It’s April 15th, meaning there are only ten days to go until the 2019 NFL Draft kicks off in the heart of Nashville, Tennessee.
As we count down the days until the Jets prepare for their fifth draft under Mike Maccagnan, I thought it would be fun to climb up the ladder of the best Jets draft picks of the 21st century.
Each day from today until the fateful morning of the 25th, I’ll name off one of the top eleven most productive Jets selections of the millennium. How did I rank them, you might ask? Good question! I stacked them up according to their scores as calculated by my genius formula — proven to be 100% accurate and 0% arbitrary!
Players earned points for accomplishing any of the following while in a Jets uniform:
- 50 points for an All-Pro appearance
- 25 points for a Pro Bowl appearance
- 1 point for each point of Approximate Value (via Pro Football Reference - a number that aims to calculate a player’s total value)
- 0.5 points for each game played
With that, let’s start off with #11!
JERRICHO COTCHERY, WIDE RECEIVER
94.5 points: 43 approximate value (12th among all Jets draft picks since 2000), 103 games played (10th)
- Born and attended high school in Birmingham, Alabama
- Selected 108th overall by the Jets in the fourth round of the 2004 Draft (NC State)
- Played with Jets from 2004-10, Steelers from 2011-13, and Panthers from 2014-15
- Career Jets regular season stats: 358 catches, 589 targets, 4,514 yards, 18 touchdowns. 19 carries, 79 yards, one touchdown. 54 punt returns for 484 yards (9.0 per return), 23 kick returns for 594 yards (25.8 per return) and one touchdown
- Career Jets playoff stats: 9 games, 30 catches, 45 targets, 440 yards, 2 touchdowns. 5 carries, 16 yards. 8 punt returns for 92 yards (11.5 per return), 10 kick returns for 202 yards (20.2 per return)
- Since he was drafted in 2004, Cotchery is the Jets leader in receiving yards by a huge margin. His 4,954 yards as a Jet over 112 regular season and playoff games is 1,470 yards ahead of the second-ranked Jet since 2004, Lavaeranues Coles, who picked up 3,484. Cotchery also leads the Jets in receptions over that span with 388. Cotchery’s 20 receiving scores ties him with Dustin Keller for second place behind Coles’ 24.
- From 2006-07 (including playoff games), Cotchery racked up 2,191 receiving yards, good enough for 10th in the league over that span. The only wide receivers over that span to beat Cotchery’s marks in both receiving yards and yards per target (8.43) were Larry Fitzgerald, Chad Johnson, and Reggie Wayne.
- Cotchery is one of only seventeen players since 2000 to own averages of both 9.0+ yards per punt return (minimum 50 returns) and 25.0+ yards per kick return (minimum 20 returns)
- Cotchery collected 1,130 receiving yards in 2007. Only one Jet has eclipsed that total since - Brandon Marshall, who posted a team record 1,502 receiving yards in 2015.
- Interestingly enough, Marshall and Cotchery are ranked first and second, respectively, in career regular season receiving yards among players drafted in the fourth round since 2004. Marshall tops the list with 12,351 yards. That gives him a gargantuan cushion over the second-ranked Cotchery, who collected 6,623 career regular season yards. Owen Daniels, Darren Sproles, and Brian Hartline round out the top five. Recent Jets signee Jamison Crowder is already tenth on the list despite playing fewer games than anybody in the top fifteen.
- Cotchery is second on the Jets all-time list in playoff receiving yards. He picked up 440 yards in nine playoff games for the Jets, placing him behind only Wesley Walker, who collected 486 yards in seven games. In addition, Cotchery’s five playoff victories with the Jets is the most by a wide receiver, and is tied with Brandon Moore for third among all players in team history.