After the Jets' first two selections in Round 1 of the 2021 NFL Draft, we come upon their own choice in Round 2, which they still hold, barring a trade, of course — the 34th overall choice.
Round 2, Pick 2, at the start of the second day of drafting, is a prime pick, but teams can miss on a player here as well as hit on a 10-year starter with Pro Bowl skills.
The Jets, for instance, have had only one No. 34 overall choice in their history, and that was to take Louisville QB Browning Nagle in 1991. Nagle came to the Big Apple with the prospect of fighting then ninth-year pro Ken O'Brien for the starting signal-caller's job.
Nagle played in one game as a rookie, then took the QB reins in 1992 when O'Brien opened the season with a holdout and ended it with an injury. Nagle's record in 13 pro starts, all in '92, was 3-10 with 7 touchdown passes to 17 interceptions and a 55.7 passer rating. He played in three more games for the Jets in '93, then ended his playing career with Indianapolis in '94 and Atlanta in '95.
Good Longevity, Some Honors
Looking at the No. 34's in NFL history since the 1967 start of the common draft, we don't find a lot of hall of famers. Only two players ultimately gained entry into the Pro Football HOF and neither was picked in the last 49 years. CB Lem Barney played 11 seasons, all for the Detroit Lions, who drafted him in '67; and Jack Ham, the 12-year Pittsburgh linebacker tabbed in '71, was a key part of the Steelers' Super Bowl splurge from the 1974 through '79 seasons.
As for All-Pro first-team recognition, the most recent 34th pick to gain that honor was G Chris Snee, who was grabbed by the Giants in 2004. Before that we have to go back to 1989 when the Steelers selected S Carnell Lake, who was named All-Pro as a CB in 1997.
But there have been Pro Bowl players at No. 34, most recently players such as Dallas DE DeMarcus Lawrence, twice an NFL All-Star after the Cowboys took him 2014; and DE Kyle VandenBosch, a three-time Pro Bowler selected by Arizona in 2001.
And a number of those 34's went on to fine 10-year careers with their teams, in particular a threesome that ran into Jets offenses on occasion over the past 15 seasons — S Patrick Chung (11 seasons with New England); and LBs Paul Posluszny (11 seasons split between Buffalo and Jacksonville) and D'Qwell Jackson (11 seasons with Cleveland and Indy).