Mar 10, 2014; New York, NY, USA; American football defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson of the New York Jets sits court side at the game between the New York Knicks and the Philadelphia 76ers at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Evaluating Past Jets' Drafts: The Class of 2011

As the years go by, we like to make our evaluations of draft picks, as they go along. We don’t, and that is including myself, like to wait. Why not? We are the experts, aren’t we? Now, I do it as well, not just saying that the fan base does it.

We all do it. But now, let’s go back and look at things the right way.

They say it takes around three seasons to give a draft class a full evaluation. It gets those players a chance to get their feet wet, carve out a role within the team, let us know how they fit in as teammates on your team. With this thought, let’s go back into the recent history books and look at a draft that fit squarely in this category. The 2011 NFL draft.

Here they are:

1 30 Muhammad Wilkerson DT Temple
3 94 Kenrick Ellis DT Hampton
4 126 Bilal Powell RB Louisville
5 153 Jeremy Kerley WR Texas Christian
7 208 Greg McElroy QB Alabama
7 227 Scotty McKnight WR Colorado

The top four choices are the ones that give the value to this class, for obvious reasons, so these are the guys we are going to focus on, the first being Muhammad Wilkerson.

Wilkerson was a highly touted player coming into the league in 2011. He took a huge step up during the second half of 2012, nearly posting a Pro Bowl year. He followed that up in 2013 with a 10.5 sack performance, and a dominance that the team hasn’t seen in years.


Kenrick Ellis unfortunately entered the NFL with legal troubles that have led to a suspension that has hurt his growth as a lineman. However, 41 tackles in 33 games as a backup is not a bad set of production


Powell has been a quality role player since he entered the league and there is always something to be said about good role players. For his career, Bilal has run the rock to just under four yards per carry, and last season set his career mark with 697 yards. He is looking to be that “change of pace” back again in 2014 behind Johnson and Ivory. We know what we are going to get out of Powell, and there is something to be said for that.


Jeremy Kerley never been a number one guy in this league, but, as a slot player, a good one. His breakout year was 2012, believe it or not, where he posted 827 yards in receptions to along with two touchdowns. The slight gleams of hope we saw from guys like David Nelson kept Kerley’s stats to under 600 yards. But, it bodes well for the future.


So let’s give the group a grade after three seasons in the league.  We know how good Wilkerson has been.   Ellis is looking up.  Powell and Kerley are both consistent secondary weapons.

Grade this class a B-

What do you guys think?  Sound off below………

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Tags: New York Jets NFL Draft

  • Craig Hoffman

    I would say B+. You are giving short shrift to Kerley. He has been a go to guy on 3rd downs despite being the only realistic option for a defense to respect. Powell almost had 1,000 yards from scrimmage last year. Both of those players were drafted outside the top 100. Not to mention it isn’t easy to get an All-Pro player in Wilkerson at pick 30.

    • Alan Schechter

      Good points Craig.

  • Dan in RI

    I’d give it a B–which is the best grade Tannenbaum ever earned. Wilkerson is a star, and until last year’s draft, we hadn’t drafted many of those. Kerley has been very good (he was Smith’s main security blanket last year). Powell has been good–never exactly flashy, but durable and adaptable. And Kenrick Ellis has been a good part of the Jets rotation on the line–not nearly as good as we would have liked, and the Jets would have been in trouble if Harrison hadn’t come out of nowhere–but he has at least contributed nicely. Compared to most of Tanny’s drafts–which were short on both Quality and Quantity–this one was a job well done.

    • Alan Schechter

      All fair points Dan.