As we hit the Draft, let's take a look back at the best and worst Drafts the Jets have had in the last decade.
The best class of the past decade has to be 2006. The Jets had two first round picks that year and used them on D'Brickashaw Ferguson and Nick Mangold. Both turned into excellent starters who are part of the foundation of the offensive line to this day. You might make an argument that the Jets similarly added a pair of top tier players in 2007 with Darrelle Revis and David Harris. It is what happened after the first two picks that puts 2006 ahead, however. While the Jets did very little later in 2007, the 2006 Draft also netted them four valuable role players. They were Eric Smith, Brad Smith, Leon Washington, and Drew Coleman. To be certain these were ancillary parts, but grabbing four ancillary parts on top of two excellent starters is a brilliant job.
There are unfortunately many contenders for worst Draft of the past decade. I think 2009 takes the title, though. The Jets made two major trades up at skill positions, including moving up twelve spots in the first round for Mark Sanchez. When you miss trading into the top five for a franchise quarterback, you set the franchise back. It was compounded by the Jets giving up most of their last day picks to move up for Shonn Greene in the third round. The Jets saw a Michael Turner type runner in Greene. He never really developed into the bellcow the Jets wanted him to be after showing flashes of promise as a rookie. These trades left them with only three picks in the entire Draft, and neither panned out. Even a nice late round selection of Matt Slauson, who developed into a quality starter couldn't save this.
As a bonus, I feel obligated to mention the 2005 Draft as one of the strangest ever. The Jets completely botched the early rounds. They traded out of the first round to get tight end Doug Jolley when they could have just sat pat and taken Heath Miller. Then they used their two second round picks on a kicker, Mike Nugent, and a cornerback who did not work out, Justin Miller. This was looking like a disaster. Then they went on to somewhat redeem themselves by taking two really good starters, Sione Pouha in the third round and Kerry Rhodes in the fourth. And Joel Dreessen, the sixth round pick, has done more in the league than most sixth rounders.