Ex-NFL GM Predicts Jets Will Add Youngster With ‘All-Pro Potential’

Aaron Rodgers, Jets

Getty New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers reacting in the middle of an NFL game.

Mike Tannenbaum served as the New York Jets general manager for seven seasons from 2006 through 2012.

On Tuesday, March 26 he got to sit back down in that chair for a mock draft exercise where he predicted the entire first round for ESPN. He explained in the introduction that he wasn’t trying to guess what the Jets or any NFL team would do, but rather what he would do if he was sitting in that chair.

With the No. 10 overall pick in the first round, Tannenbaum mocked Penn State offensive tackle Olu Fashanu to the green and white.

“The Jets signed left tackle Tyron Smith to a one-year deal, but given Smith’s age/durability concerns, Fashanu would be a very necessary insurance policy and future building block. At 6-6 and 312 pounds, Fashanu has excellent feet and movement skills for his frame. He played 1,306 snaps during his Penn State career and gave up only one sack,” Tannenbaum explained. “He has perennial All-Pro potential if his technique continues to develop, giving the Jets a shutdown left tackle for years to come. (New York also traded for Morgan Moses, but he’s a fit on the right side and is a 2025 free agent.)”

A Massive Debate on Jets Twitter Ahead of the Draft

If this pick came to fruition, it would be the second straight offseason that the team took a player in the first round who isn’t expected to play much.

Last April the green and white selected pass rusher Will McDonald out of Iowa State. He ended up playing the fewest amount of snaps for a first-rounder since Vernon Gholston in 2006.

New York already has its five starters on the offensive line solidified ahead of the draft. Tyron Smith at left tackle, John Simpson at left guard, Joe Tippmann at center, Alijah Vera-Tucker at right guard, and Morgan Moses at right tackle.

Fashanu or any offensive lineman that would be taken in the first round would be headed for the bench.

Now you could make a strong argument that even though that player would start their careers on the bench, there’s a good chance they could find their way into the lineup. Last season the green and white used 13 different starting offensive line combinations.

If history were to repeat itself, Fashanu would see plenty of time in his rookie season.

To the Jets’ credit, head coach Robert Saleh revealed at the Annual League Meeting that “there will be changes in terms of their regimen.” Rich Cimini of ESPN said Saleh didn’t share specific details, “but they did study the injury rate and ways to solve it.”

Prominent NFL Insider Agrees With Adding More Protection

ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter was asked about the Jets’ draft plans in the first round.

“Well that’s the great part about it Eric [Allen], they addressed so many needs that they [the Jets] don’t have to come away with anything. I mean in a way I don’t mind the idea of hey if there’s a guy like JJ McCarthy still sitting there, Minnesota or Denver or Las Vegas or somebody wants to come up and they want to move up to the Jets spot and the Jets get extra picks. Nothing wrong with that,” Schefter said on “The Official Jets Podcast.”

Although Schefter said if it was up to him, “that would be my vote, [still taking] an offensive lineman.”

While the Jets have the starting lineup figured out, they are still missing a proven swing tackle. If Moses or Smith were to miss significant time, Gang Green doesn’t have someone to turn to that everyone would feel good about.

New York has a couple of developmental guys in Carter Warren and Max Mitchell, but it remains to be seen how viable either of those players are.

In theory that position could be filled with the No. 10 overall pick. It would provide a great insurance policy for 2024 and in theory a long-term starter at left or right tackle.

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