The NY Jets have selected second overall twice before in franchise history.
Thankfully, the 2020 season has come to an end, and the NY Jets have limped to a pitiful 2-14 finish. Following the firing of head coach Adam Gase, the Jets are now an appealing team for potential coaching candidates.
The Jets will likely have over $100 million to work with in a favorable free agency class. They have a general manager in Joe Douglas whose first draft was littered with young talent at value picks.
But most importantly, the Jets will have the second selection in the 2021 NFL Draft.
There is little debate over who the first pick will be used on, as Trevor Lawrence has been named one of the best prospects coming out of college, and has earned comparisons to Andrew Luck.
With the second pick, there are a few options that the Jets could pursue. Sam Darnold, partially to no fault of his own, has made it clear that he is not the answer for New York. The Jets will likely take a new signal-caller with their high pick.
This is just the third time in franchise history that the team has landed the second pick. Unfortunately, a quick look at the numbers proves that history is not necessarily on our side. Then again, with the Jets, when is it ever?
The first time the Jets earned the (dis)honor of selecting second overall, the team selected wide receiver, Lam Jones, out of the University of Texas in the 1980 NFL Draft.
New York sported 15 picks, the most out of any team that year, and netted just one Pro Bowler.
Lam Jones was almost certainly drafted for his athletic ability, as he won a gold medal in the 1976 Olympics in the 4×100 relay. However, it seemed speed made him a one-trick pony in the NFL.
While Jones routinely beat his defenders because of his speed, the problem rested with his inability to catch the ball when it got to him. He lasted with the team until 1986.
Just to add salt to the wound, the next receiver drafted was Art Monk, a Hall of Famer for the Washington Football Team.
The NY Jets would select second overall just a decade later
The Jets wouldn’t need to wait an extremely long time for their second swing at the second overall pick. In the 1990 NFL Draft, the Jets selected running back Blair Thomas out of Penn State.
Same story and dance, Thomas didn’t pan out for the Jets either. Playing five years in the league, Thomas never eclipsed 1,000 yards and had just seven career rushing touchdowns.
Similar to a decade earlier, the Jets had a plethora of selections. 12 picks in this draft resulted in just one Pro Bowler yet again. Following a familiar pattern, the next running back taken was Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith.
The Jets, though with a limited reference, haven’t had a ton of luck with the second pick. However, if this draft is anything like the 2020 class, then there is little reason to believe history will repeat itself.
Now more than 10 years removed from a playoff appearance, it may be an understatement that this upcoming draft is one of the most important in recent history.
The fans want this team out of the basement. They want to win now.