Jets studying top draft prospects to help fortify O-line

Sam Darnold was sacked 33 times last season … in 13 games. Clearly, something has to change along the New York Jets’ offensive line.

If the Jets’ activity over the last month is any indication, then help could soon be on the way.

Ahead of the 2020 NFL Draft, the Jets have been doing their due diligence while evaluating O-line prospects that could potentially be available when the team is on the clock with the tenth overall pick, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported Friday.

The #Jets also did dinner and a workout with Alabama OL Jedrick Wills. They hosted Louisville OL Mekhi Becton on a 30 visit. They’ve video chatted with Iowa’s Tristan Wirfs. Lot of homework on potential protection for Sam Darnold … if one gets out of the top 10.

In 2019, the Jets relied on a hodgepodge group of players to protect Darnold, resulting in the group finishing in the bottom-five (28th) among starting O-lines, per Pro Football Focus.

Kelvin Beachum dealt with nagging injuries while Brian Winters landed on IR after Week 10. Ryan Kalil, who came out of retirement and joined the team in August, was also limited by ailments. 2019 third-round pick Chuma Edoga started just eight games, and Brandon Shell was in and out of the lineup for production reasons.

The Jets have already made moves this offseason to shore up Darnold’s first line of defense, re-signing guard Alex Lewis (12 starts in ’19) and adding former Panthers guard Greg Van Roten and Broncos center Connor McGovern. The team let Shell walk away and join the Seahawks; Beachum and Kalil are still on the free agent market.

Becton, Wills, Wirfs and Thomas all rank in the top 20 of Daniel Jeremiah’s Top 50 Propsects list. In the most recent round of mock drafts, only Peter Schrager has the Jets taking a tackle (Becton). Chad Reuter also has them taking Becton.

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