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NY's History In the Top 5: Part One
Taking a stroll down memory lane.
☀️ Good morning,
📅 We knew Kayvon Thibodeaux was visiting with the Jets, we now know when. He'll be at Florham Park this Friday.
🐘 Another name to add to the visit tracker is Evan Neal. According to Tom Pelissero the Jets hosted the Alabama offensive tackle last week.
👹 CBS's Ryan Wilson posted a three-round mock draft where he had the Jets taking Travon Walker and Trevor Penning 🤢
✈️ Another visit to add to the list is Texas A&M TE Jalen Wydermyer - a player who's tested beyond awful in the pre-draft process and also struggled with drops, no thanks.
👨🍳 According to PFN the Jets won't use a top-30 visit on James Cook, but there is significant interest in the Georgia RB from Joe Douglas and the team.
🗽Updated visit list:
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
🗣️ There is a fair bit of draft chatter doing the rounds at the moment, and some of this will have a knock on effect for the Jets.
If this is really the case then in theory there could be two offensive lineman taken in the first 3 picks with Jacksonville also potentially taking a tackle. If that happens it'll mean Kayvon Thibodeaux falling to the Jets as there is no way Detroit pass on the hometown Aidan Hutchinson.
🤝 In my recent mock I had the Jets trading down from #10 with the Saints and adding multiple picks this year and next. If the Saints are looking to move up, they may need to jump further than the Jets at #10, but we'd almost certainly be in the mix.
Top Five 5️⃣
With the draft getting ever closer I thought I’d take a look at all the prospects the Jets have selected in the top 5 picks. Unfortunately for the franchise, there have been so many I’ve had to split it into two parts. Today we’ll run it all the way up to Blair Thomas and the 1990 draft, and then tomorrow we’ll focus on the remaining 8 players all the way up to Zach Wilson in 2021.
OG - Tom Brown - 5th Overall (1961) - Titans
💪 Brown was a standout guard and linebacker for a Minnesota team that went from last in the Big-10 to national champions. He came 2nd in the Heisman trophy voting of 1960 and won the Outland Trophy as the nation’s best lineman. Although he was drafted 5th overall by the Titans in the AFL draft, he decided to play his professional football in Canada and ended up being inducted into the Canadian Football hall of fame. Many people are aware that the early AFL teams faced competition from the NFL for college prospects, but it's often forgotten how active the Canadian Football League were in poaching some top-end talent. The first top-5 pick in Jets history didn’t even play for them.
QB - Sandy Stephens - 5th Overall (1962) - Titans
💨 Stephens was the first black quarterback to play for Minnesota and is still the only QB in their history to not only take them to a Rose Bowl game but to actually win it (1961), he was also named Rose Bowl MVP that season and he was a teammate of Tom Brown who the Titans had selected in 1961. The Titans used the 5th overall pick on him wanting to convert him away from QB, Sandy didn’t like the sound of that so he signed with Montreal in the CFL. Unfortunately for Stephenson, he was never able to translate his college production to the pros finishing with 22 TDs to 38 INTs in the CFL, and although he spent time in camp with the Vikings and Chiefs he never realized his dream. Another top-5 pick of the Jets who never played for them.
HB - Jerry Stovall - 3rd (1963)
🙌 Stovall was a unanimous All-American in 1962 and a two-time All-SEC selection in 1961 & 1962 and He won the Walter Camp Memorial Trophy as the nation's best back too. Although halfback was his main position, Stovall also played running back, defensive back, returner and punter…a lot more was asked of players in the 60’s. A hot commodity he was a top-5 selection in both the AFL and NFL and chose to sign with the St Louis Cardinals and convert to a full-time defensive back. He made three pro-bowls as a defensive back (1966,1967 and 1969)…but yet again he was a top-5 pick of the Jets who never saw the field for them.
HB - Matt Snell - 3rd (1964)
💪🙌 We’ve had a lot of false starts so far, but who better to really get us started than Matt Snell. The Georgia native was a standout performer at Ohio State fulfilling a number of roles for the Buckeyes and finished his senior season having been named the team’s most valuable player. Snell was a 4th round pick of the Giants but decided to sign with the Jets as the 3rd overall player taken in the 1964 AFL draft. Snell would play his entire career for the Jets amassing over 4,000 yards and 193 receptions, as well as countless bruising blocks. Snell won a Super Bowl with the Jets and was named an AFL All-Star in 1964, 1966, and 1969). He was the consummate teammate and one of the best selections in Jets history.
