Success in draft has built Jets' core

Posted Jan. 14, 2011 @ 9:56 a.m.
Posted By Eli Kaberon

Playoff teams are built a number of different ways, from high-priced free agents to late-round draft steals. Yet to be an elite squad, it is vital to have success early in the draft. Nine players on the Jets' 53-man roster in 2010 were former first-round draft picks by the team, an exceptionally high number that highlights the reason the team has made the playoffs in back-to-back seasons. The leaders of the offense — QB Mark Sanchez (drafted in ’09), OLT D'Brickashaw Ferguson (’06) and C Nick Mangold (’06) — were all first-rounders, as were the anchors of the "D," CB Darrelle Revis (’07) and DE Shaun Ellis (’00). While not every early pick has worked out (2008's Vernon Gholston is the notable exception), the Jets have built their talented core with smart choices early in the draft, followed by long-term extensions to those young players. New York will be picking toward the end of the 2011 draft, but GM Mike Tannenbaum has proven an ability to find quality players wherever the team is selecting.