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New York Jets GM’s Inaugural NFL Drafts: A Look Back

By Alan Schechter
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Feb 21, 2013; Indianapolis, IN, USA; New York Jets general manager John Idzik speaks at a press conference during the 2013 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Saturday night, Jet Pressers. I hope you are all enjoying your Saturday night, whatever it is you might be doing. Thanks for checking in.

Today, we are approximately six weeks away from John Idzik’s first draft as general manager of the New York Jets. With that, I thought it would be interesting to look back at some of the Jets most recent general managers, and look back at how their first drafts turned out. Some were good, some were a mix. Let’s take a look. First, we are going to go back to 1989, and see how the late Dick Steinberg did in his first try with the team:

This obviously wasn’t the best first draft ever, but, Dennis Byrd would have been a high mark had it not been for the tragic accident that unfortunate day at the Meadowlands.

Bill Parcells led the Jets into his first draft in 1997.  How did he do?

January 8, 2012; Denver, CO, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Farrior (51) during the second quarter of the 2011 AFC wild card playoff game against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Jason Ferguson actually turned into a very nice nose tackle if you remember.  He followed Bill to Dallas and performed well for him too.  Leon Johnson did some nice things, and Farrior is a good player, although he didn’t stay with us quite long enough.

We will look at more recent drafts on the next page.

Terry Bradway took over for Bill Parcells as general manager in 2001. People have a lot of mixed feelings about Bradway, so let’s see how he did with his first draft:

December 30, 2012; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins wide receiver Santana Moss (89) smiles on the bench against the Dallas Cowboys at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

This actually wasn’t the worst class ever either.  Kareem McKenzie has been in the league for quite a while, although not in the Green and White.  Santana Moss is a very talented wide receiver, and LaMont Jordan had the goods, just not a chance to play here behind Curtis Martin.

And finally, our good buddy Mike Tannenbaum took over the draft room in 2006.  For all of his faults, he wasn’t all bad.  Look at his first draft:

Nov 22, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets center Nick Mangold (74) gets set to snap the ball to quarterback Mark Sanchez (6) during the first half of their game against the New England Patriots on Thanksgiving at Met Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

See?  Aside from Kellen Clemens, this was a particularly good draft class, and one we have to give our new GM at the time, Mike Tannenbaum, credit for. So like we said, a mixed bag of drafts from the recent first year general managers.  Some were excellent, some were middle of the road.  You never know, as Mike’s class was actually better than the class chosen by Bill Parcells. We will get to meet John Idzik’s group soon enough.

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