New York Jets: Top Five First Round Draft Picks of the 2000’s


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

Calvin Pryor

(Louisville) shakes hands with Roger Goodell after being selected as the number eighteen overall pick in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft to the New York Jets at Radio City Music Hall. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

We are all familiar with our most recent first round pick, Calvin Pryor. He had his ups and downs in his first year, and it is obviously a bit early to know whether or not he belongs on the upcoming list.

Over the years, the Jets have had their fair share of busts in the opening round of the draft. Vernon Gholston and Dwayne Robertson come to mind without even thinking too hard.

However, the Jets have had their share of great successes in the first round as well, and they have had quite a few since the turn of the century. This was actually a tough list to bring together, believe it or not. But, here is my take on the top five Jets first round draft picks of the 2000’s.

Next: Number Five

SHAUN ELLIS: The number five choice represented the Jets for the entire opening decade of the 2000’s, and was a fan favorite as well. Shaun Ellis was the first of four 1st round choices by the Jets in the year 2000, with the 12th overall pick. In 2001, Ellis became a regular, and hardly missed a game at defensive end for the Jets until he wasn’t resigned after the 2010 season. Overall, Ellis started 156 of 170 games in a Jets uniform.

His best years were from 2003-2004, when Ellis posted 23.5 sacks over the two years. Ellis really shined in the 2010 playoffs, when the Jets took on the New England Patriots. In that game, Ellis posted two sacks and five tackles, helping the Jets take out their arch rivals and going to Pittsburgh for the AFC title game. He was selected to the Pro Bowl twice, in 2003 and 2009.

A quality player for a lot of years for the Jets, Shaun Ellis takes the spot at number five.

Next: Number Four

Dec 29, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals linebacker

John Abraham

(55) against the San Francisco 49ers at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

JOHN ABRAHAM: Our number four selection was the very next choice by the Jets in the 2000 draft. In 2000, Abraham made an immediate impact, posting 4.5 sacks in just six games. He posted 23 sacks over the next two seasons, and 53.3 sacks in six years with the New York Jets.

Abraham was selected to the Pro Bowl three times during his Jets career, in 2001, 2002, and 2004. He was also first team All-Pro in 2001, taking the league by storm. His 53.5 sacks ranks him third on the Jets All-Time sack list, and very deserving of the number four spot.

Next: Number Three

Dec 28, 2014; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; New York Jets defensive end

Muhammad Wilkerson

(96) laughs on the sideline during the second half against the Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

MUHAMMAD WILKERSON: I think our number three draft pick is a face that every Jets fan knows, and every Jets fan loves. Wilkerson was drafted by the Jets with the 30th overall choice in the 2011 draft. Since then, we have all watched his rapid rise to the top of the sport at his position. Some even call Wilkerson the best defensive end not named J.J. Watt.

After a modest rookie season, Wilkerson came on in his sophomore campaign, posting five sacks, many in the second half of the season. Since 2002, Wilkerson has posted 16.5 sacks, and become a stout run defender to go along with it. All we are waiting for is his long-term contract extension, because Muhammad Wilkerson needs to be in a Jets uniform for a long, long time.

Big Mo for #3!

Next: Number Two

Dec 14, 2014; Nashville, TN, USA; New York Jets center

Nick Mangold

(74) leaves the field after his team defeated the Tennessee Titans 16-11 during the second half at LP Field. Mandatory Credit:

Jim Brown


NICK MANGOLD: We couldn’t keep the greatest beard on the Jets roster off of this list. Nick Mangold was taken with the 29th overall choice in the 2006 draft, and the rest has gone down in Jets offensive line history. He became the Jets starting center immediately, and you can count on one hand how many games he has missed. Not only has he been durable, but also, the Jets have missed him terribly in the few games he has been out. Nick Mangold is the leader up front, and has been the guy for quite some time.

Mangold, widely regarded as one of, if not the top centers in the game, has been recognized for it. He has been selected to six Pro Bowls since 2008, and was first team All-Pro in 2009 and 2010. Mangold is a mainstay with the New York Jets, and is showing no signs of slowing down.

And is very deserving of the Jets second best 1st round choice of the 2000’s.

Next: Number One

DARRELLE REVIS: Is there really anyone else deserving of this spot? I may not be over the hurt Revis has caused with the holdouts, but there isn’t any doubt that Revis is number one on this list. After his selection in the 2007 draft with the 14th overall pick, he took over the secondary, almost literally. Taking top receivers out of games all by himself, he defended 64 passes over his first three years, adding 14 interceptions in that time frame.

He was selected to the Pro Bowl every year from 2008-2011. He is back to help the Jets return its secondary to previous glory. He is the number one choice.

So what do you think? Did I get it right? Sound off below…

Next: The Top Four Jets OT's of All Time

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