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Top 5 Worst Draft Picks- New York Jets

Updated on April 29, 2015

These guys were brought in to help the team win, but couldn't accomplish anything on the field. Today I rank the top five worst draft picks by the New York Jets

5. Roger Vick

He could not live up to the New York spotlight.

Having the draft held in your hometown with all your fans in attendance would be enough pressure for anyone. For some reason it seems to affect the Jets more than the Giants because the Jets have made some truly incomprehensible moves in the first round of many NFL Drafts. As the names in this list testify to, picking a running back in the first round is an iffy prospect at best. Picking a fullback in the first round doesn’t mean you’re going to improve your chances of success when it comes to improving your running game. The Jets found that out when they selected a fullback in Roger Vick with the 21st overall pick in 1987.

In three seasons in New York, Vick gained 1,289 yards in his career with a 3.9 yards per carry average and 10 touchdowns. His poor production gave the Jets another draft bust.

4. Blair Thomas

He was brought in to be Freeman McNeil's successor, but injuries kept him from doing so.

While at Penn State, Blair Thomas was a member of the National Championship team as a freshman. He finished second on the Nittany Lions’s all time rushing list with 3,301 yards and 21 touchdowns, just 97 yards shy of the Penn State record set by Curt Warner. He was also the first player in school history to rush for more than 1,400 yards in two seasons. In 1989, he was named the MVP of the Holiday Bowl and the Senior Bowl.

Thomas was the second overall pick in 1990 by the Jets. Despite leading NFL rookies in yards per carry and AFC rookies in total yardage, he is considered another in a long line of Jets draft disappointments. Thomas rushed for only 2,000 yards and five touchdowns in his four seasons with the Jets. Thomas suffered a series of nagging injuries beginning in 1992 and was released by the Jets following the 1993 season. He tried to make comebacks with other teams, but injuries continued to plague him.

3. Kyle Brady

The team chose him over a future Hall of Famer.

At Penn State, Kyle Brady was a two-time All-Big Ten selection, and a consensus All-America choice as a senior. During his senior year in 1994, he helped his team to an undefeated record, a conference championship, and the school's first Rose Bowl victory.

Brady was the ninth overall pick in 1995. There were several issues and questions raised after the selection. The first being, Brady never had more than 27 catches in a season and only had five touchdowns in his final three years. The Jets had a tight end in Johnny Mitchell who was coming off a 58 catch season and at the time it looked like Mitchell was becoming a star. In four years in New York, Brady had 93 receptions. So the team drafts a glorified blocking tight end over future Hall of Fame defensive tackle Warren Sapp. The Jet fans at radio city were right to boo.

2. Mike Nugent

A kicker in the second round? Really?

During his four-year career at Ohio State, Mike Nugent broke or tied 22 school records, including most points in a career by any player at Ohio State. He completed 72 of 88 field goal attempts and 140 of 143 extra point attempts. As a senior, he won the Lou Groza award as the nation's top kicker.

Nugent was selected in the second round in 2006. Fresh in the Jets minds are Doug Brien's misses against Pittsburgh in the final two minutes of their divisional playoff game at Heinz Field that prevented them from advancing to the AFC Championship game. It turned out Nugent's leg wasn't nearly as strong as it was in college, and he suffered injuries along the way. It doesn't matter if its George Blanda or Jan Stenerud or Adam Vinatieri, no kicker is worth a second round pick.

1. Vernon Gholston

He was brought in to be the next great pass rusher but couldn't muster up a single sack.

During his tenure at Ohio State, Vernon Gholston started 25 games. He finished with 87 tackles and 30.5 tackles for loss. He also had 21.5 sacks, which ranks fifth in school history.

Gholston was selected sixth overall in 2008. New York thought he was going to be a sack machine, considering his exploits at Ohio State. His specialty was getting to the quarterback. In three years with the Jets, he never recorded a sack. Not one. I don't know how you can argue against this.

People's Poll

Which Jet was the worst draft pick?

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    • profile image

      Kevin Goodwin 

      3 years ago

      He never even made a good play in the NFL.


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