NY History in the Top 5: Part Two
We continue our series taking a look at all the picks the Jets have made inside the top 5 in the draft.
🤯 There was some newfound excitement on Twitter yesterday as some old quotes from Kyle Shanahan did the rounds around how he’s willing to listen to any offer or any trade talk. The quote is actually from a year ago, and it was only a few weeks ago we heard from GM John Lynch on both the contract status of Deebo and Bosa:
“We have a plan for each of those guys,” Lynch said. “We will keep those discussions private but as I’ve long said, those guys are going to be a part of us for a long, long time. They’re fantastic players. They are very much at the core of who we are and they are fabulous players, fabulous people, and a big part of who we are.”
🗣️ The Shanahan quote was in reference to keeping Jimmy Garoppolo after the team traded up to #3 to take Trey Lance, Shanahan said when asked if he’d listen to any trade proposals:
“Yeah, that's accurate with every player on our team, I mean, probably including myself,” Shanahan said. “If someone blows us away with a trade for me, I bet you John would trade me.”
🤐 So this is a, don’t get your hopes up. Sorry to throw some cold water on that suggestion.
🦁 Just the one new name to add to the list of prospects who have confirmed visits with the Jets. Penn State LB Jesse Lukete will visit Florham Park.
Treylon Burks - Wide Receiver - Arkansas
Ikem Ekonwu - Offensive Tackle - NC State
Sauce Gardner - Cornerback - Cincinnati
Aidan Hutchinson - EDGE - Michigan
Chris Olave - Wide Receiver - Ohio State
Kayvon Thibodeaux - EDGE - Oregon
Travon Walker - EDGE - Georgia
Jameson Williams - Wide Receiver - Alabama
Garrett Wilson - Wide Receiver - Ohio State
Perrion Winfrey - Defensive Tackle - Oklahoma
Devonte Wyatt - Defensive Tackle - Georgia
Taysir Mack - Wide Receiver - Pittsburgh
Isaiah Likely - Tight End - Coastal Carolina
Lewis Cine - Safety - Georgia
Jermaine Johnson - EDGE - Florida State
Evan Neal - Offensive Tackle - Alabama
Jalen Wydermyer - Tight End - Texas A&M
🖥️ The Jets did have a virtual meeting with South Dakota State’s Pierre Strong Jr who rushed 240 times for 1686 yards and 18 TDs, that’s good for 7.0 yards per rush.
5️⃣ Today we’re going to continue our look at the history of Jets picks inside the top five. My original plan was to feature all of them in the same newsletter, but unfortunately, the Jets have made so many, that I feared you’d have fallen asleep by the time you reached the end.
LB - Marvin Jones - 4th Overall Overall (1993)
💪 Marvin Jones was destined to be a high draft pick as soon as he stepped onto the field for Billy Bowden’s Seminoles. Florida State went 11-1 in 1992 with Jones being named a consensus All-American for the 2nd time (1991). He also won the Butkus award in 1992 given to the best college linebacker, as well as the Lombardi trophy given to the player to best encompasses the values and spirit of the great Vince Lombardi. Jones spent his entire career with the Jets from 1993 to 2003, but he had to wait until 2000 to be named to his first All-Pro team. That year he recorded 133 tackles, 1 sack, and 2 forced fumbles. Anytime you get 10 years of service from a draft pick, you have to consider that a successful pick. There was two Hall of Famers taken in the first round after Jones in Willie Roaf (OT drafted by the Saints) and Jerome Bettis (RB drafted by the Rams).
WR - Keyshawn Johnson - 1st Overall (1996)
💨 Johnson’s path to being the #1 overall pick in the 1996 draft wasn’t always straightforward. While attending West Los Angeles College, he just stopped showing up to practice and took a year out of football to get his head straight. He then transferred to USC and under the tutelage of John Robinson became one of the most dominant receivers in college football finishing his 1995 season with 102 catches, 1,434 yards, and 7 touchdowns. That performance resulted in being named the Pac-10 offensive player of the year as well as a unanimous All-American. Johnson spent 4 very productive years with the Jets catching 305 passes for 4108 yards and 31 touchdowns with the Jets, appearing in the 1998 AFC Championship loss to the Broncos. Johnson left the Jets in 2000 and won a Super Bowl with Tampa Bay in 2022.
DT - Dewayne Robertson - 4th Overall (2003)
🙈 The expectations on the shoulders of Robertson were huge coming out of Kentucky, the Jets had targeted him with a trade-up with Chicago and parted with two firsts and a fourth-round pick for the opportunity to pick Robertson. He finished his college career with 114 tackles, one fumble recovery, three forced fumbles and 10.5 sacks in three seasons and was a Freshman All-SEC selection in 2000. He was durable during his career with the Jets, but he was never that dominant inside presence that the Jets needed or expected, he flashed his potential but only lasted 6 years in the league, 5 of which were with New York. His 14.5 sacks as a Jet ensured he didn’t go down as a complete bust, but the pick was seen as a huge disappointment considering the lofty expectations and the aggressive trade-up to select him.
