By Luke Ewing @Twitter.com/LukeJEwing on April 27, 2014
Tough losses. Injuries. Every franchise has had to endure these difficult obstacles. One of the hardest things to overcome in the NFL, however, is a blown first round pick. The New York Jets have had more experience in this area than most. Let's take a look at five of their worst first round picks in team history.
The New York Jets left fans baffled when they selected tight end Kyle Brady 9th overall in the 1995 draft. Even in retrospect, its difficult to understand why the Jets would spend a top-ten pick on a blocking tight end, despite having the position already adequately staffed, and with future Hall of Fame defensive tackle Warren Sapp still on the board. Luckily, it's unlikely Rex Ryan would ever let a travesty of this kind happen on his watch.
Dewayne Robertson's failure to live up to expectations as a top-5 pick is all the more painful when you consider that the Jets traded two first-rounders to snag the DT at number 4 overall in 2003. After a shaky start to his NFL career, Robertson showed signs of potential his second year in the league, but a knee injury and an ill-advised defensive scheme change later, Robertson fell out of favor in New York and was traded to the Denver in 2008.
The Jets kicked the 90's off with a bang when they swung and missed on Penn State RB Blair Thomas with the 2nd pick overall in 1990. Hindsight is 20/20, and there's no way the Jets could have known that Thomas would be the first of a litany of Nittany Lion running backs that failed to produce at the professional level. Had they known, perhaps they would have gone with future hall of famer Emmitt Smith who was selected 15 picks later. Oops.
New York really blew it when they selected fullback Roger Vick in the first round of the 1987 draft. To recap, in 1987, the New York Jets selected a fullback. In the first round. Even in a bygone era in which the fullback was more valued than it is today in 2014, it's hard to make sense of this pick. Unsurpringly, Vick didn't live up to expectations. He spent three seasons in New York and was out of football by the end of his fourth. Ugh.
Here he is, the Cream of the Crap. Vernon Gholston could probably change his name to "Vernon Bust" and it wouldn't change a thing in terms of the images of disappointment and failure he conjures in the minds of Jets fans. New York selected him sixth overall in 2008, passing on Jerod Mayo, Chris Johnson, Matt Forte, DeSean Jackson, Ray Rice, and Jamaal Charles. Gholston failed to register a single sack in his entire NFL career. This one stung.
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