The fourth installment of our ten part series examining the last ten New York Jets drafts, with a look at 2008 — arguably Mike Tannenbaum’s worst as GM of the Jets.
1st Round, 6th overall pick — Vernon Gholston, DE, Ohio St.Being that Gholston had all of the measureables and numbers you look for in a pass rusher this pick looked good on paper, but it ended up being the first strikeout of Mike Tannenbaum’s tenure as GM.
With eight sacks in his sophomore year and 14 in his junior year at Ohio St., the drafting of Gholston created a buzz among Jets fans. The team already had its star corner and middle linebacker thanks to 2007s draft, and now it finally got its double-digit sack artist. Unfortunately, things didn’t quite work out that way and I myself have the same number of sacks in the NFL as Vernon Gholston.
As I progress in this series, you’ll see that Tannenbaum has had his fair share of busts, but there were none bigger than this one. He drafted a defensive end with the 6th overall pick who did not record a single sack in three years, and was released before his 4th season. It’s okay, things could be worse — not much worse, but you could draft JaMarcus Russell with the first overall pick. Keep Russell away from Gholston though — he may try to eat the doughnut in Gholston’s sack column.
1st Round, 30th overall pick — Dustin Keller, TE, PurdueThanks to a trade made with the Packers, you can’t chalk up this 1st round as a complete failure. Dustin Keller was no Pro-Bowl tight end, but he was very productive in his time with the Jets.
He was a favorite target of Brett Favre in his rookie season, hauling in 48 passes for 535 yards and 3 TDs. Favre left the next season and Mark Sanchez was brought in, but nothing changed for Keller as he was still a go-to-guy on this Jets offense. In 56 games from 2009-2012, he recorded 193 receptions for 2,341 yards and 14 TDs.
As a free agent in 2013, Keller elected to sign with the Dolphins. Unfortunately, that preseason, he suffered a gruesome injury to his knee and has yet to play since.
Rest of the Draft4th Round, 113th overall pick — Dwight Lowery, CB, San Jose St. (Saw the field in 18 games as a Jet over three season, recording seven interceptions. He has since spent three years in Jacksonville and one year in Atlanta.)
5th Round, 162nd overall pick — Erik Ainge, QB, Tennessee (Never saw the field.)
6th Round, 171st overall pick — Marcus Henry, WR, Kansas (Never saw the field.)
7th Round, 211th overall pick — Nate Garner, OT, Arkansas (Never saw the field as a Jet, but has started 19 games over five seasons as a utility offensive lineman in Miami.)