All-Time Lists

Ranking the NY Jets 5 worst first-round draft picks since 2010

NY Jets, Dee Milliner
NY Jets, Dee Milliner / Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
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NY Jets, Sam Darnold
NY Jets, Sam Darnold / Al Pereira/GettyImages

2. Sam Darnold, QB, NY Jets (3rd overall - 2018)

This one should hurt all Jets fans, as many were led to believe that the USC prodigy was going to be the future of the team, but through turbulent roster changes, a terrible coach, and a lack of development, he was yet another disappointing QB for the Jets.

Most fans loved Sam Darnold too, as his calm, cool demeanor worked well in New York. But as much as he tried, he just couldn’t escape Adam Gase and the lack of weapons and protection he was afforded during his three-year tenure with Gang Green.

What makes this even harder to swallow is what the Jets gave up to take Darnold, as they surrendered three picks in the second round to move up just three spots. Given the wealth of talent that was taken after pick No. 6, it’s safe to say that yet again, the Jets blew it.

3. Darron Lee, LB, NY Jets (20th overall - 2016)

The 2016 NFL Draft was star-studded from top to bottom, but unfortunately for the Jets, Mike Maccagnan was in charge of the team.

What that means is that instead of taking a big-time playmaker on either side of the ball, they went for an underwhelming linebacker who never performed at the NFL level.

Darron Lee would go on to play for the Chiefs, winning the Super Bowl in 2019, but he contributed very little. Given how many needs the Jets had at the time, as well as their lack of recent success, it’s even worse looking back on the pick now than it was at the time.

This pick came in a long string of unsuccessful first-round draft selections for the Jets, and while their recent choices (Zach Wilson, Alijah Vera-Tucker, Jamal Adams, Quinnen Williams) are either good players or promising, this is just another reminder to Jets fans to be thankful for Joe Douglas.

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