Early in this century, the Jets had a big string of hits in the fourth round. They found guys like Jerricho Cotchery, Kerry Rhodes, Leon Washington, and Brad Smith. How have more recent fourth rounders fared? Let’s talk about it below.
- Bilal Powell, 2011 (Last Year: 3)
Powell is a late bloomer who has developed into a nice NFL back. Early in his career, he didn’t do a whole lot to stand out, but over the last two years or so it feels like he has gained some speed and elusiveness. Powell was also a late bloomer in college so maybe it takes him a few years to get used to playing at a higher level. It isn’t clear whether he could handle a full workload for an entire season as the go to guy, but he has become a quality back in this league.
2. Dwight Lowery, 2008 (Last Year: 4)
Lowery was a nice depth piece who moved around the secondary. The Jets traded him on the eve of the 2011 season and went on to struggle at safety all season without him. Nine years after being drafted, Lowery is still in the league.
3. Joe McKnight, 2010 (Last Year: 5)
McKnight has been in the news recently for tragic reasons. He died in December after being shot. A suspect has been charged with murder. During his career, McKnight didn’t quite develop into the offensive weapon the Jets hoped he would become, but he did become a top return man for a stretch.
4. Juston Burris, 2016 (Last Year: NR)
Burris is an unknown commodity. He didn’t see a whole lot of playing time as a rookie. In what little time he did see, there were some positives and some negatives. He currently is slated to be a starter so we will see what happens.
5. Bryce Petty, 2015 (Last Year: 6)
Petty saw his first NFL action last year, and it was not pretty. In many ways, he was actually a downgrade when he took over for Ryan Fitzpatrick. Time is running out on Petty. He is already going to be in his third year by the time the season starts, and he will be 26. Petty needs to show something fast to stay in the NFL.
6. Dakota Dozier, 2014 (Last Year: 7)
The Jets were so banged up on the offensive line late last season that Dozier got a couple of starts. What do the Jets think of Dozier based on what they saw from him both in those games and on the practice field? The fact they gave Brian Winters a lucrative new contract to stay rather than stick with Dozier is one indication.
7. Shaq Evans, 2014 (Last Year: 8)
Let’s just say that when you pick a player fairly early in the fourth round, and he is never good enough to get onto any team’s active 53 man roster, you probably have made a mistake...
8. Jalen Saunders, 2014 (Last Year: 9)
...and yet Evans still wasn’t the worst wide receiver pick the Jets made in the fourth round of the 2014 Draft. Say what you will about Evans. You can at least understand why the Jets thought he could have conceivably been a starting wide receiver. How they talked themselves into taking Saunders is a question many of us will wonder for a long time. Saunders was 5’9” and 165 pounds, which probably limited him to a return role right off the bat. Is a good return man worth a high fourth round pick? We can argue, but Saunders played his way off the team in one-quarter of a rookie season.