Friday, April 8, 2011
Jets draft preview: Offensive line
By Rich Cimini
This is the fifth installment in a nine-part series that will analyze the Jets' needs, position by position, in the upcoming draft.
Position: Offensive line
Depth chart: D'Brickashaw Ferguson (T), Matt Slauson (G), Nick Mangold (C), Brandon Moore (G), Vladimir Ducasse (T/G), Wayne Hunter (T), Rob Turner (C/G), Marlon Davis (G), Robby Felix (C), Dennis Landolt (G).
Not under contract: Hunter, Turner.
Scouting report: The microscope will be focused intensely on Ducasse, who attempts to replace the popular Damien Woody as the starting right tackle. Ducasse has a lot stacked against him -- virtually no experience, new position, small-school background -- but the Jets' brass believes he can get it done. In retrospect, the organization made the right call last year, replacing Alan Faneca with Slauson. But it's harder with tackles. They'd better re-sign Hunter as insurance. The rest of the line is set. You won't find a better trio than Ferguson-Mangold-Moore. Slauson improved in his first year as a starter, although he still has a ways to go as a pass blocker.
The Last Time: The Jets addressed the offensive line in last year's draft, taking Ducasse in the second round. He failed to mount any challenge in an open competition with Slauson at left guard.
Potential Targets: It makes zero sense to pick a lineman before the fifth round, not after using a second-rounder last year on Ducasse. In the fifth or sixth round, they could address the line -- right tackle -- if there's value. Georgia's Josh Davis (6-7, 300) is a late-round possibility, a developmental player with a frame capable of adding another 25 pounds. T/G Ray Dominguez (Arkansas), a 334-pound mountain, is on the list of scheduled visits to Florham Park. He was a three-year starter at right tackle. Another player on the Florham Park list is late-round prospect Brandon Fusco (Slippery Rock), who can play anywhere on the line and projects nicely into the Jets' zone-blocking scheme. OL coach Bill Callahan paid close attention to C/G Zane Taylor at the Utah pro day.
Need Factor (scale of 1 to 10): 5.
Monday: Defensive line.