Ranking NY Jets’s last 10 first-round draft picks

The Jets have a mixed history of recent first-round picks

Sauce Gardner, Jermaine Johnson, and Garrett Wilson
Sauce Gardner, Jermaine Johnson, and Garrett Wilson / Anne-Marie Caruso/NorthJersey.com / USA
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10. Zach Wilson, QB, NY Jets - 2nd overall (2021)

This was the easiest placement on this list. Zach Wilson is not only one of the worst draft picks in Jets history, but he might very well go down as one of the biggest busts in the history of the NFL Draft.

The Jets used the second overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft on Wilson with the hope that he could become the team's long-awaited quarterback savior. Instead, he's very likely the worst QB bust the Jets have ever had.

Wilson is statistically one of the worst quarterbacks in modern NFL history and is expected to be shown the door any time now. There's a very good chance the Jets are forced to outright release Wilson, prompting comparisons to similar infamous draft bust, JaMarcus Russell.

The Zach Wilson era will go down as one of the darkest in Jets history, and it will take a near-historic turnaround for the former BYU star to salvage any sort of NFL career moving forward. This was as bad as it gets.

9. Will McDonald, DE, NY Jets - 15th overall (2023)

The Jets' most recent first-round pick is also their most unproven. It's difficult to know where to rank Will McDonald as the former Iowa State star has played just one season with the Jets.

Since we're basing it solely on what he has done already with the team, his ranking has to be low. McDonald played just 19 percent of his team's defensive snaps in 2023 — the fewest snaps by a Jets first-round pick since Vernon Gholston. No first-round pick in McDonald's class played fewer snaps as a rookie.

Of course, part of that is due to a stacked position group that didn't offer many opportunities to the young pass rusher. McDonald was decently efficient in his snaps, but his lack of playing time tanks his ranking.

There's a very good chance that McDonald will climb this ranking in the coming years. However, he first needs to get on the field consistently.