QB - Joe Namath - 1st (1965)
☝️ It’s impossible to think of the Jets and not think about Joe Namath, the gunslinging QB who guaranteed a victory and made sure he got it. Whether you believe he sold his soul and the Jets future for that victory or not, Namath is the NY Jets. The Alabama star was the 1st overall selection for the Jets and a Pro Football Hall-of-Famer. Among his numerous accolades, he was a Super Bowl MVP, the NFL passing leader in 1972, two-time AFL MVP, and AFL rookie of the year. He has over 27,000 passing yards with 173 TDs to 220 INTs. Namath was so much more than a player to the Jets he was a franchise identity.
FB - Tom Nowatzke - 4th (1965)
🇵🇱 Tom was an Indiana native who stayed at home to attend college for the Hoosiers before being selected 4th overall by the Jets in the AFL draft and 11th overall by the Detroit Lions in the NFL draft. He was a 1964 All-American and led the conference in rushing in 1964. Tom scored a touchdown for the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl V and finished his career with 1,249 rushing yards and 13 rushing touchdowns. Another player on this list that never appeared for the Jets.
OT - Marvin Powell - 4th (1977)
⛰️ Widely considered to be one of the finest offensive tackles in college football history, Marvin Powell was inducted into the college hall of fame in 1994. He achieved all-conference honors in three years and all-American honors in two years, the 4th overall pick by the Jets, he was a five-time pro bowler and three-time All-Pro before finishing his career with Tampa Bay. He earned a law degree in the off-season while playing in the NFL and interned on the NY Stock Exchange. It’s fair to say guys like Marvin Powell don’t come along too often.
OT - Chris Ward - 4th (1978)
🔴⚪ While Ward may never have hit the heady heights of Marvin Powell, he did play a key role for the Jets as their left tackle in helping them to the playoffs in 1981 and the AFC championship game in 1982. Ward always said that it was a huge transition for him coming from Ohio State where they liked to run the ball to the Jets where they liked to drop back and pass. He appeared in 100 games from 1978 to 1984. A two-time All-American and a member of the Ohio State hall of fame, Ward was a good pick for the Jets that gave them a solid tackle due for 5 years.
WR - Johnny “Lam” Jones - 2nd (1980)
💨💨🥇 It’s not often you can say that you have a gold-medal-winning sprinter on your roster but that’s exactly what the Jets had when they took Jones 2nd overall in 1980. Jones was part of the 1976 Summer Olympics 4x100 meter relay team that won gold in Montreal and the Jets fell in love with his speed. It’s always been said that the Jets wanted Anthony Muñoz, but were advised not to take him by their physician after he failed a physical exam. Unfortunately, Jones always had issues catching the football and finished his career with only 13 touchdowns whereas Anthony Muñoz was elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame and is considered one of the greatest offensive linemen to ever play the game.
RB - Freeman McNeil - 3rd (1981)
👏 If you ask 100 Jets fans who their favorite player in franchise history is, I guarantee McNeil will come up a fair few times. A standout RB from UCLA, McNeil was a 2 x All-Pac-10 selection rushing for 21 touchdowns over 4 seasons. The Jets took McNeil 3rd overall in 1981 and the RB would play 12 NFL seasons all for the Jets, creating one of the best duos in football with Johnny Hector. He was a 3 x pro bowler with the Jets and led the NFL in rushing in 1982. When he retired he was the Jets’ all-time leading rusher (Curtis Martin surpassed him). He averaged 4.0 per carry in every season he played and goes down as one of the best draft picks in Jets history.
RB - Blair Thomas - 2nd Overall (1990)
🙈 Nearly a decade later the Jets hoped they had another McNeil when they selected Blair Thomas out of Penn State. The Nittany Lion was and still is one of the most productive running backs to ever play for the college, he rushed for over 1,300 yards in two seasons and was inducted into the Pennsylvania hall of fame in 2011. Unfortunately for the Jets he was unable to replicate that form in the pros, despite rushing for over 600 yards and 5.0 yards per carry as a rookie, part of a four-man rotation with the Jets. Thomas would suffer a number of niggling injuries with the team and his Jets career would come to an end after just 4 years and 5 touchdowns. Considered one of the biggest draft disappointments in franchise history considering the 1990 draft produced two hall of famers in the top 5 (Junior Seau & Cortez Kennedy)
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