2008 was the turning point for the Jets franchise and Tanny. Would that trend of going "all in" to "win now" continue in 2009, or would Tanny attempt to trade back and recoup some draft picks to compensate for the 4-player draft in 2007? Would the Jets make an FA moves that would help? Follow after the jump to find out.
2009 Off Season
Mangini was fired. After a pretty good search, Rex Ryan was hired as the new HC. Rex wasn't allowed to hire his OC of choice, Hue Jackson, but rather had to keep Brian Schottenheimer.
On 2/27 the Jets signed Ravens' FA Bart Scott to a contract, and on March 3 the Jets signed Ravens FA Jim Leonard to a contract. Rex wanted these two to help teach the Jets' D players his system and to provide leadership.
Eventually, the Jets also added Aundrae Allison, Ben Hartsock, Matthew Mulligan, Larry Izzo, Kevin O'Connell, Donald Strickland and the following players to their PS: Kenwin Cummings ILB, Jason Davis FB, Keith Fitzhugh S, Matt Kroul DE, Ryan McKee OT, Jack Simmons TE, and Danny Woodhead RB. Cummings and Woodhead were the best, and unfortunately, neither is still with the team.
Trades: On 2/28 the Jets traded with the Eagles for CB Lito Sheppard, sending Philly their 5th round pick in the 2009 draft and a conditional pick in the 2010 draft. That pick could be as high as a 2nd and as low as a 4th. On 10/7 the Jets traded for WR Braylon Edwards, sending the Browns players Jason Trusnik and Chansi Stuckey and two draft picks. So Trader (or should that be Traitor?) Mike was back in action signing older FAs and trading draft picks for older, so-so players.. Edwards was a good player for the Jets, but would have been unnecessary had Tanny drafted wiser/better in earlier drafts.
Prior to the draft, the Jets basically had their full compliment of picks. The conditional pick that they had given GB for Favre wound up being their 3rd round pick, but the conditional pick they got from the Saints for Vilma turned out being a 3rd round pick. Their pick in the first round was #17. Had they not made the trade for Favre, they would have had 8 picks. If they already had their QB in place, they could have traded down 2 spots and garnered an additional pick, giving them 9. Instead they wound up with 3 lousy picks.
Because Tanny had done a poor job of addressing the QB position, Favre was one and done with the Jets, leaving for Minny, Clemens had proven that he wasn't the guy, and there were no quality FA QBs, the Jets were forced to take a QB in this draft. They could have stayed put at #17 and hoped that Sanchez would fall to them or taken Josh Freeman. Had they already had Schaub or Garcia in the fold, THEY could have traded down with Tampa Bay and acquired Tampa Bay's 1st (#19) and 6th (#191) round picks. Instead, Tanny traded their 1st & 2nd round picks, Kenyon Coleman, Abram Elam, and Brett Ratliff to Cleveland for the Browns' #5 pick and drafted Mark Sanchez.
On the beginning of the 2nd day of the draft, the Jets traded their #3, #4 and #7 picks to Detroit for their #3 pick. The Jets took Shonn Greene.
The 5th round pick went for Lito Sheppard.
What they left on the table:
Players they bypassed/missed in trading up for Sanchez: In the 1st round - Jeremy Maclin WR (the Jets were supposedly very high on Maclin and Maclin would have filled a big need), Robert Ayers OLB (many Jets fans wanted Ayers to address their need at OLB since Gholston was definitely looking like a bust), Brandon Pettigrew TE (addressing the 2nd TE spot opposite Keller, would have given them a big target and better blocker than Keller), Percy Harvin WR (dynamic playmaker the offense was lacking), Clay Matthews (was a very highly-rated prospect and had great bloodlines, would have addressed that OLB pass rushing need).
I also remember a number of Jets fans wanting the team to trade down towards the bottom of the first round where they could have acquired a 2nd round pick and taken WR Hakeem Nicks, DT/DE Ziggy Hood, WR Kenny Britt, or S prospect Louis Delmas. Those were the players I saw mentioned most often if the Jets traded down.
Players they bypassed/missed in trading up for Greene: Brandon Tate WR, Mike Wallace WR, Austin Collie WR, Johnny Knox WR, Kevin Huber P, Davon Drew TE, Scott McKillop ILB, Thomas Morstead P, Chris Clemons FS, Michael Hamlin FS
IMO this draft was only marginally better, and in some ways worse than 2008. At least in 2008 Tanny came away with 6 prospects, and this was a stronger deeper draft at more positions. In this draft he could have come away with as many as 9 perhaps with just one trade down, yet traded up TWICE and came away with only 3 players. While all three of those players are still on the team and starters, many, if not most Jets fans think all three are very replaceable players and that both Sanchez and Greene should definitely be upgraded. Looking at the list of players the Jets could have come away from this draft with is sickening. Their draft could have looked like this:
1 - Jeremy Maclin WR or Clay Matthews OLB or Josh Freeman QB
2 - Andy Levitre OG
3a -Mike Wallace WR
3b (from Saints) - Johnny Knox
4 - Davon Drew TE
5 - Kevin Huber P
6 - Matt Slauson
7 - Lydon Murtha OT