Recently we took a trip down Draft Memory Lane with a review of the eight previous times in history that the Jets had four selections in the first 79 picks of a draft, as they do this year.
Now if GM Joe Douglas and his draft team stay put and make those four picks, at Nos. 11, 48, 68 and 79, what quality of individual players might they get? There's no way to say for sure, since the draft is roughly equal parts science and art, but we can tell you whom the Jets selected at those rungs on the ladder as well as who else went at those spots around the NFL over the years to give an idea.
The quality and longevity of players drops off the further down the draft we go, but gems can be found in any round, at any position. Here is how the Jets and the NFL fared at those four spots that Douglas and company will be in position to spend in late April in Las Vegas (# denotes future Pro Football Hall of Fame player):
First Round, No. 11 Overall
The Jets have no history to speak of with 11th overall picks. In the 1963 AFL Draft (held Dec. 1, 1962, when the franchise was still technically the Titans), the team traded No. 11 to Denver. In '64 the Jets picked T Lloyd Voss of Nebraska, who never played for the Jets. And that's it.
Top No. 11s in NFL History — DE J.J. Watt (Houston, 2011), QB Ben Roethlisberger (Pittsburgh, 2004), WR Michael Irvin# (Dallas, 1988), WR Fred Biletnikoff# (Oakland, 1965), WR Paul Warfield# (Cleveland, 1964), DE Doug Atkins# (Cleveland, 1953), RB Frank Gifford# (Giants, 1952), DT Leo Nomellini# (San Francisco, 1950).
Second Round, No. 48 Overall
Another pick with little history for the Jets. In the last AFL draft in 1966, they took G Dick Lemay out of Vanderbilt 48th (in that draft's Round 6) but he never played for the Green & White. They didn't select RB Le'Veon Bell but he did start for them last year, six years after being selected 48th by Pittsburgh in 2013.
Other Top No. 48s in NFL History — T Matt Light (New England, 2001), S LeRoy Butler (Green Bay, 1990), DE Howie Long# (Oakland, 1981), C Dwight Stephenson# (Miami, 1980)
Third Round, No. 68 Overall (from Giants)
Unlike the first two stops, the Jets have had a good run at 68. In the '66 AFL Draft they went with TE Pete Lammons out of Texas. He started all but one game in his six Jets seasons, including Super Bowl III. Then came LB Richard Wood out of Southern Cal in 1975, CB Donald Dykes from Southeastern Louisiana in '79, and T Siupeli "Soupy" Malamala from Washington in '92. Their most recent 68 didn't last as long — edge Jachai Polite out of Florida last year, a final cut in September.
Top No. 68s in NFL History — LB Lance Briggs (Chicago, 2003), LB Larry Stallings (Buffalo, 1963). (No HOFs.)
Third Round, No. 79 Overall
Three 79th picks spent at least some time in green and white. RB Dwayne Crutchfield, from Iowa State, contributed as a rookie to the 1982 AFC Championship team but was waived late in his second season. T Kareem McKenzie, out of Penn State in 2001, had a good four seasons as the Jets' starting RT, then left as an unrestricted FA and spent the bulk of his career on the Giants OL. Alabama WR ArDarius Stewart saw action as a rookie in 2017, was on the practice squad most of the next year, then departed.
Top No. 79s in NFL History — RB William Andrews (Atlanta, 1979), DE Lyle Alzado (Denver, 1971), DB Mel Renfro# (Oakland, 1964).