The New York Jets missed out on an offensive lineman in round one, but they can fix that in round two.
Steve Muench of Scouts Inc predicted how the second round will play out for ESPN. For Gang Green, he projected that New York will select Syracuse Football offensive lineman Matthew Bergeron with the No. 43 overall pick.
“Former first-round pick Mekhi Becton enters the last year on his rookie contract — and he has missed 33 of the past 34 games. Free agent signing Duane Brown turns 38 years old this year. Bergeron gives the Jets a young, talented option in an uncertain tackle group.”
NFL draft analyst Lance Zierlein said the former Syracuse product is “scheme versatile” and has “Pro Bowl-caliber run-blocking potential.”
Aaron Rodgers Protection Jets Insurance via the NFL Draft
There are plenty of unanswered questions about the Jets’ offensive line.
One way they could help solve it is by adding another talented player to the trenches. Bergeron is 23 years of age and has Canadian roots being born in Victoriaville, Quebec.
He measured in at 6-foot-5 and weighed in at 318 pounds. Bergeron originally joined the Orange in 2019 and he quickly became a starter.
He became the first freshman to start outside for Syracuse “in nearly 20 years”, per NFL draft analyst Chad Reuter.
One of the things that should attract the Jets is his versatility.
In 2019 he started five games as a right tackle, in 2020 he got 11 starts (three at right tackle, eight at left tackle), and he started 12 games on the blindside in 2021.
That flexibility could provide the Jets options on the offensive line. If injuries hit on one side or the other, Bergeron can simply flip to whichever side he is needed.
Jets Obvious OL Needs Hurt Them on Draft Day
Draft analyst Connor Rogers said he knew that was “going to cost” the Jets when it was announced.
“I was surprised that [pick No.] 13 and [pick No.] 15 swap was in that trade. It felt like the Jets just wanted to get it done. I don’t know if that was Woody Johnson or whatever it was the week of the draft rather than holding on. When they did that swap the first thing I said on every content … that swap is going to cost you in the draft because you’re going behind New England,” Rogers explained on the NFL Stock Exchange Podcast episode posted on Friday, April 28. “Ultimately what happened was New England said we aren’t going to take a tackle but we’ll let someone in to take a tackle.”
The Jets were slotted to pick at No. 15 after the Rodgers trade and were widely expected to take an offensive tackle.
However, they never got the chance because the Pittsburgh Steelers leapfrogged them at No. 14 and took Broderick Jones out of Georgia. He was considered the last of the top-four offensive linemen on the board.
With him gone, the Jets explored trade-down opportunities but ultimately chose to stand pat and add another defender to the table in Will McDonald out of Iowa State.