March 19, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA; New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan answers questions from reporters during the annual NFL meetings at the Arizona Biltmore. Mandatory Credit: Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

New York Jets: Top 10 Draft Picks Since the Year 2000: #9

Approximately one month from now, head coach Rex Ryan and new general manager John Idzik will take to the New York spotlight for the first time together, to begin rebuilding this roster. The draft is nearly here, and with John Idzik saying that the draft will be a “lifeline” for the New York Jets, we will begin to see things take shape for 2013 and beyond.

As Idzik, Ryan and company prepare to move forward, we are going to look back. Specifically, we are counting down the Jets 10 best draft picks, starting from the year 2000. We have had our blunders, but we have had our successes as well. So far, we have begun the countdown by talking about David Harris.

Now, I bring you number 9 in our countdown:


Did you all seriously think that I wouldn’t include Mark Sanchez on this list?  That would be far too out of character for me and anyone who reads this site on a regular basis knows this.

But seriously, despite everyone that is fed up with Mark, he deserves to be on this list.  Not for his performance of late, obviously.  He deserves to be on the list for his performance in the first two years.

In 2009-2010, the Jets did win 20 regular season games with Mark Sanchez as the starter.  Yes, they had a great defense and a stellar running game.  I am not so naive that I am going to pretend that he performed like Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers.  What I AM saying is that he still had to make the throws that were needed.  And Mark did that, with gusto.

He made some huge throws in 2010, in some great comeback wins. Take a look:

Despite the fact that they were playing against mid-level opponents, that is not Mark’s fault. He can only play against the teams that are on the field against him. He made the big throws when they had to be made, and you can’t teach that.

Now, take a look at this stat line:

95-157 passing, 1155 passing yards, 9 TDs, 3 INTs, 60.5% completion percentage

That set of statistics above, is Mark Sanchez’s playoff career. That, as well, is something you cannot teach. You cannot teach the ability to step up in big games. And step up he has done, winning 4 games, all on the road, including taking out Tom Brady, Phillip Rivers, and Peyton Manning.

Comparing Mark to other Jets draftees, is he really so bad?

And don’t forget this throw from the 2010 divisional round:

Nobody else on this roster is making THAT throw.

Mark Sanchez’s postseason play cements his spot in the top 10 picks since 2000.

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Tags: 2013 Nfl Draft Mark Sanchez New York Jets

  • matr dontelli iii

    imagine the response if you posted this on a site for yahoos, like yahoo, espn or s.i.? as they say, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. imagine if mornhinweg brings out the best in mark? imagine…

    • TheJetPress

      exactly right sir. I would be the one sitting pretty because I held out the faith. You too it sounds like.

      • matr dontelli iii

        i feally like the way idzik is handling things, sit back, observe, calculate, then move. just like mr. t (not). i understand the no more sanchez sentiment but think idzik’s way is better. i don’t know how rex put him back on the field after the buttfumble, but he’s here, now, he’s been effective in the distant past and they’ve invested quite a bit in him. let him compete and may the best qb win.

  • Dustin Schrank

    Im sorry but they protected the hell out of Mark his first two seasons having him throw the ball only 20xs a game, the defenses where playing 8 in the box and Mark still managed to turn the ball over more than he scored with it, He was never good and never will be. If you cut off Marks arm and replaced it with Rodgers he still would be no Rodgers. Rodgers not only is accurate but he makes good decisions and he would never run into someones butt, they SHOULD be in two different leagues, Mark = CFL Rodgers = NFL. I would like to see what Rodgers would do with the Number 1 defense and running backs like LT. Could you imagine defenses playing Rodgers or Brady 8 in the box???? Sanchez might be competitive in a hot dog eating competition but thats about it. Hes closer to 9th worst pick ever.

    • TheJetPress

      No need to apologize Dustin. Frankly I am surprised that you are the only one to type back to me disagreeing with this one. I knew it wouldn’t be popular.

      I see your side but I still stand by the choice. I think he is better than people give him credit for.