Jets Add Accomplished 2-Time National Champion to Trenches: Report

Ross Pierschbacher Alabama

Getty Alabama offensive lineman Ross Pierschbacher celebrating after a huge play during a college football game.

New York Jets general manager Joe Douglas is a former offensive lineman and has made that positional group a priority.

This offseason they hit the reset button and added talent through a variety of mediums including the 2021 NFL draft (Alijah Vera-Tucker) and free agency (Morgan Moses).

While those additions were much needed they didn’t completely solve every single issue in the trenches.

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Depth Is Non-Existent

The starters on paper are above average for the green and white, but the depth just isn’t there.

Douglas tried to do his part late in game week to fix that issue. The Jets worked out 26-year old offensive lineman Ross Pierschbacher this week, per the NFL’s transaction wire.

After bringing him in for the workout, the green and white got exactly what they were looking for and put pen to paper to make it official by signing him to the 16-man practice squad.

Pierschbacher was a four-year starter at Alabama and during that time won a pair of National Championships. Although the most intriguing part isn’t the hardware, it is absolutely the versatility.

After redshirting his first season, he jumped into the starting lineup the next year as the left guard. That was good enough to earn SEC All-Freshman team honors. Then in 2016 he played a little bit of left guard, but transitioned to the right side of the line for the majority of the season.

Back during the 2017 campaign, the talented ex-Alabama star shifted back to the left side at guard. Then as a senior, he jumped to the center spot and absolute dominated earning second-team conference and All-American honors.

With the Jets’ lack of depth on the interior of the offensive line, adding a guy who has a wealth of experience playing every single position is invaluable heading into 2021.

The size checks off all the boxes (6-foot-4, 315 pounds), versatility is impressive, and this is a player that likely won’t remain on the practice squad long. It seems inevitable that he’ll get called up to the 53-man active roster sooner rather than later.

Most recently the versatile offensive lineman had spent the summer with the Philadelphia Eagles and initially made the practice squad for them before being released from it on Thursday, September 9.

Several Other Interesting Player Workouts

The Jets have enough to worry about with their season opener coming up, but their general manager continues to multi-task.

Gang Green worked out five total players to upgrade their emergency list and as a constant evaluation of their own roster and depth:

Jerell Adams, tight end, South Carolina

The Jets’ tight end room lacks sizzle, it is filled with a room full of the same type of guys. Adams would add some special sauce to the room with his size (6-foot-5, 254 pounds) alone. Although he isn’t just a size guy, he comes from a basketball background and you can see that on tape.

He has hung around the NFL since 2016 and has bounced around the league between six different NFL franchises.

Grant Haley, defensive back, Penn State

Haley is a smaller guy (5-foot-9, 190 pounds) but brings a high level of athleticism to the table. The former Penn State star played in four sports (basketball, track, football, and baseball) and even more impressively won a bronze medal during the National Latin Exam.

The Jets already have some good slot corners on the team in Javelin Guidry and Michael Carter II, but depth is never a bad thing to have.

Picasso Nelson, defensive back, Southern Mississippi

If you watch his film, you’d understand why his parents named him Picasso because it is a work of art. Okay, I’ll see myself out.

Nelson could be a nice addition to the safety room for the Jets, whether that be on the practice squad or the 53-man roster. With all the injuries the Jets have battled with Ashtyn Davis and Lamarcus Joyner, this would be a solid insurance policy.

Kerrith Whyte, running back, Florida Atlantic

This is an interesting speculative workout for the Jets. White has the potential to be a kick returner at the NFL level and can provide some burst in the backfield.

The Jets have a ton of dudes in their room, but they could look to deal one to a needy team (we talked about that here). If they do that, they could replace the player they ship off with another one from the open market.

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