The Jets took a wide receiver ahead of Jerry Rice in the 1985 NFL Draft. They missed out on the best ever. Unlike the time they took Blair Thomas over Emmitt Smith, the team ended up getting a really good player when they bypassed a future legend. It could have been something special had he been able to stay healthy.
Al Toon was a three time All Pro and a three time Pro Bowler for the Jets. He played from 1985 to 1992. His numbers do not really jump off the page. He had a pair of 1,000 yard seasons and two more with at least 900 receiver yards. Unfortunately for both Gang Green and Toon, he suffered nine concussions during this time that prevented him from playing all 16 games more than once and forced a premature retirement at the age of 29.
Toon's son, Nick, has followed in his father's footsteps and plays receiver at dad's alma mater, the University of Wisconsin. He played for the Badgers in January's Rose Bowl.
Can we hold Toon responsible for the Jets passing on Rice? I do not think that is fair. He was a very good player in his own right. He could only control what he could control. He would have rated higher on this list had he avoided injuries.
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