The skill positions. Quarterback, wide receiver, running back, tight end. These are the so called skill positions on offense. These are the guys that make plays. These are the guys who make an offense special. The guys in the trenches are the foundation, the bedrock of the offense, but the skill position players make it hum. For the Jets, these are the guys they can't seem to find in the draft.
Looking for an explanation as to why the Jets never seem to have a dynamic offense? Sure, it's easy to blame the uninterested former head coach, Rex Ryan. Rex undoubtedly made a vital contribution to the cause. But the root of the problem goes way beyond Rex. The problem is rooted in the draft, and goes back decades.
When would you guess the last Pro Bowl tight end was drafted by the Jets? That would be Mickey Shuler, a two time Pro Bowl selection. Shuler was drafted in 1978, before many of you were born.
How about running back? When was the last time the Jets drafted a Pro Bowl running back (other than a fullback or one like Leon Washington who got there on special teams)? That would be three time Pro Bowl selection Freeman McNeil. McNeil was drafted in 1981, again before many of you were born.
Wide receiver? The last wide receiver drafted by the Jets who was selected to the Pro Bowl was Santana Moss, selected in 2001. But Moss made his only Pro Bowl team as a member of the Redskins. The last Jets draft pick to make the Pro Bowl as a Jet was Keyshawn Johnson, drafted 19 years ago in 1996.
Finally there's quarterback. The all important position. The last Pro Bowl quarterback drafted by the Jets who made it as a Jet was drafted way back in 1983. That was Ken O' Brien, a two time selection.
So there you have it. This is why the offense stinks every year. At every offensive skill position, the Jets drafting has been downright, well... offensive. The team has not drafted a single skill position player who made the Pro Bowl as a Jet in the last 19 years. Some of you weren't yet born when the Jets last drafted a player, any player, who made the Pro Bowl as a Jet at an offensive skill position. Rex certainly didn't help matters, but the problem goes well beyond Rex, dating back more than three decades. It is nearly inexplicable. Random chance should have done so much better than this track record, yet here we are. The Jets skill positions have been manned for decades by unskilled labor. To even mount an average attack on the backs of these guys has been a herculean task, one at which the Jets have mostly failed.
Want a better Jets offense? Draft better skill position players. It's that simple.