Behind the Numbers: 56 Man Roster

I've spent the better part of this evening between the Jets website, ESPN, Wikipedia, the NFL Draft Site and others in order to put together a comprehensive view of the Jets 56 man roster (Allison on IR, and Ellis and Pace serving suspensions gets the 53 man to 56, for now...)  And behind all data I captured, I have some interesting facts for you to chew on:

Rex Likes the UFAs, but a lot of them predate his arrival to the Jets:

  • Of the 24 starters (11 offense, 11 defense,1 K , 1 P) 6 players were originally Undrafted Free Agents (25%).
  • 3 of these UFAs joined this offseason with Rex (Bart Scott, Jim Leonhard, Marques Douglas).  The other 3 were already Jets (Tony Richardson, Brandon Moore, Jay Feely).
  • Of the 6 UFAs, only 1 was discovered by the Jets (Moore).
  • Of the remaining 32 reserve players 13 are UFAs. (41%)
  • On the Offense, 2 of 11 (18%) starters and 4 of 14 (29%) reserves are UFAs
  • On the Defense, 3 of 11 (27%) starters and 9 of 17 (53%) reserves are UFAs
  • The Only UFA from 2009 to make the team was Jamaal Westerman.  4 UFAs from 2008 made the team (Danny Woodhead, Ropati Pitoitua, Brandon Renkart, Marquice Cole)
  • 6 of the 10 LBers were UFAs.
  • 3 of the 4 DEs were UFAs.
  • The story on offense is different.  Only 3 of the 9 OL were UFAs (one of each T,G,C).  No other position had more than 1 UFA.
  • K Jay Feely beat out Mike Nugent for the sole Place Kicker role.  Feely was an UFA back in 2001, and Nugent was our 2nd pick of the 2005 draft.  How many kickers have ever gone in the first 2 rounds - I have no idea.

It's all about the 1st round:

  • 12 of 24 (50%) starters for the Jets were chosen by us or another team in the 1st round. (Marc Sanchez, Thomas Jones, Dustin Keller, Nick Mangold, Alan Faneca, D'Brickashaw Ferguson, Damien Woody, Shaun Ellis, Calvin Pace, Bryan Thomas, Derrelle Revis, Lito Sheppard)
  • 7 are on Offense, 5 are on Defense.
  • There are 2 former 1st rounders who are not starters (Vernon Gholston and Ahmad Carroll)
  • 4 of the 5 starting linemen (all but Moore), and our starting TE (Keller) were taken in the 1st round
  • Our QB (Sanchez) and RB (Jones) were also 1st rounders.
  • Of the 12 first rounders who are also starters, 7 were chosen by the Jets (Sanchez, Keller, Mangold, Ferguson, Ellis, Thomas and Revis; 5 of the 7 are from 2006-09).
  • The 5 first rounder starters drafted by other teams that now play for the Jets were all pre 2003 picks (not surprisingly, we got many of them after their rookie contracts ended)

No standout WR to take the #2 spot:

Home Grown talent on the Jets:

  • Of our 24 starters, 11 were Jets draft picks, and 6 were UFAs.  The remaining 7 came from free agency or trades. (the other 7 are T Jones, Faneca, Woody, Kris Jenkins, Pace, Sheppard and Reggie Hodges).
  • Starters drafted by the Jets is pretty even between Offense (6) and Defense (5).  Same with UFAs (O=2, D=3), although not all UFAs were originally discovered by the Jets (in that case, 1-2 for the Offense, 0-3 for the Defense)
  • While there are quite a few drafted players on the Jets, it is interesting:
      • 2001-2: 11 picks, one on Jets, 1st rounder Bryan Thomas
      • 2003: 7 picks, none on Jets
      • 2004:10 picks, only one on Jets is 4th rounder Jerricho Cotchery
      • 2005: 8 picks, 2 on the Jets, backup Sione Pouha and star Kerry Rhodes (did you know Pouha was taken a round ahead of Rhodes, 3 and 4 respectively?)
      • Herm Edwards coached the Jets 2001 through 2005.  His record of selecting talent is suspect at best.
      • Mike Tannenbaum took over as GM in 2006.
      • Since 2006, the Jets have drafted 7 players that are now starters, 5 in round 1, 1 in round 2, 1 in round 7.  Looks like Tannenbaum finds talent in the top of the draft.  There are  a total of 17 drafted players (since the 2006 draft) on the 56 man roster today.
      • A lot of this may have to do with timing and players moving on after rookie contracts, but I don't remember a lot of the 36 draft picks from 2001-2005 even making the team, and certainly very few ever started in the NFL.

Location, Location, Location

  • OH and TX High Schools each produced 5 Jets.  NC, MI, FL, CA, AL each produced 4 Jets.
  • There are only 3 Jets who played HS ball in NY or NJ. (Ferguson from NY, Green and Renkart from NJ).
  • There are as many Jets who played HS ball in NY as there are from Hawaii (Wayne Hunter) and Canada (Jamaal Westerman).

I know that for the most part these facts are useless trivia, but I do find some of it interesting.  Of course, you can't judge a player by their draft position alone, but if you look at our offensive line with 4 of 5 coming out of the 1st round, you start to appreciate why we have such a solid running game.  Also, prior to Mangini it doesnt seem like the Jets had a lot of success developing undrafted talent. They didnt have a lot of success developing their draft picks either.  This can explain our troubles with depth.  I hope that under Rex we see more UFAs success stories surface, and more of our later round players actually make the team.  Also, we should continue to trade up to the 1st round to pick up talent.  Over the past 4 years we've done well in the 1st round.

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