Oday Aboushi to Jets: How Does the OL Fit in New York?
The New York Jets have taken their second offensive lineman in a row, adding UVA left tackle Oday Aboushi to the messy offensive line situation. A Brooklyn native, Oday has four years of playing experience, including three as a starter.
Aboushi played the same position as D'Brickashaw Ferguson when he was at Virginia, but he will not remain as a left tackle. At 6'6"and 308 pounds, Aboushi will likely make the transition to guard where there is bound to be plenty of competition as the Jets try to replace Matt Slauson and Brandon Moore.
Aboushi has also started at right tackle before and has the versatility to step into the position in case of an injury to Austin Howard.
The biggest knock on his game is that he has slow feet, which is a huge detriment for anyone who wants to pay outside at tackle, particularly on the left side.
However, Aboushi makes up for it with his frame and long arms (33 7/8") that allow him to dominate in the so-called "phone booth". He is a good positional blocker and has the quickness to get to the second level in a hurry. While he may not be quite as nasty as Brian Winters, he does play with a mean streak and can knock players clean off the ball with his immense size.
Aboushi does need to clean up some of the technical aspects of his game. In pass protection, he tends to get a bit high in his stance when he gets tired. He also has a tendency to stop his feet and relies on his length to get the job done, which is not going to work nearly as well in the NFL as it did for him in college.
Taking players who are projected to play another position is never ideal, but it has become a trend in the NFL where some of the best guards in the game were college tackles. The world champion Baltimore Ravens, whose dominant offensive line play carried them to a championship, played two guards (Kelechi Osemele and Marshal Yanda) who were offensive tackles in college.
Now, the Jets' battle at the guard position becomes even more interesting. There are two wide open guard positions, and, prior to the draft, second-round bust Vladimir Ducasse and the oft-injured Willie Colon were set to take the reins as the starters.
In just a few hours, the Jets have added Brian Winters, former Lion Stephen Peterman and now, Oday Aboushi. Both Winters and Aboushi played left tackle in college which gives them enough versatility to play in multiple positions.
Under John Idzik, the Jets' mantra is "competition", which means they are not going to hand Winters the job over Aboushi just because he was drafted two rounds earlier. The Jets may have passed on helping out other positions with the selection of Aboushi, but they will increase the level of competition on their roster, which has always been a priority for them.
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