OT - D’Brickashaw Ferguson - 4th Overall (2006)
🏔️ If all the talk on Robertson turned your stomach, this should settle things down. Ferguson was a standout left tackle for Virginia, later having his #66 jersey retired by the Cavaliers, he was a first-team All-American in 2005 and was considered one of the most athletic tackles to come out of college in some time. The Jets took him 4th overall and it was one of the best draft decisions they’ve ever made. Brick would play his entire career with the Jets starting 160 games in a row, he was part of the AFC Championship appearances in 2009 and 2010 and will go down as one of the best offensive linemen in the history of the franchise. He also happens to be one of my favorite players.
QB - Mark Sanchez - 5th Overall (2009)
🌭 After throwing for over 3000 yards and 34 touchdowns in 2008 for USC, most expected the Jets to take Sanchez in the 2009 draft, for what it’s worth I had absolutely no interest in Sanchez and actually posted “I’ll throw my TV out the window if we draft Sanchez”…the Jets drafted Mark and my TV remained securely in my living room. The Jets had to move up to get Sanchez but they really didn’t give up a whole lot. Sanchez spent 4 years with the Jets and managed them to the 2009 and 2010 AFC Championship games behind a rock-solid defense and a good running game. Unfortunately for the Jets and Sanchez he never really developed into that star QB and he finished his career with Washington having completed 56.6% of his passes for 86 touchdowns and 89 interceptions.
QB - Sam Darnold - 3rd Overall (2018)
🧐 There was a time when Sam Darnold was considered one of the best QB prospects in recent memory. As a redshirt Freshman in 2016, Darnold threw for over 3000 yards and 31 touchdowns against just 9 interceptions, all while completing 67.2% of his passes. He followed that up with another strong season, throwing over 4000 yards and completing 63.1% of passes. The Jets basically spent three second-rounders to move up to get Darnold and most loved the move. Unfortunately for Darnold, he made the same mistakes time and time again and the Jets failed to back him by building the team around him. After just three years the Jets moved him to Carolina and he’s seen his stock plummet so far he’s set to be a backup in 2022 after just one year with the Panthers. He’ll probably always be remembered in NY as the QB who saw ghosts.
DT - Quinnen Williams - 3rd (2019)
💪🙌 Quinnen’s story is still being written and I think he’s largely justified the draft slot so far but with much more to come. He was a unanimous All-American for Alabama in 2018 and ended up winning the Outland Trophy as the best interior defensive lineman in college football, following a season where he recorded 20 tackles for loss and 8 sacks. Through his first three years with New York he has amassed 15.5 sacks and 21 tackles for a loss. I firmly believe there’s more to come from Quinnen and if the Jets can add some inside help on the defensive line in the draft, that should open things up for Quinnen to wreak some havoc.
QB - Zach Wilson - 2nd Overall (2021)
✈️ It’s far too early to really say anything on Zach Wilson, he looked both promising and awful at points during the 2021 season, which is usually what a rookie does. He showed progress towards the end of the season and the hope is he can continue to develop his game in 2022, playing in structure a little more without losing that edge to make the big plays that got him drafted #2 overall. It’ll be the second year in the system for Zach, and players tend to say the game starts to slow down in year two.
That’s it, a full run-down of all the prospects the Jets have taken in the top-5, the fact I had to split this into two segments is probably very damning to the franchise. Here’s hoping that we won’t be picking in the top-5 for a good 10-15 years and we won’t need to do another list like this for a long time.
🔗 Rich Cimini had a great piece on Mekhi Becton and how he’s out to prove the doubters wrong - "For someone like Mekhi, who has so much God-given talent, nutrition wasn’t really something he had to focus on before. It's about creating lifestyle changes. What I'm trying to do with Mekhi is create a healthier lifestyle year-round, so that way -- for lack of a better term -- he's fit to fight all the time. My main focus with Mekhi is to getting him healthy, getting him eating clean year-round so keeping his weight down isn't such an issue."
🔗 Michael Narnia had an outstanding piece looking at Joe Douglas’s tendencies in the draft, outlining prospects he may avoid - “The main takeaway from the breakdown is that Douglas loves to target players with elite testing numbers. Douglas drafted seven players with a Relative Athletic Score (RAS)* of 9.0 or better from 2020 to 2021, tying for the most in the NFL over that span”
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