Two things I’ve been looking at doing this summer are seeing how teams draft classes have been progressing over a five year playing period in the league, and two looking at how college teams are doing putting N.F.L. prospects in the league. I hope to put together all conference N.F.L. teams once I’m done looking at each school in a conference to see if the S.E.C. is really that much better in getting to players to the pros as we all think it is. I also like to see how good teams have drafted recently.
Today I’ll be looking back over the New York Jets last five draft classes to have snaps in the N.F.L. What I noticed immediately is that the New York Jets have a belief in quality over quantity. In a five year period they made 27 of their initial 35 picks that each team is automatically rewarded with (and often more because of compensatory picks).
First round D’Brickshaw Ferguson, T, Virigina, Nick Mangold, C, Ohio State
2nd Round: Kellen Clemens, QB, Oregon
3rd Round: Anthony Schlegel, LB, Ohio State. Eric Smith, S, Michigan State
4th round: Brad Smith, WR, Missouri. Leon Washington, RB, Florida State
5th Round: Jason Pociask, TE, Wisconsin
6th Round: Drew Coleman, CB, TCU
7th Round: Titus Adams, DT, Nebraska
No longer in the league Adams, Pociask, Schlegel
Worst pick: Kellen Clemens. Clemens was given some opportunities to try and be the quarterback of the future and he has not been able to grab the bull by the horns so to speak. Clemens has 1 start and only 284 passes in his career. He still remains on the Jets roster, but does not seem likely to stay much longer. It would have been great if he could have shown to be a quality backup but it was a bad second round pick.
The Jets made 10 picks in the 2006 N.F.L. draft and only four were really useless to their team. And only four right now are not on the Jets (the three out of the league and Leon Washington). Even though Washington is no longer on the Jets, he was an excellent fourth round pick. The problem is he played himself out of his initial contract and the Jets didn’t want to pay him a ton of money. Still they were able to flip him for a draft pick (4th rounder I believe), so they ended up getting a lot of production out of him and a draft pick.
Brad Smith was also a pretty good fourth round pick, even though he’s not much of a wide receiver he’s a pretty good specialist. He’s a good return man, and he’s also one of the best wild cat quarterbacks in the entire league, averaging nearly 8 yards per carry this past season.
Drew Coleman isn’t great in coverage, but he made a lot of plays last year. 4 sacks and 5 forced fumbles from a nickel and dime cornerback is impressive. He started four games this past season. Eric Smith isn’t flashy, but provides valuable depth and can start in a pinch. Again, not a great player, but very useful to the Jets. He made six starts last season.
Lastly, the Jets added two players in the first round that are the anchor of one of the top offensive lines in all of the league. What more could you ask for.
That’s a tough draft to try and top. This it the closest to giving an A+ in my reviews so far (not many teams don’t yet though), but the second and third round picks are important and the Jets whiffed on those picks.
1st Round Darrelle Revis, CB, Pittsburgh
2nd Round: David Harris, LB, Michigan
6th Round: Jacob Bender, OL, Nicholls State
7th Round: Chansi Stuckey, WR, Clemson
No longer in the league: Jacob Bender
No longer on the team: Chansi Stuckey. Stuckey wasn’t a terrible pick though because he was part of the package that netted Mark Sanchez to the Jets via the trade with the Browns for the 5th overall pick.
David Harris is considered by many to be the heart and soul of the Jets defense and is just a tackling machine. he’s started every game for the Jets the last four years. Solid pick. The Jets did have to trade up for David Harris giving up a second (swappning) and third round pick as well as a 6th round pick to grab Harris.
Darrelle Revis has become, probably, the best cornerback in the entire league. Even though he wasn’t as great last year as he was two years ago he’s still impressive. Revis is a smooth cover corner who also has the ability to be a lockdown press coverage cornerback. Revis impact on the field is palpable.In order to select Revis, the Jets swapped first round picks, traded a second round pick and a fifth round pick as well.
Draft Grade A-
The Jets had to give up a lot to get Revis and Harris, but both players have been good players in the league, and Revis has been great. Still it’s tough only ending up with four picks in a draft and the Jets only have two players from that draft still on their roster four years later. I consider myself a moderately tough grade so an A- is still high praise. Good job, agian.