The Tannenbaum Drafts - The Full Story

Karl Walter

A look at the true draft record of the Tannenbaum years, taking into account all trades of draft picks for players.

The failures of GM Mike Tannenbaum as a GM, particularly his ability to evaluate and draft talent, has been a frequent topic of conversation here at GGN. The mediocrity of certain draft classes, particularly the 2008, 2009 and 2010 draft classes, have been well documented. But this is only part of the Tannenbaum draft story. I have yet to see here (or anywhere else) a full analysis of the Tannenbaum drafts.

Each year draft picks are used to acquire players. Some, but not all, of those players happen to be college players. The rest are players acquired by trading draft picks for established NFL players. In order to fairly and completely evaluate a daft, one must account for EVERY draft pick and what was acquired with it, not just the ones used to pick up college talent. For better or for worse, Tannenbaum has been particularly active in trading picks for NFL talent. Thus it is particularly important when evaluating Tannenbaum's drafts to account for every player picked up with the use of draft picks, not just the college talent. Yet I have not seen such an analysis done at GGN or anywhere else. Consequently I have provided that analysis here. Herewith, the only full, fair and complete analysis of the Tannenbaum drafts of which I am aware. Please use the information provided here with an open mind to reevaluate how good or bad Tannenbaum has done with the draft. I believe some evaluations will and should change with this analysis.

Please note that I have chosen to account for NFL players acquired by trading draft picks by listing them under the year's draft in which the picks were made. This may cause some confusion, as a player acquired for a future year's pick(s) is listed under that future year, rather than under the year he was actually acquired. As just one example, Brett Favre was acquired immediately prior to the 2008 season, for a 2009 pick. Thus he is listed under the 2009 draft, even though he played for the Jets in 2008. This somewhat confusing nomenclature was chosen to best represent what was acquired with the actual picks of each year's drafts.

2006

D' Brickashaw Ferguson

Nick Mangold

Kellen Clemens

Anthony Schlegel

Eric Smith

Brad Smith

Leon Washington (acquired from KC for Herm Edwards)

Jason Posciak

Drew Coleman

Titus Adams

Patrick Ramsey (acquired for a 2006 6th round pick)

2007

Darrelle Revis ( acquired for 2007 1st, 2nd and 5th rd picks)

David Harris

Thomas Jones (acquired by swapping 2007 2nd rd picks)

Kevin Barlow (acquired in 2006 for 2007 4th rd pick)

Jacob Bender

Chansi Stuckey

2008

Vernon Gholston

Dustin Keller

Kris Jenkins (acquired for 2008 3rd and 5th round picks)

Dwight Lowery

Erik Ainge

Marcus Henry

Nate Garner

2009

Brett Favre (acquired in 2008 for 2009 3rd rd pick)

Lito Sheppard (acquired for 2009 5th rd pick)

Mark Sanchez (acquired for 2009 1st and 2nd rd picks and players Kenyon Coleman, Abram Elam, Brett Ratliff)

Shonn Greene (acquired for 2009 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 7th rd picks)

Matt Slauson

2010

Braylon Edwards (acquired in 2009 for 2010 3rd and 5th rd picks and Chansi Stuckey, Jason Trusnick)

Santonio Holmes (acquired for 2010 5th rd pick)

Kyle Wilson

Vlad Ducasse

Joe McKnight

John Conner

2011

Muhammad Wilkerson

Antonio Cromartie (acquired in 2010 for 2011 2nd rd pick)

Kenrick Ellis

Bilal Powell

Jeremy Kerley

Greg McElroy

Scotty McKnight

2012

Quinton Coples

Stephen Hill

Demario Davis

Josh Bush

Tim Tebow (acquired for 2012 4th rd pick and swap of 2012 6th rd pick for 7th rd pick)

Terrence Ganaway

Robert Griffin

Antonio Allen

Jordan White

Caleb Schlauderaff (acquired in 2011 for 2012 7th rd pick)

Now, look at those drafts. They look a little different with the results of ALL the picks, don't they? Let's go through them, one by one.

The 2006 draft was an A grade draft, no matter how you look at it. The acquisition of All Pro Mangold and Pro Bowler Ferguson has anchored the Jets O Line ever since. Add in valuable contributors Brad Smith, Leon Washington and Drew Coleman, and the acquisition of serviceable backup QB Ramsey, and this draft is a clear A. The acquisition of Washington by trading Herm Edwards was a brilliant little trade that often goes unnoticed.

The 2007 draft, which netted All Universe Revis and a very good LB in Harris was a solid B, missing out on an A only due to the lack of any other significant contributors. However, factor in the brilliant trade for Pro Bowl RB Thomas Jones for the ridiculously cheap price of swappind 2nd rd picks and this draft is bumped up to a solid A.

The 2008 draft was the first of 3 seemingly disastrous drafts for the Jets. It netted only solid TE Dustin Keller and barely adequate DB Dwight Lowery. It also featured all time bust Vernon Gholston. That looks like an unequivocal F. But add in the acquisition of All Pro NT Kris Jenkins for a 3rd and a 5th, and that grade gets bumped up to a C-. Not great, but not disastrous either.

The 2009 draft again looks disastrous. Below average QB Mark Sanchez, below average RB Shonn Greene, and below average G Matt Slauson in exchange for trading away the entire rest of the draft. Not good. That's a clear F. But add in the acquisition of HOF QB Brett Favre, who led the Jets to an 8-3 record before he got hurt, and decent CB Lito Sheppard, and this grade gets raised to a D. Still not good, but not quite as disastrous.

The 2010 draft was the final in a 3 year run of seeming disasters. It netted us slot CB Kyle Wilson, backup G Vlad Ducasse, backup RB Joe McKnight, and FB John Conner. Not good. Call that a D-. But then you have to factor in the trades which netted the Jets their 2 starting WRs on the 2010 team, the best Jets team since 1998. Add in Holmes and Edwards, and this draft becomes a solid B.

The 2011 draft is still a little early to tell, but early returns appear very promising. DL Wilkerson appears to be headed to perennial Pro Bowl status. Powell is a decent back. Kerley was an absolute steal, a high end WR2 for a 5th rd pick. Kenrick Ellis is still an unknown, but he shows a lot of promise and could develop into a high end NT. McElroy appears to be a serviceable backup QB, although we haven't seen enough to be sure. Overall, alot of valuable pieces, one apparent perennial Pro Bowler - this shapes up as a solid B. But when you factor in the acquisition of Antonio Cromartie, one of the best CBs in the game, that bumps this class up to an A.

The 2012 class is promising, but it's still much too early to provide any definitive evaluations.

So there you have it, Mike Tannenbaums complete draft history. Including all of the trades, the drafts grade out like this:

A, A, C-, D, B, A. Overall grade point average: 2.94, a solid B. Not top of the class, not best in the business, but solid, better than average. Not nearly as horrific a draft record as many would make it out to be.

Trader Mike got that nickname for a reason. Any fair and complete evaluation of his drafting prowess must account for all of the players he acquired by trading draft picks. I have attempted to accomplish that here. I leave it to you. After examining the complete draft record of Tannenbaum, what would you grade him for his draft prowess?

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