We've been counting down the picks, providing the recent history at each of the Jets' selections --and now, finally, we're up to the first-round choice (30th overall).
This year, the Jets don't need their first-round pick to start immediately, but they want a player who can play a prominent role as a rookie -- perhaps a third-down pass rusher or a defensive lineman for the rotation or, possibly, a third or fourth cornerback. The Jets received only modest contributions from last year's draft class; this time, they need to do better than modest.
Recent History at 30
2010: RB Jahvid Best, Lions
2009: WR Kenny Britt, Titans
2008: TE Dustin Keller, Jets
2007: WR Craig Davis, Chargers
2006: RB Joseph Addai, Colts
ANALYSIS: Obviously, Keller has developed nicely for the Jets. He already has 140-plus career receptions and has improved as a blocker. Addai, a player the Jets really liked in that particular draft, got off to a fantastic start with two 1,000-yard seasons, but injuries have slowed him the last three years. Davis hasn't panned out. Britt has a bright future (he scored nine TDs and averaged 18 ypc last season), but he has to learn to stay out of trouble. Jury still out on Best.
Jets history at 30
Aside from Keller, the Jets have drafted two others in this slot -- RB Marion Barber (1981) and E Phil Sheridan (1966), who never played in the league. Barber, the father of current Cowboys RB Marion Barber, was a core special teams player for seven seasons.