With the draft only 40 days away it’s clear that if the 2013 New York Jets are going to avoid another crash landing of a season they need to hit a home run in the draft. Despite clearing up cap room the Jets have been losing players in a mass “rexodus” during free agency. Dustin Keller will take his talents to South Beach, while Mike Devito, Yeremiah Bell, Laron Landry, and Shonn Greene have all found new homes. The Jets biggest signings Willie Colon, David Garrard, and Mike Goodson, are not exactly Super Bowl winning moves by any stretch. There’s also a soap opera with a certain all pro corner that the Jets are trying to move in order to gain more draft picks. What is clear is that if the Jets want to compete next year they must have a great draft. However, the Jets track record during the Ryan era hasn’t been great as the team has had the fewest picks in the league while getting marginal talent. At least when Eric Mangini was the coach he brought in Revis, Mangold, Ferguson, Keller, and Harris just to name a few. Here is the list of the worst draft picks of the Rex Ryan era
5) Stephen Hill: WR 2nd round pick 2012
Ok I know Hill has only been in the league for one season but the Jets need to start drafting for production, not potential. While he still has major upside, when asked to step up and be a go to receiver this past season he fell flat on his face. Hill had 21 catches for 3 touchdowns this season and was plagued by major drops coupled with an inability to run routes. What hurts is that the Jets should have drafted Alshon Jeffrey who had 8 touchdown catches and showed big play ability for the Bears. This is another example of the Jets trading down for a player who might develop 3 to 4 years down the road. While Hill hasn’t shown the production despite the skill set, the silver lining is that Calvin Johnson took three years to start dominating in this NFL and the hope is that Hill could follow a similar path and become the big play threat gang green envisioned him becoming.
4) John Conner: FB: 5th round 2010
John “the terminator” Conner was supposed to be the fullback of the future. Now the terminator has been terminated by the Jets as the glorified fullback never lived up to expectations. John Conner became famous because of his appearance on Hark Knocks, click the link, where he became one of Ryan’s favorite players. However, it became apparent that while Conner could deliver punishing hits he often would miss blocking assignments and never opened up holes for the running game. The glorified fullback of the Jets became overhyped especially because fullbacks aren’t supposed to be well-known. Either way this fifth round pick could have been used to add depth or they could have added the bruising running back Anthony Dixon who was later drafted by the 49ers.
3) Kyle Wilson: CB 1st round pick 29th overall 2010 draft
Well the 2010 draft was the worst of Ryan’s era. 3 of the 4 picks are on this list and the first one of this draft was Kyle Wilson. While the 2010 draft wasn’t exactly the most talented draft this move was a head scratcher. Even though Revis would hold out, the Jets traded for Cornerback Antonio Cromartie to line up alongside him. Why did the Jets need another corner? What the Jets should have tried to do was trade down to add more picks to an already slim number of draft picks. Then they could have added talented players like Terrence Cody, Dexter McCluster, or Brandon Spikes who were available in the second round. Wilson has never lived up the to hype as a great corner in this league and while he was a solid corner in 2012 he’s always left something to be desired. He has only produced 3 interceptions in his three-year tenure and while he could be a starting corner for the 2013 squad I feel the Jets could do better. Maybe he’ll make the jump this season and start becoming a great corner, but I’m skeptical. The reason he is on this list is because in my opinion that with his skill set and performance the Jets could have picked up a similar player in the middle of the draft instead of wasting a first round pick.
2) Mark Sanchez: QB 5th overall in 2009 draft:
Ah yes the Sanchize. While many of you will probably argue that he is the worst selection of the Ryan era, you probably have a very good case. I too thought about making him number one on this list but this is why he narrowly misses the cut. He has brought this team to two AFC championship games and has 4-2 playoff record with a 9-3 touchdown to interception ratio in the playoffs. While he was awful in 2012, highlighted by the “Buttfumble” (click on the link) you have to feel sorry for the guy because he had no help. The result of the Jets’ lack of draft picks left them with minimal depth especially at wide receiver. When he had talent, Sanchez was a serviceable quarterback. The problem is he hasn’t progressed as expected and hasn’t emerged as a star quarterback that you’d expect with the fifth overall selection. Add in that the Jets traded three players and their first and second round selections to get Sanchez means that the Jets have paid a steep price for mediocrity. While Sanchez’s Jets career is in jeopardy in 2013 maybe the competition and the prospectus of a strong draft class can help him take another step in his development. This is the make it or break it year for Sanchez and if he wants to escape this list in the future he better hold onto the ball and be better than a career 68-69 touchdown to interception ratio.
1) Vladimir Ducasse: OL 2010 second round selection 62nd overall
The “P” word once again enticed the Jets to draft for potential over a finished product. Vladimir Ducasse is the poster boy for the worst draft in Ryan era in 2010 when the Jets reached for him in the second round. A very raw prospect that scouts predicted would take years to develop the Jets thought he would be able to start after the release of Pro Bowl guard Alan Faneca. How did this turn out Jets fans? For a lineman who was projected to be a mid round selection the Jets took on a project in the second round of a draft where the had only four picks. In his career Ducasse has made one start and has been embarrassed by opposing defenses whenever he is on the field. The Jets foolishly decided not to trade this pick to try to grab more depth in the later rounds and the lack of depth from the 2009 and 2010 drafts caught up with them in the 2012 season. While Ducasse will compete for a starting role in 2013 for a second rounder he should be starting at this point and not be a question mark. Maybe the project going forward will finally become a polished NFL starter but I’m skeptical. Looking back at this draft the Jets Passed great linebackers like Brandon Spikes and Navorro Bowman who would’ve tremendously improved the defense. There were also talented players later on the Jets should have traded down for like Jimmy Graham,or Aaron Hernandez. Overall Ducasse has been a bust and unlike Sanchez has been a glorified bench warmer. Here’s hoping the Jets 2013 draft will be much better. Do you agree or disagree with these selections? Who do you think I missed? Don’t forget to subscribe and comment below Thanks.