Unleash the HogsLocking up Brian Winters was very important for the cohesiveness of the offensive line. He and James Carpenter will man the two guard spots in 2017, that is certain. The two played well, despite the team’s results, and will be a nice pair moving forward.
The Jets may address the two tackle positions through free agency or the draft. Those positions are currently manned by the oft-injured Breno Giacomini and Ryan Clady, who could be cap casualties. Internal candidates Brandon Shell and Wesley Johnson will get reps during training camp to compete for the starting nods. The Detroit Lions‘ former first round pick, Riley Reiff, would be a player the Jets could target as a long term solution at one of the tackle positions.
Time will tell whether Mangold will spend his final year or two with the Jets before heading off to retirement. Certainly one of the best draft picks in the last decade or so for the Jets, Mangold has been the ultimate leader of the line.
If Mangold happens to play out next year, he could play tutor to a mid-round draft pick in this year’s draft. A player like Ohio State’s Pat Elflein would be a perfect heir to the former Buckeye in Mangold. Elflein has the ability to play all three interior positions of the O-line, and could transition to center after a season next to the All-Pro.