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New York Jets Draft Successes

By Alan Schechter

Through the years, the Jets became the team most associated with failure in the NFL draft. We outlined some of this earlier. But, there have been some great successes in the draft as well. Now we will take a look at some of those, in random order…

Freeman McNeil was taken in the first round of the 1981 NFL draft. He played his entire career with the New York Jets, retiring in 1992. He was the leading rusher in Jets history upon his retirement (eventually passed by Curtis Martin)

Joe Klecko was an absolute steal for the New York Jets, chosen in the 6th round of the 1977 NFL draft. He went on to have a Hall of Fame caliber career, making the Pro Bowl at all 3 positions on the defensive line, and becoming an anchor of the “New York Sack Exchange” in the early 1980s.

Mo Lewis was chosen in the third round of the 1991 draft, and was a stalwart at linebacker for the Jets, starting through his career ending season of 2003. He may, however, be best remembered for a hit that launched a career. During a game against the Patriots, he put a hit on Drew Bledsoe, which took Bledsoe out of the game. Bledsoe was replaced by some guy named Brady, and the rest, unfortunately, is history.

In a very lucrative draft for the New York Jetsin 2000, Laveranues Coles was drafted in the third round. Over two separate stints with the New York Jets, Coles recorded 70 or more receptions in four different seasons, becoming a reliable target to Chad Pennington and Vinny Testaverde.

Dec 11, 2011; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets nose tackle Sione Pouha (91) celebrates a safety during the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Met Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John O

DT Sione Pouha was chosen in the third round of the 2005 NFL draft. He has become an anchor of the Rex Ryan defensive line, now as the nose tackle, and has become a team leader on the defensive side of the ball.

Nov 6, 2011; Orchard Park, NY, USA; New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis (24) comes off the field after beating the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Jets beat the Bills 27-11. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-US PRESSWIRE

And don’t forget this guy from 2007. I’d say he is pretty good.

So, there have been some gems through the years. Hopefully, the Jets can follow this course next week.