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
The draft is just under two weeks away, ladies and gentlemen. You know the scenario by now, the Jets begin that Thursday night with the 9th pick overall. John Idzik, Rex Ryan and company have a lot of work to do, in order to bring the Jets back to a playoff level team. The draft is going to be their “lifeline”, so this is the first of many life lines to come.
You can get an idea of where you are going, when you know where you have been, so with that, let’s get to the final five choices at #9 since the year 2000:
Dec 9, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants outside linebacker Keith Rivers (55) works against New Orleans Saints tackle Zach Strief (64) during the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim O
Keith Rivers was chosen by the Bengals with 9th pick overall in the 2008 draft. Most recently, Rivers has been a New York Giants’ linebacker, but he spent his first 3 years, which were more productive, in Cincinatti. Another non-superstar, but a nice player.
Continue the slide show by moving to the next page.
In 2009, the choice was B.J. Raji and he was drafted by the Packers that season. It’s not often easy to highlight the work of a nose tackle, because often they are clogging up offensive linemen in the middle of the line, and don’t hit the boxscore. But, Raji is the perfect size for the position at 6’2″ 337 pounds. He is always around the football when he plays as well. Take a look at his stats:
CJ Spiller has taken the Buffalo running game by storm over the last couple of seasons.
The ninth pick of the 2010 NFL draft was C.J. Spiller, running back chosen by the Buffalo Bills. He hasn’t been on a consistent offense yet, the Bills have always been trying to find their way, sort of like the Jets. Despite that, look at the numbers that Spiller has put up.
He’s not the first name you think of necessarily, but to average 5.4 yards per carry for bad teams like CJ Spiller has been on is nothing to be ashamed of.
December 17, 2011; Tampa, FL, USA; Dallas Cowboys tackle Tyron Smith (77) during the second half against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. Dallas Cowboys defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31-15. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
The Cowboys chose a name that was not so recognizable with the 9th pick of the 2011 NFL draft. That year, the Cowboys took Tyron Smith, tackle out of USC. He clearly has been a successful pick, as he has started every game except for one since he has been a part of the NFL.
Dec 23, 2012; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers middle linebacker Luke Kuechly (59) stands on the field during a timeout in the fourth quarter against the Oakland Raiders at Bank of America Stadium. Panthers defeated the Raiders 17-6. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports
And finally, Luke Kuechly was chosen with the 9th pick of last year’s draft. What did he do? Oh, not much, other than recording 164 tackles. He followed that up with winning the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year award. Another home run out of the 9th pick.
The bottom line is that this position in the draft has a history of being a success. Not one of those picks over the last three days that we have mentioned were un-productive.
The Jets could add an important cog here come April 25th, if history tells us anything.