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Inside the Numbers: Jets' 5 Picks in Top 87 Is a Rare Draft Bounty

Green & White Have Made That Many Selections That High Up Only Twice Before in Their History


Having broken down each of the Jets' five selections in the first three rounds of the April NFL Draft, in franchise and league history, here, here, here and here, we now turn to those five choices as a group. 

Question: How often do the Jets have five of the first 100 picks in a draft?

Answer: Rarely.

Specifically, the Jets at the moment have those five picks — three of their own and two from Seattle in July's Jamal Adams trade — in the draft's first 87 picks. Considering only those drafts in which they wound up spending all five picks in the first 87 (and not those in which they had five early on and then traded away a pick or two), the Jets have had that kind of bounty only twice since the 1967 common draft began: in 1984 and 2000.

The 1984 draft was one of the last drafts in which the Jets didn't trade away any picks. They did acquire two high picks — No. 15 overall, from New Orleans for QB Richard Todd, and No. 39, from Green Bay for DTs Abdul Salaam (of NY Stock Exchange fame) and Kenny Neil. Along with the Jets' own picks, that gave them five of the top 64 picks and six of the top 91 (PB-Number of Pro Bowls selected for):

Table inside Article
Draft Choice College Rd-Pick GP-GS-PB
DB Russell Carter SMU 1-10 40-35-0
DE Ron Faurot Arkansas 1-15 20-13-0
C Jim Sweeney Pitt 2-37 166-158-0
TE Glenn Dennison Miami (FL) 2-39 16-9-0
LB Kyle Clifton TCU 3-64 20-149-0
LB Bobby Bell Jr. Missouri 4-91 15-2-0

The Green & White's two first-round selections — DB Russell Carter and DE Ron Faurot -- didn't last too long. But two of the next three picks were keepers. C Jim Sweeney came to the Jets from Pitt in Round 2 (No. 37) and stayed for 158 starts over the next 11 seasons. And LB Kyle Clifton was that 64th pick, in Round 3, played in 204 games through 1996, the most by a Jets defensive player, and set the team record with 1,471 tackles.

Deal of the Century?
Then the "Four Aces" draft of Bill Parcells and Mike Tannenbaum in 2000 is still one to behold. The aces of course were all taken in the first round, the only time a team made four Round 1 picks (and then signed all of them!) in NFL history. Add third-round WR Laveranues Coles to the mix to make it five selections in the first 78 picks. Here is that winning hand of a draft once more:

Table inside Article
Draft Choice College Rd-Pick GP-GS-PB
DE Shaun Ellis Tennessee 1-12 170-157-2
DE John Abraham S. Carolina 1-13 73-64-3
QB Chad Pennington Marshall 1-18 69-61-0
TE Anthony Becht W. Virginia 1-27 78-72-0
WR Laveranues Coles Florida St. 3-78 105-90-0

All five started at least 61 games as Jets and all five played in at least 69 games. To put this in perspective, the Jets have had only three other drafts in which all their picks in the first three rounds, regardless of how many there were, played in at least 60 games for them: 1981 (Freeman McNeil, Marion Barber, Ben Rudolph), 1983 (Ken O'Brien, Johnny Hector, JoJo Townsell) and 2007 (Darrelle Revis, David Harris).

And all five played roles in the Jets' three playoff appearances from 2001-04 (Ellis 5 starts, Pennington 4, Abraham and Coles 3) under head coach Herm Edwards.

The '21 Jets of GM Joe Douglas and HC Robert Saleh don't have to corner the market on first-rounders like the Jets did 21 years earlier. They just have to maximize the draft capital that they have and then blackjack their opponents with that talent for the foreseeable future. Only two more months to wait.

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