It’s April 21st, meaning that not only is it Easter Sunday, but also that there are only four 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 #6 with David Harris. Let’s move up to #5!
#5 - JOHN ABRAHAM
208.5 points: 48 approximate value (11th among all Jets draft picks since 2000), 73 regular season games played (24th), three Pro Bowl appearances, one first-team All-Pro appearance
- Born in Timmonsville, South Carolina and attended high school in Lamar, South Carolina
- Selected 13th overall by the Jets in the first round of the 2000 Draft (South Carolina)
- Played with Jets from 2000-05, Falcons from 2006-12, and Cardinals from 2013-14
- Career Jets regular season stats: 277 tackles, 55 tackles for loss, 53.5 sacks, 19 forced fumbles, 6 passes defended, 5 fumbles recovered
- Career Jets playoff stats: 3 games, 12 tackles, 2.0 sacks, 2 tackles for loss, 1 pass defended
- Abraham is third in Jets history in sacks, with 53.5, and is the team’s all-time leader in sacks per game (0.733). He’d be second in team history in sacks per game behind Mark Gastineau if we only counted the games Gastineau played after sacks were first tracked. Gastineau’s 74.0 sacks in 89 games from 1982-88 would give him a 0.831 per game average, pacing him for 13.3 sacks per 16 games.
- Abraham’s 13.0 sacks in 2001 stands as the fourth-best single-season total in franchise history, behind only Mark Gastineau’s three-year tirade from 1983-85. In addition, Abraham and Gastineau are the only players to record three 10.0+ sack seasons for the Jets.
- Abraham is second in team history in forced fumbles, with 19, and is the franchise leader in forced fumbles per game (0.260). He had two seasons with six forced fumbles, doing it in both 2001 and 2005. Those two campaigns from Abraham are tied for the highest single-season forced fumble totals in Jets history.
- In 2001, Abraham posted 13.0 sacks, six forced fumbles, and three fumble recoveries. He is one of only four players to hit all three of those marks in a single season. The other three players to do it are all Hall-of-Famers — Chris Doleman, Rickey Jackson, and Derrick Thomas. Curiously enough, all three of them did it in 1992.
- On November 4th, 2001, Abraham sacked Saints quarterback Aaron Brooks four times in a 16-9 Jets victory at the Superdome. It remains the most recent four-sack game by a Jet, and is one of only three such performances in franchise history. Mark Gastineau did it against the Baltimore Colts in 1983, and then did it to the Colts again in 1984 after they moved to Indianapolis.
- In 2006, the Falcons traded down early in the draft, as they sent their first round pick (15th overall) to the Broncos for their first round pick (29th overall) and a pair of later selections. The Falcons would then send that 29th selection to the Jets in exchange for Abraham. That pick was used to select Nick Mangold.