Jets Legend Nick Mangold Sounds Off on New Center Joe Tippmann

Nick Mangold

Getty Former New York Jets center Nick Mangold at his NYJ Ring of Honor induction in 2022.

The New York Jets added a key piece of the future in round two of the 2023 NFL Draft, Wisconsin center Joe Tippmann.

The promising interior offensive lineman is expected to take over as the first long-term answer at center since Nick Mangold retired — so it shouldn’t surprise anyone that the NYJ legend took the time to shout-out Tippmann on Twitter after this selection.

“Love the pick for the @nyjets with @JoeTippmann,” Mangold voiced. “Can’t wait to see you in the middle. I know a guy who can get you some @seventyfourbbq. It’ll be waiting in your locker for you.”

Joe Tippmann Has Nick Mangold-Sized Shoes to Fill With Jets

Mangold was a two-time All-Pro and seven-time Pro Bowler that started 164 games for the Jets from 2006 through 2016. For his efforts, he was recently inducted into the franchise’s Ring of Honor in 2022.

Fair or not, those are the expectations for Tippmann — who became the highest Jets center selected since Mangold on April 28.

Having said that, the former Badger certainly fits the mold. NFL Network scouting expert Lance Zierlein referred to him as a “high football IQ [player] with [the] ability to make calls and adjustments.” He also has “strength to neutralize,” plus athleticism and NFL size (6-foot-6, 313 pounds) that is “taller than [the] average center” according to Zierlein.

Bleacher Report scouting highlighted Tippmann’s excellence “when pulling, wrapping and lining up targets on pin-pull.” In the run game, they added that Tippmann “efficiently works zone combo blocks; can adjust aiming points mid-play to account for post-snap movement, cover up the first level on overtakes and ricochet up to the second level to intercept linebackers on releases.”

Zierlein compared Tippmann to Green Bay Packers center Josh Myers, who started 23 games in front of Aaron Rodgers over the past two seasons after being drafted in 2021.

Connor McGovern Offers Starting Option If Jets Choose to Develop Joe Tippmann

The decision to re-sign Connor McGovern should act as the perfect bridge to Tippmann, should the rookie need a few weeks or a half-season to get himself acclimated at the NFL level. Now, there’s a chance the Wisconsin product doesn’t need a few weeks and he starts on day one, but either way head coach Robert Saleh has options.

This will be an interesting training camp battle to watch as McGovern offers experience and continuity — lining up next to starting guards Alijah Vera-Tucker and Laken Tomlinson at different points over the past two years — while Tippmann has the much higher ceiling.

Once the rookie is ready, he’ll start. The only question is how soon that will be.

Rounding Out the Jets’ 2023 NFL Draft Class

In case you missed it, general manager Joe Douglas rounded out his 2023 draft class with three more offensive picks and two more defenders. Those selections, after Will McDonald IV and Tippmann, were:

Abanikanda, Bernard-Converse and Kuntz are three really interesting names to watch this summer.

The home run ball-carrier will look to push Michael Carter and Zonovan Knight for snaps behind Breece Hall, but Abanikanda also offers special teams ability as a plus kick returner.

Bernard-Converse is another versatile piece for Coach Saleh. The former LSU defensive back can play special teams too, but he’s also a potential safety at the NFL level according to The Athletic’s Zack Rosenblatt. Bernard-Converse told reporters that he can play any position in the secondary after he was taken by the Jets.

Finally, Kuntz is a massive 6-foot-7 pass-catching target at tight end. The offensive weapon likely fell in the draft due to an ACL injury in 2022.

One thing all of these players (plus Barnes and McDonald) have in common, they’re freak athletes according to their Relative Athletic Scores.

Kuntz leads the way with a perfect 10.0 RAS (per Jets X-Factor’s Michael Nania), while Bernard-Converse, McDonald, Abanikanda and Barnes are not far behind.

More than any other position, the Jets ignored interior defensive line in the 2023 draft. They could have theoretically added another quarterback or wide receiver as well, but defensive tackle was the only need position that they passed on. We’ll see if Douglas addresses this area in free agency after the draft, with a veteran like Al Woods perhaps.