The Jet Press
All-Time Lists

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, Mo Lewis / Lou Capozzola-USA TODAY Sports

6. Freeman McNeil, RB, NY Jets (3rd overall - 1981)

Expectations are high for a player when they're drafted third overall, and Freeman McNeil did his best to surpass any and all expectations placed before him.

McNeil spent his entire 12-year career with the Jets where he rightfully became known as one of the best running backs of his era. He finished his career with a whopping 8,074 yards which ranks second all-time in Jets history behind just Curtis Martin.

The former UCLA star became the first Jets player to lead the league in rushing when he did so in 1982, and to this day, he's one of only a handful of players to average 4.0 yards per carry in every season of his career.

McNeil had lofty expectations to live up to, but it's safe to say that he did just that. He's one of the greatest Jets of all-time.

5. Mo Lewis, LB, NY Jets (63rd overall - 1991)

To some, Mo Lewis will always be remembered as the man who kickstarted the career of Tom Brady and set forth a multi-decade-long reign of terror that is still tormenting the NFL at the time of writing.

But to minimize his career to the byproduct of one unfortunate tackle is silly. Mo Lewis was a damn good player for the Jets and arguably the best linebacker in franchise history.

A third-round pick in the 1991 NFL Draft, Lewis spent 13 seasons with the Jets earning three Pro Bowl nods and being named first-team All-Pro in 1998.

Lewis ranks second all-time in Jets history and 25th in NFL history with 1,232 career tackles. Only three players have appeared in more games for the Jets. Given that he was a third-round pick, it's impossible to leave Lewis off this list.

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