Those of us who rooted for the Jets back then remember how brutal the 2005 season was. Injuries derailed a promising season. Some had the Jets in the Super Bowl. It didn't work out that way. 11 Week 1 starters were out of the lineup hurt by Week 17. The one thing that could have made that season bearable was the team getting a high enough Draft pick to land Reggie Bush, USC's superstar running back. Bush was an athletic freak, drawing legitimate comparisons to Gale Sayers. When the Jets ended up with the fourth pick, many argued the team should sell the ranch, give up whatever it took to land Bush. These calls got even louder the Friday before the Draft when word broke the Texans were passing on Bush in favor of Mario Williams.
The Jets did not make a bold move for Bush. They also passed on the other sexy USC skill player, Matt Leinart, to build the line. D'Brickashaw Ferguson was the selection. Looking back, it was the right move. Bush hasn't been a total bust. He's got a unique skill set. He's a threat to score everytime he touches the football. He's a great decoy and has wideout skills as a pass catcher. He's also a very unrefined back. He tries to turn the corner on every play instead of reading his blocks and taking a 4-5 yard gain. He's never averaged even 4 yards per rush.
Let's think of what Bush would have cost the Jets. No question a player of his hype would have cost the Jets their 2 first rounders and their second rounder. It's also possible it would have cost them their 2007 first rounder. Three first round picks sounds like too much? Remember the grades Bush was getting. Had the Jets made that trade, they might have lost out on Ferguson, Nick Mangold, and Darrelle Revis the next year. The Jets turned those 3 first rounders into those 3 players. Also remember the Jets took Leon Washington, a better back, in the fourth round that season.
What makes a megatrade worth it then? I know football is a team game, and big trades for one player usually backfire. Consider Mark Sanchez, though. Moving up landed the Jets a franchise quarterback. I know they didn't give up a ton, but wouldn't it have been worth it even if they had to?
Maybe that's too easy. Quarterback is the most important position on the field. How about Darrelle Revis, though? The Jets traded up to land him. Wasn't that worth it?
What makes a big trade worth it in football? Is it position? What positions are worth it? Would making the trade for Bush have been more worth it had he turned out more like Washington?