New York Jets: Reviewing and Grading the 2006 through 2010 NFL Drafts

2 of 2

2008 N.F.L. Draft

1st round: Vernon Gholston, DE, Ohio State. Dustin Keller, Te, Purdue

4th round: Dwight Lowery, CB, San Jose State

5th Round: Erik Ainge, QB, Tenneessee

6th Round: Marcus Henry, WR, Kansas

7th Round: Nate Garner, T, Alabama

No longer in the league (or did not appear in a game last year): Garner, Henry, Ainge

The other three are still on the Jets roster.

Dwight Lowery had made 18 starts over the last three seasons and has made some big plays. He can be exposed in coverage as well, especially when trying to cover quick slot guys (the Jets did a very poor job of that last year overall), but he makes plays with his opportunities. 2 sacks and 3 interceptions last season.

Dustin Keller gets a lot of undeserved praise in my opinion. He’s pretty good, but I don’t think he’d make my top 10 tight ends in the league. Solid player. 10 Touchdowns over the past three seasons and a 148 receptions in his three year career.

Vernon Gholston. He is not a good N.F.L. player. What more can you say. Making Vernon Gholston a top player in the league was suppose to be one of Rex Ryan’s jobs when he got to the New York Jets job, but that didn’t happen. Gholston has ZERO career sacks and 42 tackles even though he’s started 5 games and appeared in 45 (less than one tackle per game).

Grade D+ Gholston was a colossal miss and the only players worth anything are Keller and Lowery, and they are not top players. In a draft you hope to get three starters and some depth. In this draft the Jets got one starter and one player as depth. Out of their six picks only two remain on the roster and I’m not sure Lowery is going to be on there moving forward.

2009 Draft

First Round: Mark Sanchez, QB, USC

3rd Round: Shonn Grenne, RB, Iowa

6th Round: Matt Slauson, OL, Nebraska

All three of the 2009 NFL draft picks are still on the roster and all will probably start next year.

Shonn Greene hasn’t been as great as his reputation precedes him. It’s possible he breaks out this year, but last year he’s averaging 4.1 yards per carry. He also only has four touchdowns over his first two seasons. That’s really where you want to see Shonn Greene improve, getting into the End-Zone more.

Matt Slauson got a lot of high praise from Rex Ryan this past season. He started all 16 games for the Jets at guard. That’s excellent for a 6th round pick.

And this draft will live and die with the progression of Mark Sanchez. Mark Sanchez has shown a penchant for producing with the game on the line and has the support of all his teammates. He’s won a lot of games in his short career, but needs to show more consistency and continue to progress.

Draft Grade B, but trending up

If Mark Sanchez continues to improve and Shonn Greene can find the end zone more this draft grade could go up in the future.I do however think the Jets are playing with fire having so few picks year after year.


1st round: Kyle Wilson, CB, Boise State

2nd Round: Vladimir Ducasse, OL, Massachussetts

3rd Round: Joe McKnight, RB, USC

4th Round: John Conner, FB, Kentucky

This draft class didn’t look to pretty last year. Conner is a specialty player and does what he does well (block), but will never be a big time impact player. Joe McKnight came off as not taking football as seriously as he should and found himself in the doghouse almost the entire season. Kyle Wilson struggled mightily. The Jets hope he bounces back this year. And Vladimir Ducasse reminded fans why we should temper out expectations of players coming out of small schools. There is a major adjustment that has to occur in order to achieve success in the N.F.L.

These players have time to turn it around, but the Jets hope to see much more next year. Like I wrote in the summary of the 2009 N.F.L. draft class, the Jets might be playing with fire having so few picks each year.


The New York Jets have done a remarkable job of targeting players they want and doing what it takes to get those players. The Jets have added some players who could net them an eventual Superbowl Championship. Mark Sanchez, Darrelle Revis, Nick Mangold, and D’Brickshaw Ferguson. A team can’t hit every pick out of the ball park and the Jets are no exception. You try to avoid picks like Vernon Gholston, but it happens.

Grade B+

Follow us on twitter @NFLmocks and like us on facebook.