It is NFL draft season, and at this point, you have probably read more about the top prospects in this year’s annual selection process than anybody who doesn’t get paid to analyze players should. I’m certainly guilty of this myself.
Current Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan made his bones as a scout and has insisted repeatedly that the Jets’ fortunes will have to be turned around primarily through the draft. With that being the case, I figured it could be instructive to take a look back in history and see just how well the Jets have fared in that area over the years.
Except instead of writing a long analysis of previous draft picks, I thought it might be fun to test your knowledge of what the Jets have done in previous drafts and how well their selections have turned out.
Everybody thinks they are an expert on their favorite team, but how much do you REALLY know?
At the NFL Combine, they give potential draft picks the Wonderlic to test their intelligence. Consider this you opportunity to take a Jets-centric version of the Wonderlic – a gang green IQ test, if you will.
1. The Jets have had a reputation for having a tough time finding top notch talent past the first round. Which of the following players is the last Jet to be drafted after the first round and make a Pro Bowl?
- David Harris
- Brian Winters
- Leon Washington
- Jerricho Cotchery
2. The Jets have used a significant amount of draft capital on quarterbacks over the years, to the point where many of the players they selected at the position never had productive careers and were completely forgettable. Which of the following quarterbacks was NOT drafted by the Jets?
- Chuck Clements
- Isaiah Stanback
- Erik Ainge
- Troy Taylor
3. In 1995, the Jets had the 9th overall pick in the draft. Many fans wanted them to select UCLA WR JJ Stokes – a playmaker at a position they desperately needed – or future Hall of Fame DL Warren Sapp, who unexpectedly slid because of a reported positive test for marijuana. Instead, they selected Penn State TE Kyle Brady, despite having just used the franchise tag on their existing TE Johnny Mitchell. Which of the following was the rationale then coach Rich Kotite used at the time for his decision?
- Stokes was a good receiver, but the team felt he did not have enough speed to succeed at the next level
- Sapp was an excellent player, but character matters and the team did not want anybody whose off the field behavior could be a distraction
- Bill Belichick desperately wanted Brady, so he must be great
- Having two good tight ends on your roster is important
4. Mike Tannenbaum, who spent seven seasons as general manager of the Jets, was known as “Trader Mike” because of his propensity for deal making. During his seven seasons as general manager, how many times did Tannenbaum finish the draft having selected at least once in each of the draft’s seven rounds?
5. In 2002, the Jets won their only division title of this millennium in an exciting season that saw the emergence of Chad Pennington and a home playoff victory where the gang green handed Peyton Manning the worst playoff loss of his career. In the following year’s draft, the Jets unexpectedly wound up with two first round draft picks after their top WR, Laveranues Coles, defected to Washington. Then general manager Terry Bradway decided this was an opportunity to add an impact player and used the two picks (#13 and #22) to jump into the top five and select Kentucky DL Dewayne Robertson. Robertson’s Jets career ultimately resulted in:
- Multiple trips to the pro bowl and the retirement of his #63 jersey
- Several seasons with double digit sacks and over 100 tackles
- A Jets defense that was in the top five against the run every year for a decade
- Five disappointing seasons before he was mercifully given away to Denver for a conditional draft pick
6. Which of the following players was NOT selected in the top five picks of the NFL draft by the Jets?
- Blair Thomas
- Vernon Gholston
- Johnny “Lam” Jones
- Mark Sanchez
7. Under Rex Ryan, the Jets were heavily criticized for their inability to draft productive offensive skill position players. However, the problem goes back far beyond Rex Ryan. Who was the last offensive skill player drafted by the Jets to make a pro bowl?
- Chad Pennington
- Laveranues Coles
- Santana Moss
- Curtis Martin
8. Prior to the 2010 draft, the Jets traded a fifth round selection to the Pittsburgh Steelers for wide receiver Santonio Holmes, who was a key part of the team that went to the 2011 AFC championship game. Holmes would sign a long-term deal with the Jets in the offseason and become a major headache for the next three seasons before being released in 2014. The Steelers took the draft pick they got from the Jets in the Holmes deal and traded back into the sixth round, where they selected which of the following players:
- Jonathan Dwyer
- Doug Worthington
- Keith Williams
- Antonio Brown
9. In 2008, the Jets shocked the football world by trading for Brett Favre. However, the team had also dealt with the Packers on draft day of that year, sending a 4th rounder to Green Bay to move up from #36 to #30 and select TE Dustin Keller. The Packers turned around and used the 36th pick on which of the following players:
- Jermichael Finley
- Jordy Nelson
- James Jones
- Josh Sitton
10. The Jets have drafted several players over the years who made minimal impact with the team only to catch on elsewhere and play in pro bowls. Which of the following former pro bowlers was originally drafted by the Jets?
- James Farrior
- Jeff Blake
- Terance Matthis
- Tony Martin
- All of the above
Photo Credit: NFL.com
Answer Key: (1) C (2) B (3) D (4) A (5) D (6) B (7) C (8) D (9) B (10) E