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


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

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.