He may not have been Darrelle Revis, but James Hasty was quite the effective cornerback in his own right from 1988-2001, but leaving the Jets after the 1994 season.
My list of Jets top five players in my lifetime at each position. This is intentionally not a statistic driven list, or won-lost list, but rather how I rate the players from my own perspective. Some players may not be my lifetime, but must be included. Starting I’m going to go with defensive backs.
5. James Hasty. I couldn’t even remember the exact time that Hasty was with the Jets but it feels like until about 92 or so. I remember him laying hits, and defending passes. I can’t remember who played opposite him however. He also get knocked down a peg for leaving early to sign with the Kansas City Chiefs.
4. Aaron Glenn. I remember him playing on all the crappy teams in the early 90’s. He was drafted I think from Texas A&M, but could be wrong. Even though he was a short guy, he blanketed receivers like glue. Unfortunately, QB’s usually just threw to whoever was on the opposite side of the field.
3. Marcus Coleman. He was a 4th round pick and was switched between safety and corner before settling in at cornerback. While initially, I could say that Aaron Glenn was better than him, I think Coleman made more plays, and started that trend of taller corners covering taller receivers. He was pretty solid in the Bill Parcells era.
2. Antonio Cromartie. Cromartie is on my list of top 5 because I can’t think of any better Jets defensive backs than him since circa 1985. He consistently has played man coverage and done a great job. I think in the last 3 years combined he probably hasn’t given up 10 touchdowns. Could be wrong and I’m not going to look it up, but that’s the way it seems. I could also be wrong about this, but I think he has more natural talent, athleticism, and ability to keep his game at a high level of play, even as the #1 player on this list starts to decline in production.
1. Darelle Revis. Of course there never was any doubt about this one. He has played as close to perfect as any player can expect game after game of his career. I would expect him to finish his career in a Ronde Barberesque 15+ seasons in a cover two system that will allow him an extended playing career.
There are many that I’ve left out. Ty Law who briefly was a Jet, and several safeties, this includes the tackle machine Victor Green, or the twilight years Ronnie Lott, or some of the 60’s and 70’s Jets. But as I said, these are the players that are memorable to me in my lifetime.