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While most experts agree that the Jets need a few upgrades on the offensive line, it's unclear whether that will happen at the tackle position this offseason. However, the Jets should at least be in the market for a future contributor and enhanced depth.
Kelvin Beachum is entering the second season of a three-year deal at left tackle and his roster spot is secure because his salary is guaranteed. Beachum started all 16 games and did a solid job in pass protection, surrendering just four sacks.
At right tackle, Brandon Shell started 12 games, and settled down nicely after a rocky start to the year. While Shell had some inconsistent performances and occasional lapses, the team seem pleased with Shell's progress, and keen to persevere with him as a starter. However, there's always a chance they'll bring in some competition.
For most of the season, Orlando Brown from Oklahoma and Mike McGlinchey from Notre Dame have been considered the two best tackle prospects in this year's draft class. Brown is enormous, and has NFL bloodlines as his father, the late Orlando Brown Sr., was a long-time NFL starter. McGlinchey is also a formidable run blocker with good size whose abilities are reminiscent of former Miami Dolphins all-pro tackle Jake Long.
Although both played left tackle these past two seasons, McGlinchey and Brown can struggle against speed off the edge, so some believe they project better to right tackle. McGlinchey played right tackle in 2015, though, so he should be able to make the transition more readily than Brown, who is still raw technically. McGlinchey will be hoping he can handle the more lucrative left tackle role, though, much like Long - who faced similar pre-draft questions - was able to.
The online scouting community is also extremely high on Connor Williams from Texas, although NFL teams may not be because he is thought not to have prototypical length. His 2016 film is more impressive than McGlinchey or Brown's, but he missed time through injuries in 2017, and was unable to establish himself as the top prospect.
Williams is a mauling run blocker that some teams might be interested in moving inside, but he looked more comfortable than Brown or McGlinchey in pass protection, albeit perhaps in a simpler system.
Western Michigan's Chukwuma Okorafor is another player who some experts have said could be a first-round pick, although he is a little raw, and one scouting report describes him as "soft". Mike Maccagnan has seen Okarafor in person at least once.
UCLA's Kolton Miller and Oregon's Tyrell Crosby are two prospects whose stock appears to be on the rise. Scouts have questioned Miller's ability to recover in pass protection, so good agility times at the scouting combine will go a long way towards showing that Miller can be more than just a run-of-the-mill right tackle. The combine is also important for Crosby, who apparently has good feet, but needs to display he is in shape and has strength and athleticism.
Three more prospects who might represent good value if available on day three are Jamarco Jones from Ohio State, Brian O'Neill from Pitt and Martinas Rankin from Mississippi State. Jones is a solid, but unspectacular pass protector. O'Neill - a former wide receiver and tight end - is an excellent athlete who needs to add some strength. The versatile Rankin showed some good improvements in 2017.
Teams will always show interest in small-school prospects with length and athletic ability. Brandon Parker from North Carolina A&T, Desmond Harrison from West Georgia, Greg Senat from Wagner, and Alex Kappa from Humboldt State are some of the hottest names. Parker had an impressive week at the Senior Bowl, while Senat stood out at the East-West Shrine Game. Harrison - who comes from the same school as 2017 draft pick Dylan Donahue - is talented, but needs to add some weight, while Kappa has impressed scouts with his nastiness.
One final option is one of the top guard prospects - Georgia's Isaiah Wynn. He's widely being projected as an interior lineman due to his lack of ideal length, but he looked good at left tackle this year, and has outstanding technique. In that regard, he is similar to Beachum, and therefore, could be an option to draft in the second round and groom to be Beachum's successor. He could even contribute at guard for as long as Beachum remained on the roster.
It's always challenging to identify the best offensive tackles, and there are several intriguing possibilities available in this draft. The Jets will hope to find someone with the potential to compete for a starting job down the road, even if they don't seek out someone who is a realistic option to start from day one.