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Tyron Smith signing gives Jets tremendous flexibility in NFL Draft

In just one week, GM Joe Douglas has reshaped the New York Jets offensive line, giving them quite a bit more flexibility in the upcoming NFL Draft.

With the most recent addition of left tackle Tyron Smith, if the Jets didn’t make any more additions to the offensive line, their starting five for Week 1 would be set.

With Smith at left tackle, John Simpson, who the Jets signed earlier this week, will be the left guard. Joe Tippmann will be at center, followed by Alijah Vera-Tucker at right guard, with Morgan Moses rounding things out at right tackle.

Before free agency began, with Tippman and Vera-Tucker as the only starters on the roster, the Jets spending the 10th overall pick, and perhaps even the 72nd pick, on the offensive line was a given.

Even with Simpson and Moses in the fold, before the team signed Smith, given the hole that still existed on the roster along with the strength of this draft class at the tackle position, adding an offensive tackle at 10th overall still felt incredibly likely.

However, now, things have changed. This isn’t to say that taking a tackle at 10th overall still won’t happen or isn’t the prudent move, especially with Smith having dealt with injuries. After all, this is one of the most important positions in football in what is an absolutely loaded draft class, with seven offensive tackles ranked in Daniel Jeremiah’s top 22 prosepcts.

But with that said, with how quickly Douglas has reshaped the offensive line, selecting a tackle is no longer an absolute must. Douglas now has what every GM wants, and that is some flexibility in the draft so that he doesn’t feel pigeonholed into having to take a specific poison at a certain point in the draft. That is when reaching for a prospect takes place, and that often doesn’t end well.

Yet now, the Jets are in a better position to let the board come to them. In addition to needing to address the offensive line this offseason, receiver still remains a big offseason need, and like offensive tackle, this draft class has tons of high-end talent at that position.

After Marvin Harrison Jr., Rome Oduze and Malik Nabers are regarded as the next best receivers and, depending on what mock draft you look at, are projected to go in the 5-to-10 range of the draft–right in the Jets’ neighborhood.

Not having to take an offensive tackle could also open the door for the Jets to select tight end Brock Bowers, the top tight end in this class and a player who can provide versatility for an offense while impacting the passing game immediately.

Or perhaps, depending on how the board falls, the Jets choose to trade down from the 10th overall pick and acquire more draft capital. This wouldn’t be a bad option given that after the first round, Douglas won’t be selecting again until Round 3 and only has two picks in the top 100. Overall, the Jets rank 22nd in draft capital value.

The point to all of this is that the Jets now have options available to them going into the draft–and options are always a good thing for a general manager.

Story originally appeared on Jets Wire