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Jets Legends Share Their NFL Draft Memories

See a Collection of Stories from Jets Legends Talking About When They Got Drafted

A general view of Radio City Music Hall prior to the 2014 NFL Draft on May 8, 2014 in New York, NY. (AP Photo/Ben Liebenberg)

Tommy Bohanon – 2013 7th Round
"Coming to a team with Rex Ryan, knowing his love for fullbacks and a power running game, it was definitely a great spot to start my career. Being able to say that I wanted to be an NFL player and then to be drafted by the Jets, it was a dream come true. When I got drafted, we had (veteran running backs) Bilal Powell and Chris Ivory there, and they were really great about being able to show me what to do, what not to do."

Gordon Browne – 1974 2nd Round
"(After playing in the 1974 Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama, against Tennessee State and future Dallas Cowboys defensive end Ed "To Tall" Jones, I flew home back to the Boston area) with Mike Holovak. Well, Mike Holovak wasn't known for his time with the Jets, he was known for his time as the head football coach of the Patriots. But he was the Jets' assistant general manager at the time.

"He praised me for what a great game I had and wished I hadn't gotten hurt at the beginning of the third quarter. I had a hip pointer and didn't finish out the game, but I had had a pretty successful game against Jones. And he says, 'You played very, very well, and you did your college proud.' But he didn't indicate anything that he had any idea that I was going to get drafted by who.

"Well, when the draft comes and the call came (from the Jets that they had chosen me in the second round, and) to get on a flight ASAP to New York, lo and behold, the first person I see was Mike Holovak. He said, 'It goes to show you it's not a bad thing to have an alumnus on the plane and somebody working for the team that just drafted you in the second round.'"

Russell Carter – 1984 1st Round
"I was just happy to be drafted by anyone. But it was just a good feeling to go to New York at that time. I grew up in Philadelphia and been to New York before, and so it was close to home."

Laveranues Coles – 2000 3rd Round
"It was a rough time (after admittedly making a mistake which led to an arrest and being suspended from the Florida State football team). My agent had explained to me that it was during that time when Ray Carruth and Ray Lewis (each faced murder charges) and people were questioning drafting guys with questionable character backgrounds. I figured I fit into that category at that time with what was going on.

"I was thankful (that the Jets drafted me) because I had no clue where I would be going that day. The Jets were the only team that really spent some extensive time with me. Dan Henning was the offensive coordinator, and I ended up meeting with him at an Olive Garden (near my home in Jacksonville), spending quite a bit of time with him.

"So I was excited, but at the same time mad because I believe I was the 16th or 17th receiver taken. I felt like a lot of those guys wasn't as talented as I was or had greater potential at the next level. But, hey, it worked out for me."

Tom Coombs – 1982 7th Round
"In my year, there was 12 rounds. The first day was one through six, and the second day was seven through 12. And, of course, one through six came and went. So, (my roommate and I) had a few drinks and went to bed a little late.

"Well, east coast time came up pretty early for round seven, and that's when I got drafted. I'm still in bed and I get a call. 'Hello, this is Coach Walt Michaels. Congratulations! We're drafting you to the New York Jets.'

"It was passed from him to Joe Walton, the offensive coordinator, and then through all the scouts. I said, 'Thank you, thank you. This is great,' and I hung up. I was so excited. It was a great wake-up call. The best there ever was."

Mike D'Amato – 1968 10th Round
"I was ecstatic. I'm a New York guy, it's a New York team, what could be better? And as a matter of fact, I had calls from other teams. Some of them said, 'We're going to get you in the third round' or 'We're going to get you in the fifth round' and stuff like that. But I was pleasantly surprised when I was drafted by the Jets."

Chris Farasopoulos – 1971 3rd Round
"I was kind of dumbfounded, I guess, only in that I had never, ever heard from them. I was walking across campus and our lead trainer came out of the training room and said, 'Hey, did you hear you were drafted by the Jets in the third round?'

"It was just kind of out of the blue. I had been contacted by a lot of other teams, but never by the Jets."

James Farrior – 1997 1st Round
"I was totally surprised. Going into the Draft, they had the No. 1 pick and I didn't really think I was going to go No. 1. So I didn't really pay too much attention to what they were doing. But I guess they were paying attention to me.

