With six games remaining for the New York Jets, weak units will be evaluated. Here’s what to watch for concerning the offensive line.
The New York Jets offensive line is a unit in shambles. The struggles of this group have been at the forefront of a myriad of factors that have crumbled the Jets offense around Sam Darnold.
What should we look out for from each starter over the final stretch?
Left Tackle Kelvin Beachum
Beachum, 29 today and 30 at the start of next season, is an interesting case. Left tackle is arguably the most important position along the offensive line—though it seems more and more each year that the opposite can be argued and that all positions up front are more or less equal.
Regardless, left tackle remains a premium spot where quality talent is tough to acquire. Beachum is no stalwart, but he has done a decent enough job holding the position down in his two years as a Jet. I have him down for a 7.9 percent pressure rate allowed this season, which is strong for a left tackle (the average rate for tackles is about 9.0 percent).
Beachum, who stands at only 6-foot-3, has less than adequate size for the position. Much because of that, he’s struggled with penalties this year (line-leading seven) and preventing pass deflections at the line (team-high four allowed). He’s also a poor run blocker.
The good news is that the Jets have team-friendly control of Beachum in 2019. The team can cut him at any point prior to the start of the regular season and take only a $1.5M hit in dead-cap while wiping out the other $8M of his potential $9.5M total hit. This is great for the team. If they can find a younger, better option in free agency or the draft, they can move on from Beachum. If not, they have him under wraps to bring another solid season on the left side.
You can do a lot worse than Beachum. He is a tremendous match for speedy edge rushers with his athletic ability. I’m interested to see him take on Jadaveon Clowney and the Texans in Week 15. Beachum was stellar against Bradley Chubb, Von Miller, and the Broncos back in Week 5. If Beachum can maintain his current level of play throughout the final six weeks, there’s a good shot he will remain the team’s starter at left tackle in 2019.