NFL New York Jets

New York Jets: 7 Best Draft Picks Since 2000

1 of 8

New York Jets: 7 Best Draft Picks Since 2000

The Star-Ledger-USA TODAY Sports

As the NFL Draft draws closer there is another tradition that is also on the horizon. For years ESPN has loved to show a collection of blunders made by the New York Jets. Etched in the minds of fans is perhaps the most well-known chants clamoring for Hall of Fame defensive tackle Warren Sapp, only to give tight end Kyle Brady. Of course, choosing Ken O’Brien over Dan Marino was also a bad mistake. At the time, these moves all appeared to be the right way to go.

Over time it becomes apparent who has talent to thrive in the league and who is a bust. As a way of changing the tone, we will examine the best five picks of the past 13 years by New York. These selects went against the trend of perceived poor decisions, and helped the team succeed. Although some players were not on the team that long, they still made an impact.

It is said that a bad pick during this event can set a franchise back for years. The decision to take Ryan Leaf in 1998 appeared to devastate the San Diego Chargersstrong> for years. Getting this right can mean Super Bowl appearances. The Jets have made their fair share of mistakes. However, there have been some good moves.

Peyton Manning certainly helped establish a culture of winning for the Indianapolis Colts that extends even after his departure. The follow picks for New York are a combination of players that are still on the roster, and those who have moved on. Either way, they have shaped their current path in some way.

2 of 8

Chad Pennington (2000)

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Although it didn’t end well for Chad Pennington in New York, there was a lot of promise. In 2000,Bill Parcells had resigned as head coach of the Jets and served as general manager. He realized that Vinny Testaverde was getting up there in age while also dealing with a series of Achilles injuries. It was time to find a long-term solution. This was addressed with the selection of quarterback Chad Pennington as the 17th overall pick in the 2000 NFL Draft.

He was a former Rhodes Scholar finalist at Marshall. Pennington was also extremely accurate, as his career 66 percent completion rate is still the best in NFL history.

Injuries ruined his potentially great career, although he did take them to the playoffs three times between the 2002 and 2008 season. Fate was also cruel when Pennington defeated New York to give the Miami Dolphins an AFC East title in 2008.

3 of 8

Shaun Ellis (2000)

Stew Milne-USA Today Sports

Shaun Ellis was another member of the 2000 first-round draft class. Ellis served as a compliment to John Abraham. His specialty functioned as a run stuffer. He displayed durability while lasting 12 years in the NFL; the most games he missed in one season was three. Ellis had a career-high 12 sacks in 2003. He may have insulted Jets fans by joining the rival New England Patriots, but his career should be remembered fondly by supporters.

The former Tennessee star lived up to the lofty expectations of being the 12th overall pick.

4 of 8

John Abraham (2000)

John D. Weiss-USA Today Sports

This is one excellent player who also got away too soon from the Jets. Coming out of South Carolina, John Abraham was regarded as a tremendous pass-rusher. Abraham certainly lived up to that reputation after Parcells brought him to New York as one of four first-round picks in 2000.

Abraham recorded 53 sacks in six years as a Jet. He was a force off the edge. After negotiations broke down in the 2006 offseason, New York sent Abraham to the Atlanta Falcons for a first-round pick. Although it angered the fan base, this transaction produced an important Jet of the present.

5 of 8

David Harris (2007)

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

David Harris has been a major part of the Jets defense since his rookie year. Harris is a high motor player who is constantly around the ball. His lowest total of tackles was 75. He has been to the Pro Bowl, and was definitely a pick that former general manager Mike Tannenbaum hit on. He may be slightly overpaid, but David Harris is probably a top 10 player at his position.

6 of 8

D’Brickashaw Ferguson (2006)

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The Jets were able to secure a major part of their offensive line with this pick. D’Brickashaw Ferguson is a massive body, and uses great technique in his blocks. Ferguson is a solid left tackle, and was one of the few bright spots on an offensive line that largely struggled last year. Like center Nick Mangold, Ferguson has a balanced approach when they are trying to hold up against the run and pass. Amid New York’s bad spending, they have invested wisely in their prized linemen.

7 of 8

Darrelle Revis (2007)

Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Nearly seven years ago, the Jets traded up in the first round to acquire cornerback Darrelle Revis out of Pittsburg. Scouts and other experts thought he would be an impact player. However, it is hard to imagine that anyone would expect him to become the player he is today.

Other teams missed out on Revis who is truly a shutdown corner. Statistically, he doesn’t get too many interceptions because the quarterback never throws to his side of the field. “Revis Island” is a nickname that rings true as he almost always wins his assignment. Sadly, his great abilities may have priced him out of New York’s range and he may soon be traded.

8 of 8

Nick Mangold (2006)

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Mawae was an All-Pro center for the Jets from 1998 to 2005. He anchored New York’s offensive line until Father Time took its toll. The center position is a vital part of this group. Timing on the center-quarterback exchange takes chemistry. Blocking is also imperative when it comes to moving downfield.

Nick Mangold was a perfect successor. With his Big Ten background, Mangold is a great blocker who possesses a mean streak on the field. A trademark of Mangold’s game is durability, as he has only missed two games his entire career. Mangold has been an important member of the Jets, and should be for years to come.