The offensive line is hands down the most important, yet unheralded group on the field. They provide protection for the quarterback and running backs by holding off the defensive line and blitzing linebackers. For this position battle, we turn to the right guard.
With the departure of Brandon Moore, the Jets had a hole to fill on the right side of the line. GM John Idzik quickly filled the gaps by signing free agent Stephen Peterman and drafting William Campbell out of Michigan. Depth at the offensive guard is creating a position battle between the veterans and the rookies. All fingers seem to be pointing towards the vets.
Front Runner: Stephen Peterman
Peterman was a former third round pick by the Dallas Cowboys in the 2004 draft. He spent one year in Dallas before going to Detroit for the last seven years of his career. In Detroit, he started 86 out of 87 games, while missing 12 games due to injury. He has not missed a single snap the last few years with the Lions. The veteran seems to be the favorite to win this position battle because of lack of experience and production from the other competitors. Hopefully he does not catch the injury bug, like he did so often early in his career, and can be a solid replacement to Moore.
In the Hunt: Vladimir Ducasse
Ducasse was a former second round pick by the Jets in the 2010 Draft. At his alma mater, UMass, Ducasse was a dominant left tackle and was a key ingredient to their success. He seems to have all the physical characteristics: quick feet, agility, and strength. Coming to the U.S from Haiti in 2002, Ducasse has a limited football background and is still lacking some of the necessary instincts and experience needed to be a solid NFL starter. Time is catching up to him and patience from the Jets brass is running out. The veteran offensive guard has started just one game in the four years with the Jets and has only seen action on field goals and as a sub on the line. If Ducasse does not have a good training camp, he could be out the door sooner rather than later.
Darkhorse: William Campbell
Campbell was drafted by Gang Green in the 6th round, with the 178th pick of the 2013 Draft. He played Defensive Tackle for most of his college career at Michigan. He did play offensive line in high school and then again in 2010 for a short period of time before switching back to defensive tackle. In college, William played 51 straight games and was a solid player for Michigan. The transition from DT to OG is a similar path that Moore took to become a solid right guard for the Jets. With limited college experience on the offensive line, Campbell needs to slowly grow into his new position and it will take about the full year for him to successfully make the transition. While he is very athletic, strong, and quick on the line, Campbell just needs the experience. Look for him to gain that experience on the line with the special teams unit in 2013.