Some random thoughts as Jets training camp rolls along …
Mekhi Becton’s new role. Head coach Robert Saleh noted at the Senior Bowl back in February the left tackle job was George Fant’s to lose. He meant it.
Saleh revealed last week the Jets will be moving forward with Fant on the blindside. The Jets drafted Becton in the 2020 first round to fill that crucial role for years to come. But after missing 16 games last year due to a knee injury and Fant’s subsequent superb play in the left tackle role, Becton has been Wally Pipped. He will be the team’s starting right tackle.
It’s the right move, too. Whether you think the Jets are legitimate playoff contenders or not, this team wants to win now. Joe Douglas is in his fourth year as general manager and the Saleh-Zach Wilson era is now in year two. Not to mention Douglas greatly improved this roster in the offseason.
The coaching staff will make every decision in the team’s best interest. Fant is the better option for right now. We’ll see if he can build off last year’s success and continue impressing in the regular season.
Sauce’s start. Saleh isn’t naming No. 4 overall pick Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner a starting cornerback just yet. He must outwork Bryce Hall to fulfill the role opposite D.J. Reed, who Douglas signed to a three-year, $33 million deal back in March.
Gardner has the size, length, and athleticism to succeed in this league and it’s why he’ll win the job over Hall. But he’s definitely a player you should monitor when the preseason starts.
He’ll have a great opportunity to portray the physical traits that made him such a dominant collegiate corner at Cincinnati.
Offensive line growth. It will start to get physical in the trenches during the preseason — a great chance for the Jets offensive line to continue building much-needed chemistry.
It’s unclear if Fant will be participating in the preseason opener — he’s coming off knee surgery and has been eased into camp thus far.
But the Jets offensive line has incredible potential just as long as Fant and Becton can remain healthy. The interior could be one of the NFL’s best with left guard Laken Tomlinson, center Connor McGovern, and right guard Alijah Vera-Tucker.