Looking at Jets first round picks of the last decade is not exactly awe-inspiring, but things get ugly once we move into the second round. Let’s try and rank Jets second round picks in the last decade.
- David Harris, 2007 (Last Year: 1)
Harris is the only true success story at this point for recent Jets second round picks. When you get a ten year player in round two it is pretty good. At his best, Harris has been a Pro Bowl level player. At his worst, he has been a functional starter. He has fluctuated between being underappreciated and overrated at various points of his career. At the start of his career, he was a high level contributor who flew under the radar. When people finally started catching on, he hit something of a midcareer slump. When people picked up on that, he started playing well enough to be underappreciated again. There should be more picks like this.
2. Christian Hackenberg, 2016 (Last Year: NR)
Hackenberg rates this high because while there is no record of success, there is also no record of failure. That is more than you could say for any of these other second round picks. There also is room to grow. He had his reshirt year in 2016. Now he should be an option to start at quarterback in 2017. We will find out more about Hackenberg in the weeks and months ahead.
3. Devin Smith, 2015 (Last Year: 4)
Smith rates this high because of the room to grow clause. It is difficult to rate Smith. He didn’t look like an NFL level player as a rookie in almost any aspect of his game. That was to be expected, though. The Jets took him knowing he’d need to be coached up. It’s tough to blame him for suffering a couple of serious injuries, which have slowed any potential progress. Sometimes the NFL isn’t fair, though. As the old saying goes, the best ability is availability. Smith’s inability to get onto the field has both robbed him of reps he could have used to develop and allowed Robby Anderson and perhaps other youngsters pass him on the receiver of the future hierarchy. Smith needs a good training camp and preseason. Otherwise he risks being the third Jets second round pick in four years to be cut in his third training camp.
4. Geno Smith, 2013 (Last Year: 3)
It made sense at the time. The Jets needed a quarterback in the worst way. Smith needed to stop his surprising Draft fall in the worst way. The value seemed good. The arrangement just didn’t work out. Toxic might be the best way to describe it. The Jets didn’t put Smith in a good position to succeed. Smith showed little growth as a player. There were also a number of moments that made you wonder what was going through his head. There was also a lot of bad luck and bad timing. In the end, everybody would have been better off had some other team drafted Geno.
5. Jace Amaro, 2014 (Last Year: 2)
Amaro had a solid rookie season. Hopes were high after that. An injury cost him his second season. He then proceeded to play his way off the roster with an ugly preseason. Amaro was never a good blocker, but he seemed to lose the ability to catch. What more can you say about Amaro than that he couldn’t even make the roster of a team with no tight ends?
6. Stephen Hill, 2012 (Last Year: 6)
Whenever you are tempted to put too much stock into the Combine, think about Hill. He ran a blazing 40 yard dash time and had top size. The type of speed Hill had didn’t help him play football well, however. Speed on the football field isn’t about running 40 yards in a straight line in shorts. Hill never picked up on the nuances of the game. And being big doesn’t help you if you don’t know how to use that size to impose your will. Unlike Amaro, whose rookie year at least provided some hope, Hill’s play left little room for optimism. Like Amaro, he failed to make a roster even though he had little quality competition in camp.
7. Vladimir Ducasse, 2010 (Last Year: 7)
What can you say about Ducasse? He started four games in four years. He was so bad that he was benched for a rookie, Brian Winters, who clearly was not ready to be inserted into the lineup. That is lousy bang for your buck.