This is the fifth installment of our position-by-position breakdown for the New York Jets as we head to the April 27-29 draft:
Position: Offensive line
Current personnel: Center -- Wesley Johnson (signed through 2017), Jonotthan Harrison (2017); Guard -- Brian Winters (2020), James Carpenter (2018), Dakota Dozier (2017), Brent Qvale (2017), Craig Watts (2017); Tackle -- Kelvin Beachum (2019), Ben Ijalana (2018), Brandon Shell (2019), Jeff Adams (2017), Donald Hawkins (2017).
Key newcomers: Beachum, Harrison.
Projected starters: LT Ijalana, LG Carpenter, C Johnson, RG Winters, RT Beachum.
Overview: General manager Mike Maccagnan believes he "stabilized" the offensive line by adding Beachum and re-signing Winters and Ijalana. The offseason overhaul definitely made it a younger unit than last year, as the average age of the starters went from 29 to 27.2. But don't be fooled into thinking everything is peachy. Johnson is on a one-year contract and still is somewhat of an unknown (nine career starts). There's also some uncertainty regarding Beachum, whose surgically repaired knee (from 2015) still is a concern to some. Many figured he was signed to play left tackle, his position since 2013, but Beachum actually will start out at right tackle, according to coach Todd Bowles. Part of the thinking is that Ijalana made progress at left tackle and they don't want to move him. Beachum will compete with Shell, a 2016 draft pick, but we know how that will turn out. The Jets didn't give Beachum a $12 million guarantee to sit him on the bench.
The last lineman drafted: In 2016, they took Shell in the fifth round -- and they're still paying for it, meaning they traded a 2017 fourth-rounder to get him. Currently, they have no fourth-round picks. Shell showed some promise at the end of the season, but a tap of the brakes is in order. He got a lot of help in pass protection.
Potential targets: Maccagnan took care of business in free agency because he knows this isn't a great draft for offensive linemen. It wouldn't be a surprise if the Jets wait until Day 3 to address any needs, if then. They could use a center and a developmental tackle, but they haven't been linked to any of the top prospects in terms of private workouts and visits. Only five centers have draftable grades, according to Scouts, Inc. Perhaps if Pat Elflein (Ohio State) and Ethan Pocic (LSU) are still around in the third, when the Jets have two picks, they will give it some thought. Tackles Zach Banner (USC) and Julie'n Davenport (Bucknell) -- mid-round projections -- have received cursory interest from the Jets. It always helps to add young players to the pipeline, but they have so many other needs. This could be the first time since 2011 they don't draft an offensive lineman.
Need factor (based on a scale of 1 to 10) Center -- 6; guard -- 5; tackle -- 5.