One of the most important additions

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Even though he wasn’t picked in the first round. . .

some would argue he might be the important pick or close to it.

Talking about Jets fourth-round pick Carter Warren, an offensive tackle out of Pittsburgh.

It’s no secret they needed another offensive tackle in this draft, and many surmised they would have picked Georgia’s Broderick Jones at 15, but New England traded the 14th pick to Pittsburgh, where the Steelers beat the Jets to the punch.

So instead of reaching for the next tier of tackles, like Oklahoma’s Anton Harrison, who went at the end of the first round to the Jacksonville Jaguars, they stuck to their value board, and picked Iowa State edge-rusher Will McDonald.

McDonald constituted better value at 15 than Harrison, Syracuse’s Matt Bergeron and North Dakota State’s Cody Mauch, the next tier of offensive tackles after Paris Johnson (Arizona Cardinals), Darnell Wright (Chicago Bears), Peter Skoronski (Tennessee Titans) and Jones were off the board.

And McDonald was more of a need than some people would lead you to believe. The Jets’ edge rush was solid last year but left you wanting a little more.

Now if Bergeron had slipped to the Jets’ second-round pick at 43, where they picked Wisconsin center Joe Tippmann, then maybe he was the pick to fill their offensive tackle need instead of Warren, but Bergeron went to the Atlanta Falcons a few picks before the Jets selected in Round Two.

So the Jets went with the best value at the time in Tippmann, who will be the heir apparent to Connon McGovern at center, and in the meantime, serve as the backup interior swingman, since he can play guard as well. While Tippmann is a very good prospect, it’s hard seeing Aaron Rodgers wanting to go with a rookie center at the very beginning of the season. Tippmann’s time will come sooner rather than later, but probably not at the beginning of the season. I could be wrong, but that is how I read the situation.

So without a third-round pick, sent to Cleveland in the Elijah Moore trade, the Jets’ next chance to address the need for an offensive tackle was in Round 4, and they grabbed Warren, who went to a high school near the Jets complex at Passaic Tech.

You can get decent tackles in the fourth round. The Jets picked Max Mitchell there last year.

But you usually don’t get the freaks you can land in the first round – massive men with the feet of dancing bears.

However, Warren started a lot of games at an underrated program that produces a lot of NFL players. Pat Narduzzi does a heck of a job developing players.

And Warren looks the part at 6’5 1/2, 311 lbs with 35 3/8” arms. That kind of arm length is very helpful at offensive tackle helping keep edge-rushers from getting their mitts on the front of your uniform to swipe you aside.

Warren, who played last year as a sixth-year season before suffering a meniscus injury, is a very mature rookie at the age of 24 with a great attitude. He was a Pitt team captain last year.

When I look at him, I see Brandon Shell, a fifth-round pick of the Jets in 2016 draft, who went on to start 72 games in the NFL with the Jets, Seahawks and Dolphins. He’s currently a free agent.

But Shell was best at right tackle, and that is where most of his starts have come. Looking at Warren, I see a guy who might better fit athletically at right tackle. I could be wrong. It will be interesting to see if he’s athletic enough to play left tackle in the NFL, but he certainly looks like a potential starter on the right side. It’s well-documented he needs to work on playing with a lower pad level on a consistent basis.

May 3, 2023

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Dan Leberfeld
Dan Leberfeld
Publisher of Jets Confidential Magazine. Call 1-800-932-4557 (M-F, 12-4) to subscribe. Co-host of Press Coverage every Saturday on SiriusXM NFL Radio from 11-2.

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