Going through recent Jets second round picks wasn’t pretty. Unfortunately, things are not going to get much better looking at the last decade of third rounders.
- Shonn Greene, 2009 (Last Year: 1)
After trading up for Mark Sanchez, the Jets doubled up by trading to the top of the third round to pick Greene. The early returns were very promising. Greene seemed to come into his own during the 2009 postseason run. His injury against the Colts in the AFC Championship Game was a turning point. He never reached those early heights again, though. Greene did post a pair of 1,000 yard seasons for the Jets, but he never developed into the type of explosive back the team hoped he could become. The trade up ultimately seemed like a mistake. And I’m saying this about the number one player on our list. This could get ugly.
2. Demario Davis, 2012 (Last Year: 2)
Davis had the necessary athleticism to be a really good starter in the NFL. He just never put it together. At his best, he was a functional starter. At his worst, he was a liability and a player the opposition tried to isolate in coverage. In his final season with the Jets, he went from an every down linebacker to a guy who barely got onto the field.
3. Brian Winters, 2013 (Last Year: 6)
Every year on this list one guy is coming off a good season, and people say I rated him too low because of that good season. This list isn’t based on only one season, though. It is based on the careers of the players. Winters’ first good season in 2016 raises his spot on the list, but it doesn’t erase the disappointment of his first three years. He is probably another good year away from topping the list, though.
4. Jordan Jenkins, 2016 (Last Year: NR)
Jenkins became a full-time player down the stretch of his rookie season and seemed to hold his own. He doesn’t have a huge ceiling, but he looks like a potential role player for the future. We will know more about him this time next year.
5. Lorenzo Mauldin, 2015 (Last Year: 4)
Mauldin is an example of why it is dangerous to assume a part-time player will be good in a full-time role. The Jets didn’t put a lot on Mauldin’s plate as a rookie. He looked very good doing what little he was asked to do. In year two he was expected to become a starter but had such a poor camp and preseason that he had already lost the job by the time Week 1 rolled around. Can he ever become more than a situational player? We don’t know right now.
6. Kenrick Ellis, 2011 (Last Year: 5)
Ellis fell to the bottom of the third round in the 2011 Draft due to character concerns, but many people at the time felt like he was the most talented nose tackle in the class. It ended up not working out for him. He never grew into more than a functional rotational player, and even that only happened for a brief stretch. Ellis did battle injuries, but it always felt like he underachieved.
7. Dexter McDougle, 2014 (Last Year: 7)
This was yet another in the long line of WTF Jets Draft moments. It felt to me like reaching for a need at the time. There hasn’t been a lot to change that. McDougle has barely been able to get on the field in three seasons. He failed to make the team out of training camp in 2016. Then none of the other 31 teams claimed him. He ended up bouncing between the practice squad and the roster.