have a starting center at the moment. The No. 13 pick is too early in the draft to consider any center prospects, so we will focus on the tackle position.
The Mekhi Becton experiment has not worked out. While Becton remains on the roster and is currently penciled in as a starter, he has played three quarters of a game in the last two seasons. Counting on him to stay healthy would be foolish.
At the other tackle position is Duane Brown. Brown’s career has been distinguished, but he will be 38 by the time Week 1 rolls around and is coming off an injury-plagued season. Behind them is Max Mitchell, a mid-round pick from a year ago who is a total wild card. Alijah Vera-Tucker saw spot duty at tackle last year and played well, but the Jets seem to want him to stay at guard.
Enter Peter Skoronski. The Northwestern tackle profiles to be as much of a plug and play prospect as is possible. He lacks the ideal length for the tackle position, but he has everything else you would want to see from a player at the position. Skoronski falling to the Jets at 13 overall is a dream scenario. I think the Jets would run the card up to the podium if they saw him still on the board as they made their pick.
Skoronski on the line makes everything easier for the Jets. Vera-Tucker stays at guard. The other tackle position remains a bit of a question mark, but it’s easier to hope to cobble together 17 games out of the Brown/Becton/Mitchell trio than it is to need two of them to start over a full season.
It’s definitely possible Skoronski will be off the board by the time the Jets pick at 13, but probably not as early as the top 5. DraftKings Sportsbook has +20000 odds that Skoronski will be picked No. 1, +15000 odds that he’ll be off the board at No. 2, and +10000 odds at No. 3, 4, or 5.
General manager Joe Douglas has been focused on fixing the offensive line during his four year tenure. For the most part his efforts have been unsuccessful, but the drafting of Skoronski should give the Jets a foundational player on their offensive line for years to come.