The NY Jets have been an inconsistent drafting team over the past 15 years. But we take a look at the team’s best draft picks over that span.
Let’s be honest, when NY Jets fans think about the team’s draft history from the past 10 years they just have to sit back and laugh. Sure, the Jets had a handful of their recent draft picks pan out, however, Jet fans are always looking for the worst-case scenario to happen.
We try to forget about players like Calvin Pryor, Quinton Coples, and the entire 2014 draft class, but it’s hard not to think about it especially when Jets fans are reminded of these busts all the time especially during draft season.
This list wasn’t that tough to determine due to the fact that the Jets have had subpar drafts in the last 10-15 years.
However, there were a few players the Jets have drafted in recent memory that had become big contributors to the franchise and lifetime fan favorites.
In honor of draft season, here is a list of the top five best Jets drafts picks from the last 15 years.
Next: 5. Jamal Adams
5. Jamal Adams – 6th overall (2017)
Jamal Adams is only entering into his fourth year in the NFL. But, he makes the list at number five because over the last 15 years, Adams is by far one of their best draft picks.
It’s still early on in his career, but the 24-year-old defensive back is already making a name for himself as one of the game’s elite safeties. When Adams was coming out of LSU, NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein had the following to say about the young safety.
“Natural-born leader of men. Well-built. Will not hesitate for one second as a hitter. Steps downhill looking to punish running backs to set a tone for defense. Toggles between patient and urgent in treks to the ball. Plays off blockers. Approaches target with open arms and wide, balanced base to limit escape routes. Intelligent field general.”
There was very little downside to Adams and his abilities as a football player coming out of college. At the time, former NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock described Adams as “the safest pick in the draft.”
When the Jets got on the clock with the sixth pick, then Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan decided to go with the best player on the board at that time instead of a quarterback.
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It’s still early on in his career and he still has a lot to prove, but Adams has quickly become an All-Pro player winning All-Pro honors last season and he was selected to the Pro Bowl unanimously.
His presence on the field is known even when he doesn’t make the play. Adams is always around the ball like a hawk and is a very versatile safety.
Throughout his first three seasons, Adams has a combined 210 tackles and 12 sacks. He led the NFL in sacks as a safety with six and a half last season.
Next: 4. David Harris
4. David Harris – 47th overall (2007)
Throughout his 10 seasons with the team, David Harris was a leader by example. During his playing days, Harris was one of the most underrated players in the NFL.
Harris never made a Pro Bowl and was never considered to be an elite middle linebacker, but his productivity and consistency on the field were impeccable.
In his final year at Michigan, Harris earned first-team All-Big Ten honors and was a major contributor in Michigan’s run to the Rose Bowl. Coming out of college, Robert Davis of Football’s Future.com described him as the following.
“A player that has come into his own the past two years after being slowed down by a knee injury. He is an excellent run-stuffing middle linebacker. He has good short-area quickness, and quickly reacts to a run play and fills the gap. He’s not afraid to take on a lineman and will deliver a hit once he gets to the ball carrier.”
Scouts were concerned that Harris was a one-dimensional linebacker and lacked in coverage skills. Harris also had a serious knee injury while in college that also made him drop in the draft.
Harris ended his 10-year run with the Jets with 1,088 combined tackles and was the leader of that Jets defense during the AFC Championship years. David Harris most likely won’t be enshrined in Canton, but he will one day be enshrined in the Jets’ Ring of Honor.
Next: 3. D'Brickashaw Ferguson
3. D’Brickashaw Ferguson – 4th overall (2006)
A three-time Pro Bowler and at one point one of the best left tackles in football, D’Brickashaw Ferguson comes in at No. 3 on the list.
In the first year of the Eric Mangini and Mike Tannenbaum era, Ferguson made an instant impact after being drafted in 2006 out of the University of Virginia.
“There has not been a tackle in recent memory with as much natural athleticism as Ferguson. He just glides around the field, easily mirroring opponents moves. He sets up quickly and has excellent lateral agility. He can get out and block on the move as well. There isn’t a better pass blocker in the draft. Ferguson also shows the ability to seal off and create running lanes for his backs.”
Four months after the 2015 season, Ferguson decided to end his 10-year career at the age of 32. D’Brickashaw Ferguson was ranked as the top offensive tackle in the 2006 NFL Draft.
Ferguson was a huge part of the Jets teams that went to the AFC Championship in 2009 and 2010. This pick will go down as one of the most underrated draft picks the team has ever made.
Next: 2. Nick Mangold
2. Nick Mangold – 29th overall (2006)
Later in that same draft, the Jets had another pick in the first round and with that pick they selected a center out of Ohio State by the name of Nick Mangold. Mangold quickly became the best center in football and a fan favorite.
Mangold didn’t have as much hype around him coming out of the draft as Ferguson did, but he was projected to go in the earlier rounds. Robert Davis of Football’s Future.com had the following to say about him.
“There aren’t too many centers that can move like Mangold. He has very good athleticism, can get out and pull, and blocks well on the move. He is a technician that rarely gets himself out of position. He gets out of his stance quickly and sets up immediately. He’s tough and will not back down from anyone. His athletic skills give him the ability to play guard as well.”
His biggest downside coming out of college was that he lacked size for an NFL center but had the potential to gain weight due to his massive frame. Mangold went on to play in seven Pro Bowls and earned first-team All-Pro honors two times in a row in 2009 and 2010.
Hopefully one day Mangold won’t just be enshrined in the Jets’ Ring of Honor but in Canton as a Pro Football Hall of Famer.
In six out of his 11 seasons, the Jets were ranked in the top 10 in rushing yards.
Next: 1. Darrelle Revis
1. Darrelle Revis – 14th overall (2007)
In 2007, the Jets swapped first-round picks with the Carolina Panthers by moving up 11 spots to draft a 21-year-old cornerback from the University of Pittsburgh. That 21-year-old kid from Aliquippa, PA would become one of the greatest shutdown corners to ever play the game.
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Darrelle Revis was a part of a draft class that included future stars like Adrian Peterson, Patrick Willis, and Calvin Johnson. Revis would start at cornerback right away for the Jets and by his third season, he was considered the best cornerback in football.
He shut down the game’s elite receivers every Sunday. In 2010, Revis held Calvin Johnson to one catch for 13 yards — that was just one of many wide receivers in the NFL to visit Revis Island.
He earned the nickname Revis Island because he was on an island of his own. No matter where he lined up, quarterbacks knew not to throw it in that direction because Revis had that entire side of the field locked down.
Darrelle Revis will hopefully become a first-ballot Hall of Famer someday in the near future and will go down as not just the best Jets draft pick in the last 15 years but one of there greatest draft picks in franchise history.