While the Jets and their fans were less than thrilled to find out the team will be without left tackle Duane Brown for tomorrow’s opener, it does open the door for a bit of team history to potentially take place. With Brown out for the next several weeks, rookie tackle Max Mitchell will start at right tackle. This means right tackle George Fant will slide over to the left side.
What this does for the Jets is set up a possible first for the franchise going all the way back to their first even draft in 1961 when they were of course, the New York Titans. Mitchell starting at right tackle means that every single member of the team’s rookie class could play on opening day. We checked the database on pro football reference and unless we’re mistaken, that has never happened in team history.
And we’re not talking about a snap here or there. The rookies should see a healthy number of reps across the board. Of course the team’s first pick, cornerback Sauce Gardner, will be starting along with Mitchell. Meanwhile, fellow rookies Garrett Wilson, Jermaine Johnson and Breece Hall may not “start”, but they should see a ton of action. Same goes for defensive lineman Michael Clemons who figures to be a part of the team’s heavy defensive line rotation.
Tight end Jeremy Ruckert is unlikely to see the same snap counts as his fellow rookies, but without a true fullback on the roster, Ruckert will likely find the field in some capacity should the team opt to go with free agent additions Tyler Conklin and CJ Uzomah.
Joe Douglas earned effusive praise for a class that many believe has the potential to be one of the best in franchise history. Now with the season about to start, this class could easily start the season with perfect attendance.