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Around the draft, you see a lot of highlights of
defensive end prospects amassing sacks.
You see these highlights on preview shows before the draft, and then obviously on shows recapping the draft.
Obviously Jets fans have seen a lot of highlights of sacks on the college level by 2022 first-round pick Jermaine Johnson and fourth-round pick Michael Clemons.
But one thing I’ve always noticed in watching college sack highlights of defensive end prospects, this year, and in the past, is how bad so many college offensive tackles are.
I’m not looking to take anything away from the Jets two rookie defensive ends, Kaylon Thibodeaux or whoever, but man are there some bad college offensive lines, especially at the tackle position.
You can hide some things inside on the line, but for those guys out on an island on the outside, at tackle, it’s harder to do this.
And a lot of these college offensive tackles you see on these highlights will be doing something other than playing football for a living.
Also, some college tackles who will matriculate to the NFL level, will be moved inside to guard or center. because they don’t have the feet and arm length to hold up on outside in pro football.
Johnson is a very talented prospect, no doubt, but one thing to consider is that 2.5 of the 11.5 sacks he amassed as a senior at Florida State were in a game against Jacksonville State. That is a 1-AA program, not in Jacksonville, Florida, but in Jacksonville, Alabama.
Obviously the offensive tackles Johnson will face on the NFL level are better than the Jacksonville State tackles, or the UMass tackles, who he also faced last year, as painful as that is for me to write being a UMass graduate.
So obviously ends like Johnson and Clemons are going to have take their games to another level facing NFL offensive tackles.
Often, talented college defensive ends can beat most college offensive tackles with pure athletic ability or strength, and can often get away with not using perfect technique.
That usually doesn’t cut it on the NFL level, where the ends not only needed to be talented to beat the tackles, but also technically sound, and have a coterie of pass rush moves.
Johnson and Clemson not only need to be attached at the hip with Jets defensive line coach Aaron Whitecotton all spring and summer taking their technique and pass rush moves to another level, they also need to pick the brains of veteran defensive end Carl Lawson and Vinny Curry on a regular basis.
Rushing the QB on the NFL is one of the hardest jobs in pro sports. So many defensive ends who excelled in college rushing the QB, don’t have that same success on the NFL level, against much better offensive tackles.
If you have a chance, watch some of these highlights of the top pass rushers in the draft closely, and you will see what I’m talking about.
Man, do a lot of college programs have shaky offensive lines.
May 12, 2022
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