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Grading The 2010 NFL Draft: It Wasn't Our Best

Now that a significant period of time has passed, we can now look to grade the 2010 draft.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

People dispute how long you need to allow players to develop before evaluating if they were worth their draft selection. Now personally I think five years is long enough. A player is likely to be performing at his level after five years of NFL action. Obviously this is not universally true, some players hit their level within a year, some don't hit their stride until years 5-7. This is not an exact science, but it's an indication.

Luckily (or unluckily) the Jets only had four selections in 2010 under general manager Mike Tannenbaum. The draft in general produced 30 pro bowl players so far including first round talents like Eric Berry, Joe HadenNdamukong Suh, Trent WIlliams and Ryan Matthews. Along with some late round gems like Jimmy Graham in the 3rd round, Alterraun Verner in the 4th round, Kam Chancellor in the 5th round and Antonio Brown in the 6th round.

In every draft there is talent. Your team will usually hit on one. Obviously with only four selections, the chances decrease considerably. We had the fewest selections in that draft with the Philadelphia Eagles having the most with 13 players.

Kyle WIlson - 1st Round - 29th Player Selected Overall

During the pre-draft process Wilson was considered one of the finest cornerbacks in the draft. However it was noted that his lack of height may result in him being a career sub-package player, unfortunately for the Jets, that's exactly what happened. I thought Wilson would be a good player but not an elite one and I certainly expected him to do more than he has done in the league. He came into a great situation, playing behind Revis and Cromartie and having very little expectation for year one.

In year one Wilson played 337 snaps, being targeted 40 times and only surendering 20 receptions, he gave up the single touchdown and had 5 passes defended which is a very impressive number for the amount of snaps he played.A year later Wilson was graded as the worst Jets cornerback having given up 3 touchdowns, 499 yards and an opposing QB completion rate of 66.7%. Again he saw most of his 587 snaps in the sub-package.

In 2012, Kyle Wilson moved outside with Antonio Cromartie as Revis moved on to pastures new. He only allowed two touchdowns but he did give up 558 yards with 181 yards after the catch. In 2013 and 2014, Wilson has largely played inside, however this year he is allowing a near 80% completion percentage when throwing into his coverage, a remarkably high number.

Kyle Wilson isn't a bad player but he's certainly not an elite player and has been beaten a lot this year, especially on 3rd down receptions. If we had drafted him in the 3rd round, we would all be happy. However as a first round prospect, you can't help but be a little disappointed with the output.

Vladimir Ducasse - 2nd Round - 61st Player Selected Overall

It is widely considered that this was a reach of a selection and in some aspects it was. However many draft analysts really rated Ducasse going into the draft. He was a non-BCS player so the level of competition he had faced was worringly bad, but his natural strength was appealing to everyone. He was the highest selected player from the University of Massachusetts since Greg Landry was the 11th overall selection by the Detroit Lions in 1968. It was obvious from the start that the learning curve would be a steep one.

Ducasse only played a handful of snaps in 2010 but graded out very well in run blocking, his pass blocking left a lot to be desired however. He would look confused at points, blocking thin air and not recognising stunts by the defensive line.He was largely protected in his first year however he had showedn enough in the run blocking game to ensure you were interested. 2011 was very similar to 2010 in that Ducasse showed he wasn't ready in the pre-season and only played a selection of snaps.

It wasn't until 2012 that Vladimir got his first prolonged period of action. Playing in 284 snaps he showed an ability to clear some room in the run game, but also showed how much of a liability he was in pass protection. He gave up 2 sacks, the same number as Brandon Moore who played in 1086 snaps and one more than Slauson who played in 834 snaps.

2013 would be Vlads final season in New York, playing in 331 snaps. He would start the season after a positive pre-season performance but be benched for penalty and pass protection issues. Unfortunately for the Jets his replacement was Brian Winters, a man who would go on to conceed 10 sacks on the season. Following the 2013 season, Ducasse became a free agent and signed for the Minnesota Vikings.

As far as a 2nd round selection goes, I would say this was a highly disappointing pick.

Joe McKnight - 4th Round - 112th Player Selected Overall

One of the most highly recruited players in the nation, Joe Mcknight never quite did the job at USC. If you wanted two words to describe his time at USC it would be "fumbles" and "injuries". At one point he was considered a sure Heisman candidate at some point in his career but he never made that jump. He had flases like the 2008 Rose Bowl where he had 206 all purpose yards, but was never quite the player many expected him to be,

The Jets were looking for a little energy, both out of the back-field and on special teams, so they traded away their 6th round selection to move up 12 spots in the 4th round. Unfortuantely it never worked out with the Jets. He vomited during the pre-season admitting he wasn't in the right shape and had 3 fumbles in the pre-season. He was used sparingly as a running back, corner back, returner and pass catched his rookie year and it wasn't until the final game of the season before he broke out with a 158 yard rushing game.

Although McKnight would make some plays on special teams, he remained an afterthought in the run game only seeing 43 rushing attempts for 134 yards. That was the way McKnights career would go for the Jets before being released in the 2013 pre-season cuts. Mcknight sat out the 2013 season completely before making a comeback with the Chiefs in 2014 where he caught two touchdowns against the Dolphins before suffering a season ending injury.

4th round prospects are hit and miss, and Mcknight was defininitely a miss.

John Conner - 5th Round - 139th Player Selected Overall

I don't think many people go into the NFL draft looking at fullbacks and with all the spread formations we see in the NFL today, the role of the fullback seems to be declining by the year. However for the Jets in 2010, we had a power running offense and wanted to secure the player who was voted the best blocking back in the SEC, with him being named an all-american the appeal was there.

We selected him in the 5th round and immedaitely he was able to sit behind one of the finest fullbacks I've ever had the pleasure of watching in Tony Richardson. In 2011 he performed to a very good standard, grading out at a +3.6 in blocking and even chipping in with a touchdown. Unfortunately for Conner he had several problems with injuries in 2012 and was released by the Jets in October.

From there he moved to the Bengals, then to the Giants and now we find him back with the Jets Obviously when you use hindsight and consider he was taken ahead of the likes of Antonio Brown and Greg Hardy it's disappointing but for a 5th round selection I can't be too upset with this selection.


Overall our 2010 draft was extremely poor. I'd give it a D and that's only thanks to the contribution Kyle Wilson has made over the last 5 years. It's possible that come the start of the 2015 season, the Jets will have none of the players they drafted in 2010 on their current roster. This one is a draft we'd all like to do over. It just shows how unlucky you can get. Some of this is down to scouting but some of it is just plain bad luck.