New York Jets 2011 NFL Draft Grades


Rex Ryan has guaranteed the Jets will win the Super Bowl…Again. The fiery head coach has really lit a spark for a franchise that selected Mark Sanchez with the 6th pick of the 2009 NFL Draft, and ever since then, they have been doing very well in the offseason, using their picks to acquire veteran players as well as using them very wisely on collegiate players.

I think the Jets did another fantastic job in the 2011 NFL Draft, using their selections to fill key areas of need as well as some nice selections for depth…

1. First Round, 30th overall: Muhammad Wilkerson, DL, Temple

Muhammad Wilkerson is a big, tough, physical defensive lineman who is an absolute perfect fit for the Jets’ defense. He reminds me of a younger Trevor Pryce, a big 315 pound man who can get double digit sacks from that five technique position. He was underrated because he played for Temple, not exactly known as a college football powerhouse. Still, the fact remains that he put up good numbers for the Owls and he should be a very, very good player for the Jets.

Pick Grade: A

2. Third Round, 94th overall: Kenrick Ellis, DL, Hampton

After adding the 6’4″ 315 pound Muhammad Wilkerson in the first round, the Jets go ahead and fill another need along the defensive line with the 6’5″ 345 pound Kenrick Ellis, who transferred to Hampton after a short stint at South Carolina. Again, this big and athletic of a man with his talent ceiling going into Rex Ryan’s defense has to have the New York Jet faithful very excited. The Jets had a huge void at the nose tackle position, and Ellis can fill it but also play anywhere along a three man front.

Pick Grade: A

3. Fourth Round, 126th overall: Bilal Powell, RB, Louisville

Obviously the Jets were not happy with the development of Joe McKnight, and while I think they will keep him around for another year, Powell certainly could take his spot over in the Jets’ running back rotation. Last year, he really broke out for the Louisville football team, carrying the ball 229 times for a career high 1,405 yards and 11 touchdowns, averaging over six yards per carry. He’s a bruiser who will really add to this team’s running back depth, which might be the best in the NFL.

Pick Grade: B+

4. Fifth Round, 153rd overall: Jeremy Kerley, WR, TCU

Kerley was an absolute stud for the TCU Horned Frogs, catching 56 passes for 575 yards and 10 touchdowns, while also scoring two rushing touchdowns and contributing over 900 yards in the return game. He could be an asset for the Jets who are potentially losing Brad Smith. Kerley is not as big as Smith, but he could certainly fill the same or a similar role to what Smith did.

Pick Grade: B+

5. Seventh Round, 208th overall: Greg McElroy, QB, Alabama

This pick was acquired from the Cardinals, and ironically, I think McElroy is better than any quarterback currently on Arizona’s roster. McElroy is a phenomenal college player with elite intangibles and instincts. He’s not a flashy player, but he’s a field general who knows how to win ball games, and he will be a great backup to Mark Sanchez.

Pick Grade: A

6. Seventh Round, 227th overall: Scotty McKnight, WR, Colorado

I think Mark Sanchez may have had a thing or two to do with the drafting of McKnight, one of Sanchez’s good friends. McKnight didn’t blow anyone away with his Colorado career, though he was extremely consistent and had a fantastic pro day (which Sanchez threw at). McKnight finished his CU career with 219 receptions for 2,590 yards and 22 touchdowns. He is the type of gritty receiver that this offense requires, and he could be a steal in the 7th round. We will see how he does in camp.

Pick Grade: B

Overall draft grade: A

The Jets did a fantastic job at every level of the draft. I can’t say I disliked a single one of their picks. They picked guys who fit their scheme, and they picked guys who can make an immediate impact as well.