The Jets have not exactly been a powerhouse franchise in NFL history, and that’s true in recent years, too. But the Jets were legitimate Super Bowl contenders in 2009 and 2010, making the AFC Championship Game both years. Take a look at the Jets yearly SRS grades from 1990 to 2016, and ’09 and ’10 stand out as the last great Jets teams:
In 2009 and 2010, Darrelle Revis and Nick Mangold were both named first-team All-Pros by the Associated Press. This week, the Jets released both players. And with D’Brickashaw Ferguson retiring last season, and David Harris a potential cap cut, the 2016 season will close the chapter on the successful drafts of ’06 and ’07 — and highlight the ugly drafts since. With Nick Folk also being cut, if the Jets release Harris, that would make longsnapper Tanner Purdum (2010) the longest-tenured Jet, followed by Muhammad Wilkerson and Bilal Powell (2011).
In 2006, the Jets hit two home runs with Ferguson and Mangold in the first round, and found valuable contributors in later rounds with Brad Smith and Leon Washington. In 2007, the Jets had only four draft picks, but the first two were Revis and Harris. Since then? The drafts have been ugly.
In 2011, the Jets grabbed Wilkerson and Powell, along with Jeremy Kerley. That was a great draft by recent Jets standards, especially sandwiched between 2010 and the disaster of 2012, with Quinton Coples, Stephen Hill, and Demario Davis being the team’s three high-profile picks.
2013 wasn’t much better: Dee Milliner with the 9th pick and Geno Smith with the 39th pick were busts; Sheldon Richardson at 13 worked out in part, but off-the-field issues have clouded his tenure with the team and he seems unlikely to make it to a second contract in New York.
In 2014, the Jets had a whopping 12 picks, and while it’s too early to fully grade that class, the early returns are not good. 2nd rounder Jace Amaro and 3rd rounder Dexter McDougle have been busts (Amaro is already gone), while 4th round pick Jalen Saunders was cut before ever playing a game. The 1st round pick was Calvin Pryor, who has failed to turn into an impact safety but is at least playable. The lone hero has been Quincy Enunwa, drafted in the 6th round.
The 2015 draft brought the Jets Leonard Williams, but so far, that’s it. Devin Smith, Lorenzo Mauldin, and Bryce Petty were the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th round picks, and through two seasons, it’s hard to be any higher on their prospects.
And while it’s way too early to evaluate last year’s class, let’s just saying drafting Darron Lee and Christian Hackenberg in the first two rounds has not earned the organization praise from #DraftTwitter.
With Ferguson, Mangold, Revis, and Harris, the Jets drafted four of the top players in franchise history. The Jets have been around for 57 seasons, and those are just 4 of the 23 players to have 70+ points of AV with New York. They also formed the backbone of the Jets teams that made it to the final four in consecutive years in ’09 and ’10. Since then? It’s been ugly in April (and May) for the Jets, and consequential, for most of the falls that have followed, too.