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Inside the Numbers: Jets Seek a Gem or Two in Round 3

Green & White Hold Picks at Nos. 66 & 87 in Third Round on Draft's Second Night


For the last of our Jets individual-round draft pick previews, we'll take a look at the Green & White's two third-round picks that they currently hold — their own selection, second in Round 3 and 66th overall, and the second of three picks they received from Seattle in the July trade of S Jamal Adams, 23rd in Round 3 and 87th overall. If they retain those picks, they would spend them on the night of April 30 in Cleveland, site of this year's NFL Draft.

The Jets haven't had a 66th overall selection in a while. In the first AFL-NFL common draft held in 1967, they spent No. 66 on Oklahoma State DE Dennis Randall, who played only seven games for them and 20 in the NFL before hanging up his pads.

In 1972, they again came up with "draft boxcars," which they used to select Gary Hammond, the wideout and former SMU quarterback. Knee surgery from training camp injuries sidelined Hammond for '72 and the Jets waived him in '73 without him playing in a game for them.

And again in '73, before unplugging Hammond, the Jets held No. 66, which they sent to New Orleans along with their second-rounder, No. 51, for two veterans, DE Richard Neal and CB Delles Howell. Neal was a five-year D-line starter for the Jets from 1973-77 before being traded back to the Saints, while Howell played three seasons in green and white.

And that's been it for the Jets while traveling on Route 66.

No. 87 has been more of the same. In the last AFL draft of 1966, the Jets tabbed Notre Dame RB Bill Wolski there, although he never played for them.

Then in 1998 they went with CB Kevin Williams out of Oklahoma State. At least K-Dub lasted three seasons, starting the first six games of his rookie season and the first seven of the 2000 season at FS alongside SS Victor Green before moving on. Williams had one career interception, in his first NFL game, the '98 season opener at San Francisco, and he had a 97-yard kickoff-return TD in 2000 Game 3 vs. Buffalo.

The NFL at 66 and 87
NFL teams would like to find Pro Bowlers and diamonds in the rough with these Round 3 picks, but history says that since '67, no Hall of Famers and precious few all-stars have sprung from those two slots. In the 50 drafts from 1967-2016, the 100 picks at 66 and 87 averaged careers of a little more than five seasons of participation and just about two seasons of starting.

Yet fine players can still be had at 66, with Ronde Barber the star of the picks there. The Virginia corner and twin brother of Tiki was plucked from that spot by Tampa Bay in 1997, remained with the Buccaneers for 16 seasons, and garnered five Pro Bowl berths and three All-Pro first-team nods. Other Pro Bowl types at that location: Cowboys CB/S Charlie Waters, who had 41 INTs in 11 seasons, FB William Henderson, T Roman Oben and C Nick Hardwick.

The cupboard is a little barer at No. 87. Only two Pro Bowlers came from that spot, most recently QB Mike Boryla by Cincinnati in 1974. But two wideouts worthy of mention also were selected here: Butch Johnson by Dallas in 1976 and Eric Decker by Denver in 2010. Decker moved on to the Jets, for whom he caught 154 passes for 1,989 yards and 17 TDs in 2014-15 combined and went 439–5,816–53 for his eight-year career.

Next Up: Jets Have 5 of the First 100 Picks in April

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