Ranking all 33 foreign-born players in NY Jets history

From Vlad Ducasse to Tim Tebow (yes, really), we ranked EVERY foreign-born player to play for the Jets
NY Jets, Nathan Shepherd
NY Jets, Nathan Shepherd / Sarah Stier/GettyImages
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6. Nathan Shepherd, DT, NY Jets

  • Country of Birth: Canada
  • Jets playing career: 2018-2022

Along with Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, Nathan Shepherd is the most recent player on this list to appear in a game for the Jets. He also played more games with the organization than all but two players on this list. Longevity matters.

Born in Ontario, Shepherd attended Simon Fraser University in Canada before Division-II Fort Hays State in the United States. The Jets selected Shepherd in the third round of the 2018 NFL Draft, and he would go on to be one of the longest-tenured members of the roster.

Shepherd appeared in 73 career games with the Jets from 2018 to 2022, recording six sacks, 104 tackles, and 13 tackles for loss. While he never developed into an every-down player, Shepherd was a fixture of the Jets' defensive line for a half-decade before signing with the Saints this past offseason.

5. David Knight, WR, NY Jets

  • Country of Birth: Italy
  • Jets playing career: 1973-1977

The only Italian-born player in Jets history, David Knight was a fixture in the Jets' wide receiver room in the latter days of the Joe Namath era. It was a dark time for the Jets, but Knight managed to find some success.

The former 11th-round pick actually led the Jets in receiving on multiple occasions, including a productive 1974 season that saw him finish with 40 catches for 579 yards and four touchdowns.

A knee injury limited him in 1975, but he returned and once again led the Jets in receiving in 1976, hauling in 20 catches for 403 yards and two touchdowns (yes, that led the team). Knight finished his Jets career with 73 catches for 1,189 yards and seven touchdowns.

While he was hardly a household name, Knight had a couple of good seasons in an otherwise ugly era of Jets football.

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4. Siupeli Malamala, OL, NY Jets

  • Country of Birth: Tonga
  • Jets playing career: 1992-1999

Siupeli Malamala spent seven years with the Jets from 1992-1999, and while he battled injuries throughout his NFL career, he still spent a couple of seasons as a quality starting offensive lineman.

The Tongan-born Malamala was primarily a right tackle with the Jets, finding his most success as a starter with the team in 1993 and 1994. A knee injury derailed his career the following season, but Malamala still stuck around until the turn of the century.

In total, Malamala spent his entire professional career with the Jets, appearing in 62 games and making 41 starts. Pretty good for a former third-round pick from a small Polynesian nation.