The Jets' offensive line took a step forward in 2021, but there is still plenty of work to be done.
New York could add to their offensive line in the NFL draft, using one of their nine picks in the first five rounds to add another young player up front. That would certainly follow in the trend that general manager Joe Douglas has established since taking over in 2019. The Jets have picked an offensive lineman in the first round of both the last two drafts.
Another option, however, would be to use this organization's surplus of cap space to sign a veteran, adding a proven player to instantly take this offensive line to the next level.
In fact, Pro Football Focus—who had the Jets 11th overall in their final offensive line rankings of the season—believes New York would benefit from signing veteran guard Brandon Scherff in free agency.
Here's PFF with more on Scherff from their 2022 NFL free agent rankings published earlier this month:
Scherff is one of the best all-around guards in football when healthy. He has graded out better the past several seasons in zone rushing schemes, where his ability on the move shines. He would be a nice addition to the Jets' young, rebuilding offensive line opposite Mekhi Becton and Alijah Vera-Tucker.
Scherff played on his second franchise tag in as many years this past season, appearing in 11 games for Washington. The 30-year-old is a former first-round pick, entering his eighth season in the NFL in 2022.
It's worth mentioning that Scherff might not leave his current team. The All-Pro guard told reporters that he hopes to finish his career in Washington and would love to re-sign. Money talks, though.
It wouldn't be cheap to reel in a player of Scherff's caliber (a five-time Pro Bowler). PFF projects his contract on free agency to be a three-year deal worth $50 million ($16.67 million per year, $30 million total guaranteed).
New York would obviously benefit from a stellar right guard. Regardless of Mekhi Becton's future, Scherff would slot in across from left guard Alijah Vera-Tucker, providing more internal protection for young quarterback Zach Wilson.
Remember, the Jets gave up 53 sacks in 2021, the fourth-most sacks allowed in football. Any help up front will be a plus and worth the cost, allowing the Jets to focus on weapons at other positions in the draft.
Scherff didn't allow a single sack over 697 snaps this past season, per PFF.
Then again, Scherff has battled injuries in the past and the last thing the Jets need is a player making that much money to miss time due to injury. Perhaps flipping that aforementioned logic and targeting young lineman in the draft, while surrounding Wilson with weapons via free agency (and trades), would be a better plan?
The bottom line is that Scherff is one of the best interior lineman set to hit free agency. Douglas has made it clear that this team is building up from the line, so he'll be investing at that position this offseason one way or another. The question is whether they believe Scherff is a good fit and worth the price of admission.
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