Ranking NY Jets' biggest NFL draft gems of the last decade

Some of the best Jets draft gems in recent years

Michael Carter II
Michael Carter II / Kathryn Riley/GettyImages
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6. Jordan Jenkins, OLB, NY Jets - 3rd round, 83rd overall (2016)

Jordan Jenkins' name is rarely brought up when discussing notable Jets defensive players of the 2010s, but the former Georgia standout quietly put together a very lengthy and productive career in New York.

A third-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, Jenkins appeared in 72 games for the Jets between 2016 and 2020, recording 189 tackles and 22.5 sacks. Quinnen Williams is the only Jets player with more sacks since Jenkins entered the league.

His post-Jets career wasn't exactly memorable, as he'd go on to appear in just 11 games for the Texans in 2021 before finding himself out of football. Still, his five seasons with the Jets were notable.

Any time you can land a regular defensive starter for a half-decade outside of the top 80 picks, that player has to be considered a draft gem. Jenkins deserves to be remembered fondly in Jets history.

5. Brandon Shell, OT, NY Jets - 5th round, 158th overall (2016)

Another mid-to-late-round from that same 2016 draft class who developed into a starter for the Jets is Brandon Shell. The South Carolina product wasn't exactly an All-Pro level offensive tackle, but he did quite well for a fifth-round pick.

Shell started 40 games over four seasons with the Jets, spending the majority of three years as the team's starting right tackle. That's a success story for a player who was taken in the middle of Day 3 of the draft.

Shell would go on to start the majority of three more seasons after leaving the Jets, first with the Seattle Seahawks and later with the Miami Dolphins. He retired from pro football in 2023 with 83 career games under his belt.

Much like Jenkins, Shell was an average starting player during a time in which the Jets didn't find much on-field success, but he deserves recognition for exceeding expectations given where he was drafted.