Skip to main content

Could the Jets Surprise and Take Tyler Linderbaum in the First Round?

Will the Jets use the No. 10 pick of the 2022 NFL draft on center Tyler Linderbaum?

Back when I was with the Jets, one of the first things Bill Parcells did at that time was go out and get center Kevin Mawae.

Parcells and Mawae are both in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and the rest is history as they say.

Could the Jets be thinking of reliving the past, going out and getting another high profile center?

Might the Jets select Iowa’s Tyler Linderbaum, who is the consensus top center in the 2022 NFL Draft?

It is very possible for a few reasons.

While center is not the sexiest of possible draft choices out there for the Jets to consider in the first round, it is arguably the most important position on the offensive line.

Centers make the line calls and the Jets’ center will always be the one hand delivering the ball to quarterback Zach Wilson.

While there are valid questions surrounding Linderbaum weighing 290 pounds (average center 305), nobody can deny the playing speed Linderbaum has.

I will go on record saying Linderbaum is the fastest looking center I have seen in 40 years.

Linderbaum is a phenomenal athlete, who would look pretty good in green and white, pulling and picking off linebackers at the second level and making other key blocks downfield out in space.

He has forged his reputation in the smash mouth Big 10, and for this reason I am not worried about him in the NFL. Neither is Pro Football Focus (PFF), CBS, or PFF sees him going No. 31 as does CBS, and has him at No. 26.

While they do not see Linderbaum quite as highly as I do, I also recognize the value of walking away from draft with difference makers, regardless of which draft spot they are slotted into. Five years from now, nobody will care where Linderbaum was selected in the first round when he is playing in the Pro Bowl.

It is important to remember the Jets’ starting center, Connor McGovern, is slated to be an unrestricted free agent in 2023, and outside of backup center Ross Pierschbacher (who is on his third NFL team since being a fifth round choice in 2019), New York has nobody else to snap the ball to Wilson.

Yes, this would be a forward thinking move that would potentially not start paying dividends until 2023, but unless New York wants to write a big free-agent check to re-sign McGovern or someone else, it could very well be a strong consideration.

At least it should be.

Linderbaum would be very interesting in this offensive arsenal of trick plays and short screen passes to backs and wide receivers.

Iowa center Tyler Linderbaum at NFL Combine
Iowa center Tyler Linderbaum celebrates first down
Iowa center Tyler Linderbaum blocks in bowl game


Follow Daniel Kelly on Twitter (@danielkellybook). Be sure to bookmark Jets Country and check back daily for news, analysis and more.