Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Otah's impact on OL depth chart
By Rich Cimini
With former Panthers first-round pick Jeff Otah on the roster (assuming he passes his physical), let's re-set the Jets' offensive-line depth chart.
Important notes: Vladimir Ducasse, kicked back and forth between left guard and right tackle, is expected to open camp at guard, where he worked in minicamp. They still don't have a true center to back up Nick Mangold.
TACKLE: D'Brickashaw Ferguson, Wayne Hunter, Jeff Otah, Austin Howard, Stephon Heyer, Dennis Landolt.
GUARD: Brandon Moore, Matt Slauson, Vladimir Ducasse, Caleb Schlauderaff, Robert T. Griffin, Matt Kroul, Fred Koloto, Terrence Campbell (PUP).
CENTER: Nick Mangold.
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Panthers GM Marty Hurney told the Charlotte Observer he believes Otah will benefit from a fresh start with the Jets.
"It’s hard because Jeff’s an extremely talented player," Hurney told the newspaper. "I think this is going to be a fresh start for him and he’s going to do very well. You don’t find players – he’s a very talented offensive tackle. He’s had problems with injuries the last two years. We have some young tackles that we think can be good and compete and help us and make up pretty good depth at the spot."
Otah missed 31 of his last 35 games in Carolina with a left-knee injury, ending the last three seasons on injured reserve. He lasted only four games last season before the Panthers decided to put him on IR, hoping he'd be ready for 2012. His knee swelled up last month in OTAs, prompting a trip to well-known orthopedist James Andrews, who reportedly told Otah the knee is structurally sound.
Much like the player he might replace, Wayne Hunter, Otah wasn't a fan favorite. His work ethic was questioned, but he's in the final year of his rookie contract, so he should be motivated.