The 2022 NFL Draft begins tomorrow night as you probably know.
I am sure you have your own opinions on the prospects. I have my own. Of course if you have followed the Draft for any extended period of time, you have made your share of mistakes. In fact I think there are only two types of Draft analysts. There are those who admit they have made a lot of mistakes and those who are lying.
With so much intensity directed at what the Jets will do, I think it’s a fitting time to recall some of my biggest Draft blunders. These cold takes are among by biggest misses.
Most recent cold take: I couldn’t believe it when Denzel Mims fell to the Jets in the second round two years ago. He seemed like the total package. He was big and had excellent athletic testing numbers. Not only did he fall to the bottom of the second round, the Jets were even able to land him after trading down.
Looking back it seems like the rest of the league knew something we didn’t. The start of Mims’ career was delayed my multiple hamstring injuries suffered before the beginning of his rookie year. These injuries sidelined him the first six games of his career. After a promising-ish 9 games at the end of his rookie season where he posted 23 catches for 357 yards, expectations were big for year two.
To call that season a nightmare would probably be an understatement. Mims quickly fell behind the likes of Keelan Cole on the depth chart, and the selection of Elijah Moore pushed him even further down. By the end of a disaster 8 catch, 133 yard season, Mims was being benched for practice squad level players and couldn’t even seem to get lined up correctly.
While Mims remains on the roster and theoretically has time to turn it around, he is quickly running out of chances. Things seem bleak, and I am ready to admit defeat.
Most significant cold take: Heading into the 2018 NFL Draft I didn’t think the Jets would ever have a chance to land Sam Darnold. Darnold seemed to me like he had the potential to be the next great quarterback in the league.
In his first two seasons he was near the bottom of the league statistically, but there were flashes of greatness. It was also tempting to blame the poor infrastructure he was situated in for his inconsistency. The Jets did him no favors surrounding him with one of the worst supporting casts and anchoring him with offensive coaches such as Adam Gase, Dowell Loggains, and Jeremy Bates.
Still his third season was such a disaster that it was difficult to blame anybody else, and Darnold’s subsequent struggles in Carolina showed he was probably the biggest source of his own demise.
The quarterback is always the last person to get blamed for his own struggles, but he is frequently the most responsible.
Biggest cold take: Looking back I still can’t explain why I loved Jace Amaro as much as I did.
I was convinced he was going to be the top tight end in the NFL. I thought the Jets got a high first round prospect in the second round in 2014. Instead they got a Mims-esque sorta promising rookie season. After that Amaro was done. Like Mims, he also fell out of favor with a new coaching staff in year two, which turned into a lost season. Amaro’s was due to injury. He didn’t even make the team in year three despite the Jets having the thinnest tight end group in the league.
I guess sometimes you just want to believe in a player so badly that you ignore the red flags. I didn’t care that he played in a pass happy offense in a conference that played no defense. I focused on his prolific college production. I ignored his mediocre athletic testing. He produced where it mattered.
Cold take that was obvious the quickest: Back in 2010 when the Jets drafted Vladimir Ducasse in the first round I was very excited. That excitement lasted until the first preseason game against the Giants. I remember after like three plays it was obvious that Ducasse was lost. You could have hopes a player will figure it out after a year under his belt, but it was clear that the Jets weren’t going to get production from the rookie. The team had just cut Alan Faneca so there was an opportunity to start, but he was badly beaten out by Matt Slauson.
In one of the more puzzling moves of Rex Ryan’s career, the head coach stuck Ducasse with the first team offense for a season in a preseason game against Washington seemingly because he was irritated by suggestions from the media earlier in the week that the left guard competition was over. Ducasse whiffed on a block and got Mark Sanchez drilled, potentially imperiling the season.
A second round pick, Ducasse only started four games in his career with the Jets in 2013 before being benched for rookie third round pick Brian Winters.
Those are my cold takes. Tell me yours below.