The New York Jets might fall in love down in Mobile, Alabama.
NFL draft analyst Connor Rogers recently waxed some poetic on the Badlands Podcast about Minnesota offensive lineman John Michael Schmitz who has been dominating down at the Senior Bowl:
“John Michael Schmitz might be my favorite player on the field here at the Senior Bowl. I think he’s the best center in the draft and I thought he was the best center in the draft coming out of summer. I would take him with the No. 44 [overall] pick and not look back. [The Jets need to] get tougher on the offensive line. He is down here and is really kicking the s*** out of everybody and letting them know about it.
The Jets need that kind of compete level [in] the trenches as well. I think they have it on the defensive line side of things but I don’t know if they really have that on the offensive line. They are never a tough unit on the offensive line anymore since 2009-2010. In between they’ve had a couple of different tough guys but [not as an overall unit].”
John Michael Schmitz Could Be the Perfect Answer to the Jets Center Problem
According to ESPN’s positional rankings from the majority of their top NFL draft experts, JMS is the top-rated center.
Mel Kiper Jr, Todd McShay, and Jordan Reid all have John Michael Schmitz as the No. 1 center in the 2023 class and Matt Miller is the only one that has JMS ranked No. 2.
The 23-year-old prospect who will be 24 ahead of the 2023 season put in six years of work with the Minnesota Gophers.
After redshirting in 2017 the talented offensive lineman ended up making 35 starts at center in his collegiate career.
Rodgers wasn’t the only one that has been impressed with Schmitz’s level of play down at the Senior Bowl.
“Schmitz has had a wonderful first two days of practice and has been the most impressive offensive lineman at the Senior Bowl,” draft analyst Matt Miller of ESPN said. “His ability in space will give scouts a Creed Humphrey-like vibe, and he also routinely handled seal blocks and head-up defenders in the session. If you’re looking for the first center to come off the board, Schmitz is taking the spot. He allowed just one sack all season in 2022.”
Connor McGovern Potential Eject Button Could Be Money Related for Jets
We covered a report this week that the Jets could look to move on from three-year starting center Connor McGovern.
The Jets want an upgrade and likely at a cheaper rate. Doesn’t everybody?
According to Brad Spielberger of Pro Football Focus, he is projecting McGovern to land a juicy contract in free agency on a three-year deal for $22.5 million.
That would place him inside the top-11 highest-paid centers in all of football.
If the Jets want to get away from that number perhaps John Michael Schmitz in the second round, as Rogers talked about on the Badlands Podcast, could be the perfect solution.
While the contract projections for draft picks aren’t available yet for the 2023 NFL draft, we can look back at 2022 to get a general idea.
If the Jets took JMS with the No. 44 overall pick in the second round it would cost them around $8 million over a four-year period. That is the contract former Alabama wide receiver John Metchie II received after being the No. 44 pick in the 2022 NFL draft by the Houston Texans.