NEW YORK JETS (2010 record: 11-5, finished 2nd in the AFC East)
5-Year NFL Draft Review: Mike Tannenbaum who was promoted to general manager in 2006 has done a fine job when selecting players with the Jets first round pick. Most of these picks were made before head coach Rex Ryan came aboard in 2009. The Jets had 2 first round picks in 2006 and used them to fortify their offensive line, selecting tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson and center Nick Mangold who both were selected to the 2010 Pro Bowl. They should be the anchors for the offensive line for years to come. Darelle Revis turned out to be perhaps the best corner in the NFL. Dustin Keller gives them a receiving threat at the tight end position and creates mismatches for the offense. Vernon Gholston was released at the end of the season because of not living up to expectations. He was the only first round miss by the front office in the five year span. Kyle Wilson was drafted to play the nickel and dime corner position behind starters Darelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie. He has good man to man skills which is necessary in Rex Ryan's blitz happy defense.
2010-(29th overall) Kyle Wilson- CB- Boise St.: Wilson was drafted to eventually start opposite of Darelle Revis and may get his chance sooner rather than later with Antonio Cromartie set to be a free-agent once the new CBA deal is done. Wilson has the skill set to be an outstanding cover man but has much more to learn considering he was inconsistent at times. He will need to be at his best next year especially if Cromartie does not return to the team.
2009-(5th overall) Mark Sanchez-QB- Southern Cal: This was the first ever pick by Rex Ryan as a head coach. The Jets moved up in the draft to select Sanchez. He has all of the traits to be a star in the NFL just needs to be more consistent and less turnover prone. Once he does that the Jets passing game should evolve into a consistent threat. He really improved from his rookie season. He was the fourth rookie QB to win his first post season start in NFL history and the second to do so on the road.
2008-(6th overall) Vernon Gholston-DE- Ohio State: Gholston is the perfect example of a team drafting a player on potential and workout measurables. I am not a fan of the word potential, that one word has gotten a lot of coaches and general managers fired not only in the NFL but other professional leagues as well. A friend told me many of times if you miss on draft day, especially in the first round, at a position of need it will come back to haunt you for many years. Well, with Gholston turning out to be a bust for the Jets and not even recording one sack in three years, the Jets still today are looking for a player who can consistently pressure the QB. This was hands down the worst pick in the last five years by the front office.
2008-(30th overall) Dustin Keller-TE- Purdue: He has the speed, hands, agility, and quicknesss to excel as a receiving threat. He needs to be featured more in the passing game and is under utilized because of the Jets run-heavy oriented offense. He became Brett Farve's favorite target in 2009 but because the Jets did not want a young QB ,Mark Sanchez, to throw a lot and increase the opportunity for turnovers Keller's oppurtunities took a nose dive. Once Sanchez shows that he is capable of carrying this team with his arm expect Keller to be the recipient of most of those throws.
2007-(14th overall) Darelle Revis-CB-Pittsburgh: Is definitely the best pick this franchise made in the last five years. Revis alone is the reason this Rex Ryan defense works so well. He is capable of shutting down the other teams primary receiver. Whether that be a number one wide receiver, slot receiver, or even a tight end Revis can eliminate him from the offense. He is definitely Rex Ryan's favorite player, if you don't think so check out this past summer HBO series "Hard Knocks". He was the first one chest bumping his players when they got Revis signed. He will be a Pro Bowler for years to come.
2006-(4th overall) D'Brickashaw Ferguson-Tackle- Virginia: Ferguson has really been solid for this team. He was selected to his first ever Pro Bowl in 2010. He should be a fixture at left tackle for years. Great selection by the front office to solidify the offensive line. Ferguson uses his foot quickness and arm length well when pass protecting. He needs to improve in drive blocking his opponent in the running game.
2006-(29th overall) Nick Mangold-Center- Ohio State: Nick "The Brick" Mangold has been equally impressive if not better than Ferguson. He is great at handling the 3-4 nose tackles in the running game and also does not get overwhelmed by the bull rush inside when pass protecting. Mangold has been to 2 straight Pro Bowls and should be a regular there.
Future Outlook: The Jets will have a lot of work to get done once the new CBA agreement is in place they have a bunch of free-agents on their roster. They will have to decide which ones to keep and the ones they do let walk will have to be replaced in the draft or by a less expensive free-agent. The focus in the 2011 NFL draft should be on the defensive line, offensive line, and the outside linebacker positions. They really need to find a player who can rush the QB consistently and demands a double team, they were counting on Vernon Gholston to be that guy. They have finally moved on from that experiment. If this team can retain some of the key personnel on offense, get consistent play from QB Mark Sanchez, and find a couple of playmakers on defense to add to their front seven, they will contend with the Patriots for the AFC East title and also have a team capable of a super bowl berth. The Jets should really look at guys in the 2011 NFL draft such as: Cameron Hayward, DeMarcus Love, John Moffitt, Allen Bailey, Phil Taylor, Justin Houston, and Dontay Moch.