A Quick Look at Jeff Otah
With the trade for Jeff Otah I just wanted to share some quick thoughts out there on the move.
Does this solve the Jets right tackle problem? Long term probably not. The first thing you have to know with Otah is that he is always hurt. Since coming into the NFL in 2008 he has played a grand total of 29 games. He has never played in 16 games in a year and the last two years has played all of 4 games while trying to recover from what may be a chronic knee condition.
Signing Otah fits right in with the Jets “no stone unturned” philosophy where if you can get talent cheap you take a chance on him. Look at their track record. They made a move for Kris Jenkins when he was considered a malcontent that would be lucky to stay on the field. Braylon Edwards had high potential and a reputation that was horrendous, but they took a flyer on him and it worked out. Antonio Cromartie was soft and a very overrated cover guy according to some. The Jets see a star in him. Nobody wanted Santonio Holmes due to certain off the field transgressions and the Jets made the move for him. S Laron Landry has a ton of talent but is always hurt. Who came calling? The Jets. The list goes on and on. Some work like Cromartie and some don’t, such as Jenkins who continued to get hurt. But its low risk and worth the chance.
Now Otah has never been a dominant player before. I just ran his pass blocking numbers and he would rank somewhere between 32 and 36 in the league, which is a borderline starter in the league. That’s not Damien Woody, who was a top 15 pass blocker in the league and also a great run blocker to boot. Otah is a pretty good run blocker when healthy but is not a dominant player in that regard.
Of course he is an upgrade to Wayne Hunter and it allows Hunter to hopefully slide into the backup role he had with Woody where he was hidden unlike last seasons disaster. Here are how their pass block ratings, measured as increases in failures, measure up:
In that respect it is a significant upgrade for the team if he can actually stay healthy. If the Jets get 12 or 13 games out of him and only need to insert Hunter for 3 or 4 full games the Jets will be a far better team in 2012 than they were in 2011. Otah has many reasons to try to play well and stay healthy this year since he is a free agent at years end and will be looking to score a new contract with a team. Another 4 game season and his career is likely over.
So it’s a low risk and moderate reward move for the team and certainly worth whatever late conditional pick they may have given up as long as the expectation is not that this returns them to where they were in 2009 and 2010 in terms of talent on the O-line.