It’s April 18th, meaning there are only seven 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 regular season game played
Yesterday, I continued the rankings at #9 with Laveranues Coles. Let’s move up to #8!
#8 - BRYAN THOMAS
141.5 points: 63 approximate value (7th among all Jets draft picks since 2000), 157 regular season games played (4th)
- Born in Birmingham, Alabama and attended high school in Adamsville, Alabama
- Selected 22nd overall by the Jets in the first round of the 2002 Draft (Alabama - Birmingham)
- Played entire career with Jets from 2002-12
- Career Jets regular season stats: 442 tackles, 67 tackles for loss, 40 quarterback hits, 33.5 sacks, 11 passes defended, 6 forced fumbles, 6 fumbles recovered
- Career Jets playoff stats: 11 games, 34 tackles, 8 tackles for loss, 4 quarterback hits, 2 passes defended, 1.5 sacks, one forced fumble, one interception
- Thomas appeared in eleven playoff games for the Jets, the second-most appearances in franchise history behind only Shaun Ellis (12). The Jets were victorious in six of Thomas’ playoff appearances, tying him with Ellis for the most playoff wins enjoyed by an individual in Jets history.
- Including the playoffs, Thomas appeared in 168 games as a member of the Jets, ninth most in team history. He is ranked seventh in most games played for the Jets without ever playing for another franchise, and third among defensive players behind only Mo Lewis (204 games) and Kyle Clifton (208 games). The 82 total victories that Thomas participated in ties him with Clifton for third among defensive players behind Lewis and Ellis (94 each).
- Thomas sits near the top of a few franchise regular season leaderboards on the defensive side. He’s ranked ninth in team history in sacks (33.5), tied for ninth in fumble recoveries (6), tenth in total tackles (442), and tied for twelfth in forced fumbles (6).
- Since tackles for loss were first tracked in 1999, Thomas ranks third in the category among Jets defensive players over that span, tallying 67 in his regular season career. Only Muhammad Wilkerson (71) and Shaun Ellis (80) have him beat.
- Thomas never recorded an interception in his regular season career. However, in his ninth pro season, he did notch his first and only NFL interception off of Ben Roethlisberger in the second quarter of the 2010 AFC Championship Game. At 31 years and 230 days old when he snagged that pick, he became the oldest player in Jets history to grab his first career interception.