The 20 best draft picks in NY Jets franchise history

NY Jets, Joe Namath
NY Jets, Joe Namath / Malcolm Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
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NY Jets, Joe Namath
NY Jets, Joe Namath / Malcolm Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

2. Joe Klecko, DL, NY Jets (144th overall - 1977)

While many would argue that Mark Gastineau was the better player between him and Joe Klecko, if we're looking at the pure value of a draft pick, the latter has to be ranked higher.

Klecko was drafted all the way in the sixth round of the 1977 NFL Draft, a draft that also included the likes of Marvin Powell, Wesley Walker, and Dan Alexander — all of whom are on this list.

The ever-versatile Klecko led the NFL in sacks in 1981, made four Pro Bowls, is a former Defensive Player of the Year, is a member of the Jets' Ring of Honor, and is one of just five Jets to have their number retired by the organization.

He was the heart and soul of the New York Sack Exchange and the best value pick in that historic 1977 draft class. Klecko is only edged out by one legendary Jet who deserves a list of his own.

1. Joe Namath, QB, NY Jets (1st overall - 1965)

Who else was it going to be? Sure, we could have gone for the better "value" pick with Joe Klecko, but when the best player in franchise history is drafted by said franchise, he has to be considered that team's best overall draft pick.

The Jets used the first overall pick in the 1965 AFL Draft to select the player who would soon after become synonymous with their franchise.

From 1965 to 1976, Namath served as the starting quarterback for the Jets, making five Pro Bowls, earning two AFL Player of the Year honors, and leading the team to their first and so far only Super Bowl victory in 1969.

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Namath is the most influential player in Jets history. He's a Hall of Famer, an NFL icon, and, as a result, the best draft pick in the history of the New York Jets.