Jets First Round Rookie Seasons of the Last Five Years Ranked

Rich Schultz

Like every first round pick, Calvin Pryor enters the NFL with big expectations. To get an idea of how well he might produce, let's rank the last five rookie seasons worth of Jets first round picks.

6. Kyle Wilson, 2010

Darrelle Revis' holdout and early season injury gave Wilson an early chance to make a mark as a starter. Like many other rookies at the position, Wilson was picked on repeatedly and struggled. It was such a rough go of things that when Revis returned, Wilson did not slide back into the nickel role many presumed was his. Instead Drew Coleman took that job, and Wilson struggled to get onto the field in any sort of prominent way as the season progressed.

5. Dee Milliner, 2013

This list shows the difficulty cornerbacks have adjusting to the NFL. Milliner was one of the most targeted corners in the league his rookie season. Other teams knew a weak link when they saw it. By almost any statistical measure, Milliner was one of the worst cornerbacks in the game in 2013. Where he beats Wilson is he started to put things together a bit at the end of the year, peaking at the very end. Was it enough to erase the memories of an overall rough rookie year? Probably not, but he at least built a little bit of momentum heading into his second season.

4. Mark Sanchez, 2009

Sanchez's rookie year featured a spectacular start, a solid finish in pressure games, and a middle that was as bad of a stretch as any quarterback has had in recent NFL history. Through three weeks, Sanchez was the toast of the NFL as the Jets started 3-0. Between Weeks 4 and 14, he had four games with at least 3 interceptions and one game with a 60% completion percentage. The Jets eventually realized they had to protect their rookie quarterback and became the most run heavy team in the NFL. Sanchez rallied late filling fans with (unfortunately) false hope with a relatively strong postseason as the Jets pulled two road upsets and led at halftime of the AFC Championship Game before losing to the Colts.

3. Quinton Coples, 2012

Coples' biggest challenge was getting playing time. While he spent large chunks of the season quiet, he finished strong with 3.5 sacks over the final four weeks. Given the fact the Jets moved him to outside linebacker after the year and how poor the play was from the position in 2012, it is something of a mystery why he didn't get more of a look.

2. Muhammad Wilkerson, 2011

An interior line position is a very difficult adjustment for a rookie. Rookies seldom have great technique. The coaching isn't as sophisticated in college, and practice time in much more limited. That makes Wilkerson's rookie season pretty impressive. He didn't show the All Pro form of 2013, but he held his own doing a very difficult job.

1. Sheldon Richardson, 2013

A Rookie of the Year clearly has to take the top spot. Same story with Richardson as Wilkerson except he excelled against the run. While he still has a lot of room to grow as a pass rusher, he is already an above average starter. If he figures out how to use his freakish athleticism to get to the quarterback, the Jets might have a pair of All Pro defensive ends.

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