New York Jets: NFL Draft Look Back: 2011


May 8, 2014; New York, NY, USA;

Calvin Pryor

(Louisville) stands with his mom Monique Turrell for a photo during the NFL Draft red carpet arrivals at Radio City Music Hall. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

John F. Kennedy once said, “We can’t know where we’re going, until we know where we’ve been.” This holds true when looking at football history. We can look at where the Jets are going, by looking back at past draft classes.

Calvin Pryor was the Jets first round draft pick last season. We know that it takes 3-4 years to give a draft class a true evaluation, so we aren’t going to look at last year. Instead, we are going back and looking at draft classes that have gotten some time to be broken in to the NFL.

The other day, we took a look at the 2012 draft class. Today, we go back the aforementioned four years, to take a look at the draft class from 2011.

As in the previous post, we are going to look at the players that were prominent, and lump the others together at the end, and give the draft a grade.

With that, let’s get right to it.

Next: Muhammad Wilkerson

Nov 24, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Jets defensive end

Muhammad Wilkerson

(96) against the Buffalo Bills at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

We start right at the top. The Jets chose Muhammad Wilkerson with the 30th pick overall in the 2011 draft. The rest has been one big love fest. Who knew that Temple University could produce such a terrific defensive lineman?

As we can see, Wilkerson has become the best defensive end not named J.J. Watt.  With 16.5 sacks over the last two seasons, Muhammad Wilkerson’s rise is rapid, his only direction is up, and the Jets are lucky to have him on the team.  All we are waiting for now is a long-term contract extension.

We don’t need to say any more about Wilkerson, do we?


Next: Kenrick Ellis

Nov 24, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Jets defensive end

Kenrick Ellis

(93) against the Buffalo Bills at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

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Hampton University brought the Jets their next draft pick. Kenrick Ellis was chosen with the second round pick of the 2011 draft, 94th overall. He is a big guy, measuring in at 6’4″, 346 pounds. Ellis was brought in to be the nose tackle, but unfortunately for Ellis, Sione Po’uha and Damon Harrison had other plans, so Ellis has not been able to crack the lineup, other than as a rotational backup.

Ellis posted his first career sack last season, but has never posted more than 18 tackles in one season. He was there as a big body, but hasn’t been much of an impact on the Jets. That probably has a lot to do with why he was allowed to walk across the hallway to the New York Giants.

Next: Bilal Powell

Dec 14, 2014; Nashville, TN, USA; Tennessee Titans linebacker

Avery Williamson

(54) tackles New York Jets running back

Bilal Powell

(29) during the first half at LP Field. Mandatory Credit: Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports

The Jets very next draft choice was a versatile running back. Bilal Powell was chosen in the fourth round of the draft, with the 126th pick. Powell was brought in to compete at the running back spot. While he has never become the “bell-cow”, he is a versatile football player that has helped the Jets in multiple areas.

Bilal Powell performs well when asked to block in the passing game. He consistently puts up receptions out of the backfield, and can run the rock when asked. When needed to start 11 games in 2013, Powell rushed for a healthy 697 yards and a four yards per carry clip. The Jets must be satisfied, as they brought the former fourth round draft pick back as a free agent for the upcoming 2015 season.


Next: Jeremy Kerley

Dec 28, 2014; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; New York Jets wide receiver

Jeremy Kerley

(11) in the first quarter at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

I consider this draft pick a steal. Jeremy Kerley was chosen in the fifth round of the draft, and right away made an impact. At 5’9″, 188 pounds, Kerley isn’t ideally built for the outside, but he is a talented slot receiver. As a rookie, Kerley posted 29 receptions for 314 yards and one touchdown. The next year was Kerley’s best. With very limited resources at the position, the Jets put Kerley on the outside, and he responded by posting 56 receptions for 827 yards and two touchdowns.

The Jets have had inconsistent quarterback play, to say the least. But what they also have received is consistent play from their young wide receiver, Jeremy Kerley.


Next: The Rest

Aug 9, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Jets quarterback

Greg McElroy

(14) throws a pass in the third quarter of a preseason game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Here are the two draft picks that made little to no impact:

McElroy played a couple of games for the Jets, but never made a real impact, other than in the preseason and with locker room quotes. Scotty McKnight made less of an impact.

All in all, the Jets had an excellent draft in 2011.  Four of the six players made an impact, and three of those four made a significant impact.  It wasn’t a huge draft class, but the Jets made the picks count.


Next: The Top Jets Centers of All Time

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