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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2. Quinnen Williams, DT, NY Jets - 3rd overall (2019)

One of the few holdovers from the Mike Maccagnan era is also the ex-GM's final (and best) first-round pick as a member of the Jets. Quinnen Williams is an absolute superstar in every sense of the word.

It took a few years for Williams to truly reach his ceiling, but still at just 26 years old, the former Alabama star is one of the best defensive players in the entire NFL.

Williams has made multiple Pro Bowls, been named a first-team All-Pro, and was the recipient of the largest contract in Jets history. It's hard to argue it wasn't deserved, either.

The entire Jets' defense revolves around Williams' production and effectiveness in the middle of his team's defensive line. Few defensive players in the NFL are more important to their team than he is.

1. Sauce Gardner, CB, NY Jets - 4th overall (2022)

What else is there to say about Sauce Gardner at this point? Though he's played just two seasons in the NFL at the time of writing, Gardner is quite literally on a trajectory to be one of the greatest cornerbacks in NFL history.

Gardner became the first cornerback in over 50 years to be named first-team All-Pro in consecutive seasons to begin a career. His 2022 and 2023 seasons are statistically among the best since coverage stats have been reliably tracked.

It's going to take a few more years of sustained dominance for Gardner to threaten Darrelle Revis' throne as the greatest cornerback in Jets history, but he's already been better through his first two seasons than Revis was at that point in his career.

Gardner isn't only the best player on the Jets' roster, nor is he only the best cornerback in the NFL — Gardner is one of the best players at any position in the sport. At just 23 years old, Gardner has a chance to become the greatest individual ever to wear a Jets uniform.