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

Sam Darnold is the perfect example of how quarterback development is a nuanced discussion. While Darnold ultimately failed in New York, much like his successor, his track record is a little better.

Darnold was bad with the Jets, that much shouldn't be disputed. The 2018 third-overall pick started three seasons with the Jets, throwing 45 touchdowns and 39 interceptions while completing under 60 percent of his passes.

Of course, the Jets did Darnold no favors, surrounding him with a putrid supporting cast that featured the likes of Adam Gase, Frank Gore, a shoddy offensive line, and an underwhelming defense.

Darnold has found a career as an NFL backup in his post-Jets stint, and he had more promising moments than Wilson (and McDonald to this point), but he's ultimately another failure in a long line of Jets quarterback busts.

7. Mekhi Becton, OT, NY Jets - 11th overall (2020)

The Jets believed they had landed a franchise cornerstone and offensive building block when they used the 11th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft on Louisville offensive tackle Mekhi Becton.

The early results were promising. Becton started 13 games as a rookie, establishing himself as one of the best young offensive linemen in the NFL. The future was bright, but that was before injuries derailed his career.

Becton played just one game over the following two seasons as a result of two separate knee injuries. By the time he returned in 2023, Becton was a shell of his former self. His Jets tenure will forever be a story of what could've been.