AFC East: Ranking the running game—the New England Patriots rush ahead
By Jon Galvin
No. 2: New York Jets
Strength: Alijah Vera-Tucker and Mekhi Becton both had strong years in 2022, with run-blocking grades of 76.5 and 78.7, respectively. The addition through the draft of Wisconsin’s Joe Tippmann, who was very consistent as both a run blocker (78.3 grade) and pass blocker (79.2 grade) for the Badgers, should solidify the interior of the offensive line. Eric Edholm of NFL.com called Tippmann a “quality pivot whose mental capacities should stand any tests from Aaron Rodgers.”
Weakness: Brown and Tomlinson on the left side of the O-line are both sub-par run blockers. The Jets still need an upgrade here.
X-Factor: Israel Abanikanda. The Jets have no qualms about giving significant minutes to rookies--see their offensive (Garrett Wilson) and defensive (Sauce Gardner) rookies of the year in 2022. So look for the rookie Abanikanda to play a significant role in the Jets' offense in 2023. The Athletic called Abanikanda:
"…an exciting, explosive, home-run hitting weapon who should contribute right away — and likely even push Carter and Knight to be the No. 2 back."- Zach Rosenblatt, The Athletic