Ranking the New York Jets' Top 25 Players: No. 3, C Nick Mangold

By Greg Sulik
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The next player to appear on our rankings of the top 25 New York Jets is longtime standout center Nick Mangold, who has been a fan favorite and elite player since the Jets drafted him in the first round in 2006. Mangold has made five Pro Bowls and three All-Pro teams, including a Pro Bowl appearance last season. At 30 years old, he remains one of the best centers in the NFL and the anchor of the Jets’ offense.

For a very long time, Mangold was considered the gold standard of center play in the NFL. He may not be quite the best anymore, but there is no denying that he is an outstanding player who plays a vital role in the middle of the Jets’ offensive line. Mangold has missed only two games in his career, and the way that the Jets’ offensive line imploded in those contests back in 2011 gives an indication of how valuable he has been (and how difficult life without him will be for the Jets).

Mangold’s value to the team begins with his smarts, as his ability to make the correct line calls and adjustments is vital to a team that has a young quarterback still learning to read NFL defenses. Mangold is equally adept at both pass protection and run blocking, and he was a vital part of the Jets’ 6th ranked rush offense last season. Mangold is capable of dominating the middle of the defense, and according to Football Outsiders, the Jets allowed the 8th fewest stuffs in the league, due in large part to Mangold’s ability to control nose tackles at the point of attack. Mangold also provided very solid pass protection, and he deserves less blame than any of the linemen (or Geno Smith and the receivers for that matter) for the Jets’ high sacks allowed total.

Mangold is currently the fourth highest paid center in the NFL and is under contract through the end of the 2017 season, so the Jets need him to continue his high level of play for the remainder of his contract. Thus far, Mangold has shown very few signs of slipping, and he remains among the best centers in football. The Jets could not have done any better when they drafted Mangold, and he remains one of the Jets’ elite talents, as he has been for his entire career.

Greg Sulik is a New York Jets writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @GregSulik or add him to your network on Google

Previously: No. 25 Bilal PowellNo. 24 Kenrick EllisNo. 23 Geno SmithNo. 22 Dawan LandryNo. 21 Jeff CumberlandNo. 20 Antonio AllenNo. 19 Quinton CoplesNo. 18 Calvin PryorNo. 17 Michael VickNo. 16 Willie ColonNo. 15 Dee MillinerNo. 14 Calvin PaceNo. 13 Breno GiacominiNo. 12 Nick FolkNo. 11 Demario DavisNo. 10 Jeremy KerleyNo. 9 Chris JohnsonNo. 8 Chris IvoryNo. 7 David HarrisNo. 6 D’Brickashaw FergusonNo. 5 Eric Decker, No. 4 Damon Harrison

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