It’s April 17th, meaning there are only eight 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 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 a first team 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
Yesterday, I continued the rankings at #10 with Sione Pouha. Let’s move up to #9!
#9 - LAVERANUES COLES, WIDE RECEIVER
110.5 points: 58 approximate value (8th among all Jets draft picks since 2000), 105 games played (9th)
- Born and attended high school in Jacksonville, Florida
- Selected 78th overall by the Jets in the third round of the 2000 Draft (Florida State)
- Played with Jets from 2000-02, Redskins from 2003-04, Jets from 2005-08, and Bengals in 2009
- Career Jets regular season stats: 459 catches, 767 targets, 5,941 yards (56.6 per game, 12.9 per reception, 7.7 per target), 37 touchdowns. 22 carries for 185 yards. 21 kick returns for 418 yards (19.9 per return)
- Career Jets playoff stats: 4 games, 21 catches, 36 targets, 282 yards (58.5 per game, 11.1 per reception, 6.5 per target), 0 touchdowns. 2 carries for 6 yards
- Coles lives comfortably near the top of the Jets all-time regular season receiving leaderboards. He is placed fourth in receptions (459), fifth in receiving touchdowns (37), and fifth in receiving yards (5,941).
- Coles had six seasons with at least five receiving touchdowns for the Jets, the third most such seasons in franchise history behind only Wesley Walker (9) and Don Maynard (10).
- With 1,264 yards, Coles ranked tenth in the league in receiving in 2002. That total also stands as the fifth-most receiving yards in a single season in Jets history, behind three Don Maynard campaigns and Brandon Marshall’s record-holding 2015 season.
- In addition, Coles’ 89 receptions in that 2002 season ties him with Keyshawn Johnson’s 1999 season for the fourth-highest single-season total in team history. Coles’ 91 catches in 2006 currently sits one spot up the list as the third-highest total.
- Coles’ lone career Pro Bowl appearance came in 2003 while he was a member of the Redskins. Since the turn of the century, he remains one of only two post-first round Jets draft picks (excluding returners) to ever make a Pro Bowl. The other is guard Jonathan Goodwin, a 2002 fifth round selection of the Jets who made his appearance as a member of the Saints in 2009. Excluding two returners (Leon Washington and Justin Miller) and a fullback (Richie Anderson), the Jets have not had a post-first round selection make a Pro Bowl for them since they took Mo Lewis 63rd overall in the third round of the 1991 draft. Lewis made his third and final Pro Bowl as a Jet in 2000. No post-first round Jets draft pick who plays a starting offensive or defensive position has made a Pro Bowl for them since.
- Coles is the last Jet to post 3 receiving touchdowns and 100 receiving yards in a game. He caught eight of eleven targets for 105 yards and three touchdowns in a 56-35 win over the eventual NFC champion Cardinals in September of 2008. Coles scored all three of his touchdowns during the second quarter of that game, in which the Jets scored a franchise record 34 points. Brett Favre threw six touchdown passes that day, the first and only time he would reach that mark in his career.