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Four Intriguing Football Notes About New Jet 'Big Joe' Tippmann

Whenever That Green & White Starting Debut Comes, He'll Unofficially Be Tallest Center in Franchise History

Wisconsin Badgers offensive lineman Joe Tippman (75) blocks during an NCAA college football game against the Purdue Boilermakers, Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021, in West Lafayette, Ind. The Badgers won 30-13. (Photo by David Stluka/Wisconsin Athletic Communications)

We know from his short exposure to Jets fans and reporters that C Joe Tippmann has a coach and a cousin in former Jets tackle Jason Fabini, likes his western wear, has sprung a "Wisconsin waterfall," as GM Joe Douglas said in reference to his mullett. Here are a four more short pre- and post-draft chapters on the Tippmann story from people might be interested in hearing about the Jets' new center competitor.

Strongman Update
Joe Tippmann made it into the top 30 of Bruce Feldman's Freaks List for The Athletic this season on the strength of his 635-pound squat and 455-pound bench press. But Tippmann was suffering from a hamstring injury and so didn't work out at this year's NFL Combine or Wisconsin's pro day.

But Tippman did participate in a private workout for NFL scouts and pounded the 225 pounds of plates 30 times. Combine and non-Combine conditions aren't always comparable, but if Tippmann had done 30 reps in Indy this year, it would've been tied for the sixth-most reps at the entire event, not just for O-linemen.

"Big Joe" Indeed
GM Joe Douglas, at last night's Draft Day Two wrapup news conference, referred to the Jets' second-round pick as "Big Joe," and he wasn't kidding. Tippmann measures in at 6-6, which, if the Jets stay with that as his "program height," would make him possibly the tallest center in franchise history, whenever he gets his first pro start in the pivot.

How did Tippmann wind up in the center of things and not on the edge of the offense?

"When I started at Wisconsin, I was at that guard-tackle position, I think in my first year and second year," he recalled. "My first year I was on the scout team, the second year [2020] I was competing for playing time. I was able to play that tackle-guard position and a little center as well. But I was going into the summer of my third season and my coach sat me down and said they wanted me to take the starting center spot. So I just put my head down and got to work and that was the end of that."

Next question: Who is the Jets' tallest center all-time? An eyeballing of the all the starters in every one of the almost 1,000 Jets games, regular season and playoffs, from the Titans' inception in 1960 through last season shows that 6-5 is the tallest, with the most recent Jets centers to measure up to that height playing in the mid 2010s in Spencer Long, Wesley Johnson and Dalton Freeman.

The Experts Stake Their Positions
There seems to be no doubt where Tippmann is going to play with the Jets, since Douglas and HC Robert Saleh both said he'd be competing at center with Connor McGovern among others.

But that was after Tippmann's 43rd overall selection by the Green & White. Before the pick, ESPN analysts Mel Kiper Jr. and Louis Riddick debated what Tippmann's best position on the OL might be.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Jeff Potrykus transcribed this brief exchange of viewpoints.

Kiper: "I think he's better off at guard. I think ultimately he may end up being a guard."

Riddick: "Quite honestly, I'd leave him at center. His athleticism, his awareness and smarts? You see him communicating all the time. His ability to get out on the perimeter run downfield? Beautiful."

A-Rod Fans in Pads
Interesting how the Jets got the trade details hammered out to finally, officially acquire Aaron Rodgers as their quarterback but then spent their first two draft choices on A-Rod fans. First-round LB Will McDonald IV is from Wisconsin and said while he wasn't a Packers fan, he's liked Rodgers and has been studying him "since about 2008."

And while Tippmann went to Wisconsin in the middle of Cheesehead Country, he went to parochial high school in Fort Wayne, IN, and because of his connection to Fabini says he's been something of a Jets fan. Yet he, too, has a fine appreciation of Rodgers' game.

"It's awesome to be playing with someone who's a seasoned veteran like Aaron," Tippmann said. "There's so much opportunity for me to be able to learn from him. It would be a dream to be able to play with him. And that dream is coming true."

See the best images of the 43rd overall selection in the 2023 NFL Draft, Wisconsin OL Joe Tippmann.

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