One of the most glaring holes on the New York Jets roster is at right guard.
That has been an unmitigated disaster and fortunately, they were thrown a rare lifeline just ahead of the NFL trade deadline when they acquired Laurent Duvernay-Tardif from the Kansas City Chiefs.
That at the very least has stabilized the boat and has provided a short-term band-aid while the Jets figure out what their long-term play is.
One analyst has projected them to fill their massive void for good this offseason.
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A Big Time Answer for a Massive Void
“He’s been a top 20 guard in the league, but I think he can do so much more. He’s still not even 25 years old so his best years are almost certainly in front of him. I think he would largely complete that offensive line and if Becton can turn to health a line of Becton, AVT, CMG, Williams, and Fant will be a good line for the next 2-3 years which is what you need for Zach Wilson to flourish.”
The 24-year-old is in the last year of his rookie contract and is set to be an unrestricted free agent this offseason. He originally entered the league as the No. 50 overall pick in the second round of the 2018 NFL draft out of Texas.
Williams slipped in that draft class because of injury concerns (missed seven games as a junior) and inconsistent tape.
While he has had a few injuries in the pros, Williams has shown the dominance and power that could tickle the fancy of the green and white. In his four professional seasons to date, he has played in 54 games starting in 48 of them.
Spotrac market value projects he’ll land a deal that pays an average salary of $10.2 million on a multi-year deal. That figure would rank 10th most among guards in the NFL.
Versatility Is the Name of the Game
There are a lot of reasons the Jets should be heavily interested in his services.
The primary reason would simply be his ability to plug the last obvious hole in the Gang Green starting offensive line. With everyone healthy in 2022, you’d have Mekhi Becton at left tackle, Alijah Vera-Tucker at left guard, Connor McGovern at center, Williams at right guard, and George Fant returning to right tackle.
At just 24 years of age (will be 25 by the start of the 2022 season), Williams would be the long-term answer at right guard.
Although if injuries continue to happen in the trenches, he could easily slide wherever you needed him on the offensive line.
By trade, he is an offensive tackle from his time in college but slid inside at the pro level. He has experience at both guard spots, but most recently has contributed on the left side.
NFL draft analyst Lance Zierlein argued he also has the ability to play center if called upon. That kind of versatility and flexibility would be well worth every penny on the open market.
He has been heralded for his rare leadership traits, his mean streak when finishing blocks, and his natural instincts.
The Jets have a lot of holes to fill this offseason, but one of the top priorities should certainly be upgrading the offensive line to the best of their ability.