For the last few years we have ranked Jets Draft picks of the last decade in each round. We begin again this year. This ranking takes a big hit with D’Brickashaw Ferguson and Nick Mangold falling off the list. Those two are now first rounders from over a decade ago.
As always, there are active players here so this list is subject to change. It is merely a rating of where players are today.
- Darrelle Revis, 2007 (Last Year: 1)
Revis’ two terms with the Jets had their share of drama. His contract disputes were ugly. His first departure was messy. His second stint with the team was wildly unsuccessful. His greatness during that first stint overshadows all of that. There are different types of greatness. Some greatness comes from doing something really well over a long period of time. A different type of greatness comes from reaching spectacular heights in a shorter period of time. Revis’ greatness was more of the latter, but it was incredible watching him at work during that first Jets stint. The league’s rules were supposed to prevent a cornerback from being that dominant, but he found a way. This is Revis’ last appearance on this list. He has played his last game in green and white. For all of the ugliness, I just hope we can take a second to appreciate how great he was at his height.
2. Muhammad Wilkerson, 2011: (Last Year: 3)
Wilkerson certainly did not have the type of season that would normally justify moving up in this ranking, but Nick Mangold is gone. Even with a disappointing 2016 in the rear view mirror, Wilkerson has twice been a second team All Pro and twice had double digit sacks. Time will tell whether the second contract will be worth it, but this was a wildly successful pick.
3. Leonard Williams, 2015 (Last Year: 6)
It might be a bit controversial to put Williams over Sheldon Richardson, but Richardson’s Jets career has been up and down while Williams has done nothing but succeed. He was one of the few bright spots in a brutal 2016, and we still haven’t seen his ceiling yet.
4. Sheldon Richardson, 2013 (Last Year: 5)
If Wilkerson’s 2016 didn’t merit a rise in the rankings, Richardson’s last two years surely did not merit a rise. With Mangold and Ferguson gone, however, somebody had to move up. Sheldon looked like he was on the cusp of being a special player after his first two years in the league. In some ways I think the Jets moving him around might have done him a favor because it has hidden how he hasn’t been the same guy even when he has played his natural position. He also has seemed to be trying these last two years to create headaches for this team with his off field behavior. He has world class talent, but has also been a world class knucklehead at times. Nothing could really surprise me at this point with Richardson. If you told me two years from now that he’ll be back on a perennial Pro Bowl trajectory, I’d believe it. If you told me two years from now that he’ll be out of the league, I’d believe it.
5. Dustin Keller, 2008 (Last Year: 7)
Keller was always solid, but it just never quite all clicked. It felt like he had the ability to be a game-breaking receiving tight end, but he was never more than adequate.
6. Mark Sanchez, 2009 (Last Year: 9)
Last year Sanchez had a starting job with the Super Bowl Champions handed to him on a silver platter, and he lost it. I think that was the point where even the last of the Sanchez holdouts finally admitted the guy just wasn’t that good. Even through his Jets struggles and his mediocre play with the Eagles, some people held onto hope. It is easy to see why. You saw early flashes of something potentially special. You saw some big-time performances in big spots. They just weren’t consistent enough. What was consistent was mediocre to poor play.
7. Calvin Pryor, 2014 (Last Year: 8)
A year ago, it seemed like Pryor was on the verge of turning into a really good player. Then he took a step back in 2016. What changed after a quality 2015? Well his surroundings got much worse. Maybe that’s the story of Pryor. Maybe he can function if everything else is working. Maybe he doesn’t get exposed if he’s the seventh or eighth best player on the defense but can’t carry the load. That isn’t what you want to hear about a first round pick.
8. Darron Lee, 2016 (Last Year: NR)
Lee’s rookie year was a struggle, but he has time to turn things around unlike the players below him on the list. He was also close on so many of the plays that went against him. It’s possible that with a year under his belt that better things are on the way.
9. Quinton Coples (Last Year: 10)
One staple of Draft time is fans getting pumped if their team picks a guy who was rated much higher in mock drafts in the distant pass. “A year ago this guy was rated as number one overall pick material,” is what they say. That’s what they said about Coples. Of course the problem with this thinking is everybody has gotten a year more of information on the player and uses this better knowledge to drop him down the Draft board. In the case of Coples, the knocks that dropped him out of number one overall contention, namely his motor, proved to be prophetic. In many cases, I think teams pick busts because they misjudge the talent level of the player. I’m not sure that’s what happened with Coples. I think he had talent. He just didn’t know how to use it.
10. Kyle Wilson, 2010 (Last Year: 11)
Remember when there was a debate about whether Wilson or Joe Haden was better? Remember how exciting it was when he fell, and the Jets added him to a cornerback group that already had Revis and Cromartie? That was a fun time. Then Wilson started playing in games.
11. Dee Milliner, 2013 (Last Year: 12)
In some ways I think Milliner’s propensity to get injured leads people to overrate his ability. He played so seldom that people had the perception he was a decent player who couldn’t stay on the field. The problem was that in the few instances he actually played, he was routinely shredded. Just think about how bad last year’s group of cornerbacks was for the Jets. Milliner could not even make the team. What does that say? He was one of the biggest busts in Jets history.
12 Vernon Gholston, 2008 (Last Year: 13)
He isn’t just one the biggest busts in Jets history. He is one of the biggest busts in NFL history.