Last week the Jets announced a number of futures signings. We've been looking at some of the players added, continuing today with offensive lineman Korren Kirven.
The 23-year old Kirven is 6'5" and 315 pounds and was an undrafted free agent out of Alabama last year. He spent camp and preseason with the Bucs and also spent time on the Browns' practice squad before joining the Jets practice squad from mid-December to the end of the season.
Kirven was a dominant defensive lineman in high school and that's where he began his career with the Crimson Tide. However, in his first two seasons, he played just four games and recorded five tackles.
After converting to offensive line, Kirven saw some rotational action in his junior year and started one game at right tackle. In his senior year, he competed for a starting role at right tackle, but lost out. However, he got a chance to start and right guard over the second half of the season and played a big part in Alabama's run to the national title game.
After going undrafted, Kirven signed with the Bucs and saw extensive action off the bench at right tackle in preseason. However, he didn't make the team and - after a stint on the Browns' practice squad - ended up with the Jets for the last few weeks of the season.
Now let's look at what Kirven brings to the table, divided into categories.
Kirven has decent size but his pro day numbers were underwhelming. However, that was partly because he had a hamstring injury. He ran a 5.23 40-yard dash but didn't participate in the bench press because of a pectoral injury.
As noted, Kirven started games at both right tackle and right guard in college, although he only played right tackle in preseason. In one game, he started off at right guard but then moved out to left tackle following an injury. However, he then ended up getting injured himself.
Here's footage of him making a play back in his defensive lineman days:
Kirven is big and strong at the point of attack, so you'll often see him lock onto a block well and get some good traction. However, he doesn't always manage to sustain his block through the play.
He was often required to make blocks on the move at Alabama and would look tentative in such situations at times.
Kirven (#78 at right guard) shows some nastiness here, driving his man off the line and to the ground:
On this play, he does a good job of getting out to the second level and driving his man out of the play:
Kirven does seem to have decent length and he'll use that well when losing outside leverage to redirect his man upfield. However, he can also over-rely on that.
This clip - from spring practice at Alabama - sees him filling in at left tackle against Tim Williams. As you can see he allows Williams to get his inside shoulder under him and doesn't move his feet quick enough so ends up leaning and reaching, which forces him to rely on the quarterback to take off and escape the rush.
On this play, Kirven initially does a good job of picking up his man off the edge, but gradually loses leverage and allows him to disengage late to get a hand up in the quarterback's face. This leads to an interception:
Overall, he struggled badly in his first preseason game, so they gave him more help over the rest of the games and he settled down and did well.
Kirven's hand placement and footwork have been praised, notably by his former teammate Dalvin Tomlinson, who is now with the New York Giants. Tomlinson referred to him as "talented".
There are signs of rawness though. While good at initially locking onto a block, he will at times allow his man to disengage and also has a tendency when driving forwards to over-extend and allow his man to leverage off him to stay in the play:
Penalties haven't been a big issue for Kirven, who didn't have any in preseason or in his senior year. He had one in 2016.
Kirven's previous experience as a defensive tackle means that he has seen action in a variety of special teams roles, which perhaps will give him an edge over some other linemen coming in. However, he missed his block badly on this blocked extra point, which ended up being returned for a two-point score:
Kirven is considered to be smart and his positional versatility will have helped him in terms of understanding roles and line calls up front.
Here we see Kirven deal well with a stunt, although once he is isolated against the tackle, he gets thrown off immediately so it was lucky the quarterback wasn't forced to hold the ball any longer:
He didn't fare so well on this play, though. Initially he helps inside but then vacates that area because of the threat off the edge. This led to the guy inside him getting beaten upfield easily and then he failed to pick up the edge rusher so they both arrived at the quarterback together:
Kirven apparently has outstanding intangibles and was praised for his focus when changing roles and the fact he kept his head up and eventually worked his way up into a contributor role at Alabama.
He won the Iron Man award at Alabama which recognizes effort in the strength and conditioning program.
Kirven only had minor injuries while at Alabama. He was knocked out of a game with a shoulder issue in 2016, but returned the next week. He had also missed time with a foot issue in the spring.
As noted, he had hamstring and pectoral injuries during his pro day workout.
Kirven should be a good fit in John Morton's scheme, since it evolved out of Lane Kiffin's system just like the Alabama system. There are plenty of similarities in terms of zone/power mix and pass protection schemes. He's a former teammate of ArDarius Stewart.
Like most futures additions, Kirven is a long-shot to ever compete for a role with the Jets but they released Geoff Gray - who had been on the practice squad all season - to bring him in, so presumably feel he has a better shot than Gray.
He's a scheme fit with some nice size and potential and his versatility and technical abilities are valuable, but he's still pretty raw and untested against NFL starter-level competition at this stage of his career.
With the Jets set to overhaul their offensive line this offseason, there should be roles up for grabs. There will also be established players leaving over the next 12 months or so. Kirven will have to try and turn some heads with a view to perhaps sticking within the system and competing for a role within the next year or two.