No matter how many draft picks he makes for the New York Jets, general manager Mike Maccagnan's legacy will be defined by one -- the No. 3 overall selection in the upcoming draft. Presumably, it will be their quarterback of the future.
That choice will overshadow the 22 picks that came before, but that doesn't mean they should be forgotten. If Maccagnan did his job properly, his 2015, 2016 and 2017 drafts should be the ice-cream portion of the sundae, with the cherry (quarterback) and other toppings to be added this year and next.
So did Maccagnan's first three drafts meet expectations? Yes and no.
While it's true that 21 of 22 picks remain on the roster, it's important to note we're talking about a roster that produced only 10 wins over the last two seasons. So, yes, that stat is misleading because many of the 21 have been non-factors. Six are starters (a solid number), but only one has sniffed the Pro Bowl -- defensive end Leonard Williams, who made it as an injury replacement in 2016.
If you're looking for positive signs, Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye last year became the first pair of rookie defensive backs to start every game of a season for the same team since 1981, according to Elias. That year, the Super Bowl champion San Francisco 49ers started three rookie defensive backs, including future Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott.
A round-by-round grading of the Jets' last three drafts:
First Round: Look, ma, no busts. Williams, Adams and inside linebacker Darron Lee form the nucleus of a young defense. Williams took a step back last season, but he's still considered an ascending player. Adams will be a star safety once he masters the nuances of pass coverage. Lee isn't the blitzer that was advertised, but he showed overall improvement in his second season. Grade: A-minus
Second Round: Ugh. Oft-inured wide receiver Devin Smith (14 games) and quarterback Christian Hackenberg (zero games) probably won't be on the team in 2018. You have to go back to Jim Kelly for the last quarterback drafted in the first two rounds who didn't play a regular-season game in his first two years. Kelly, picked by the Buffalo Bills in 1983, opted to play in the USFL. Maye, who has terrific instincts, saves the second round from being a total disaster. Grade: D-plus
Third Round: Jordan Jenkins, a two-down linebacker, is the best of another disappointing group. Linebacker Lorenzo Mauldin was supposed to be a pass-rushing threat on the edge, but he hasn't panned out. He might not survive until the regular season. Wide receiver ArDarius Stewart, who caught only six passes as a rookie, looks like a miss at this point. Grade: C-minus
Fourth Round: This round hasn't been friendly to Maccagnan. They had high hopes for Juston Burris as a press-man corner, but he can't tackle. Quarterback Bryce Petty, who has handled late-season mop-up duty the last two years, is 1-6 as a starter with four touchdown passes and 10 interceptions. His roster spot is in jeopardy. Wide receiver Chad Hansen saw significant playing time as a rookie, but he didn't make any plays. Grade: C-minus
Fifth Round: Right tackle Brandon Shell (15 career starts) has a chance to be a solid starter, but he must improve his technique. Tight end Jordan Leggett and linebacker Dylan Donahue get incomplete grades because injuries wiped out their rookie years. The coaching staff likes Leggett's upside. Guard Jarvis Harrison is the answer to a trivia question: Who is the only Maccagnan draft pick not on the current roster? Grade: B-minus
Sixth Round: Running back Elijah McGuire, who displayed a few flashes as a rookie, can be a steady contributor if he learns to run more decisively. Cornerbacks Jeremy Clark and Derrick Jones are projects. Grade: C.
Seventh Round: It's a plus anytime you can find something in the seventh round. Lachlan Edwards has developed into a middle-of-the-road punter. Wide receiver Charone Peake, coming off an injury, has a chance if he can build off the promise he showed in 2016. Big nose tackle Deon Simon is like a boomerang; throw him away and he keeps coming back. Grade: C.