"I remember (that Jets assistant coach) Bill Belichick came to the (Virginia campus for Pro Day, but he was off in a corner, quiet, away from everyone else. Nobody really knew what he was doing. So it was totally unexpected."

Jonathan Goodwin – 2002 5th Round
"Naturally, being drafted, you're excited. Doug Marrone, who ended being my line coach with the Jets actually worked me out at my Pro Day. So I wasn't completely shocked to be drafted by the Jets. But I had never been to New York, so there was a lot of excitement knowing that I was headed to the big city. But I definitely felt blessed and fortunate.

"And looking at the guys on the roster and seeing guys like Kevin Mawae, Randy Thomas, Jason Fabini, Dave Szott, and Jumbo Elliott, I knew I was going to a place where I would have a lot of older guys I would get to learn from. So I look at it as I was blessed and fortunate to end up in a place like that."

Carl Greenwood – 1995 5th Round
"I was excited. I was excited to get into the NFL, but to have the opportunity to go from L.A. to New York, I thought that was awesome. (I didn't feel being me and the only DB picked would give me an advantage because) I always felt like you're going to have to work, do what you needed to do. Exhibit yourself or display your skills to the best of your ability, and everything would just fall into place the way it's supposed to.

"I knew they drafted Aaron Glenn the year before, so I had somebody to watch and to learn from. So I was excited about the opportunity. Very excited."

Mark Gunn – 1991 4th Round
"I remember being overwhelmed. A few tears, you know, happiness. I didn't really talk to (any teams) prior to the Draft."

Clarence "Jazz" Jackson – 1974 16th Round
"I sat in my dorm room (listening to the Draft on the radio) and they got down to the 14th and 15th round, and I just telling people, 'Man, I ain't going get drafted.' Then it came around to the 16th round and I was sitting there when I heard it. I started crying. I was in my room all by myself anyway, but I was just so excited and overwhelmed that I had been drafted. I ran all through the dorm yelling, 'I've been drafted! I've been drafted!'

"I thank God every day for that moment. I didn't care what round I went in. I told some people that if I got drafted by anybody, I would make the team. They didn't believe me though. But I said to myself, 'If I make it to anybody's training camp, I will make the team.'"

Jeremy Kerley – 2011 5th Round
"I was excited. I know a lot of people don't get the opportunity, so when my name was called, I was happy, I was relieved."

Dwight Lowery – 2008 4th Round
"I was excited for the opportunity to go out there and continue to play. And not knowing what's next, but knowing where you're going to be. It was just a very exciting time. But looking back on it, I don't think I was ready from a cultural standpoint just because where I'm from is probably literally the exact opposite of New York. So that was pretty big."

J.P. Machado – 1999 6th Round
"I knew I wouldn't be a first-day guy, for sure. I thought I could possibly be a later round or free agent. So once it got to the fifth round, I just kept waiting and waiting. And when it came to the sixth round, I thought maybe I'm not even going to go. And then I was just sitting there and you get picked. So you're excited, but it's also kind of frustrating because you're just waiting to be called.

"It was a little bit surprising. I'd gone on a couple visits to Green Bay and to Tampa Bay, and my college coaches knew somebody from Carolina, so I thought maybe one of those three would pick me up.

"I just had a brief workout with the Jets' scout the last day that you were eligible to work out. I just thought it was kind of a formality and nothing would come of it. And then in the sixth round, they picked me, and I was pretty surprised."

Cliff McClain – 1970 5th Round
"I was elated. Very much elated. I didn't expect to be drafted because I had only played running back in spring training. I was an offensive lineman all of my football career up until then."

Matt Monger – 1985 8th Round
"It was interesting. Bobby Beathard with the Redskins, called me in the third round and told me he was interested in me, wanted to draft me, and thought I was a sleeper and that he could wait and pick me up in the ninth. And the Jets took me in the eighth. And quite honestly, I'm a math kid who's focused on education and football is, of course, a dream.

"And I was a walk-on (at Oklahoma State), didn't even get a scholarship. So just the fact that somebody was interested and that I got drafted, I mean, I was super excited. I knew nothing about New York. I'm an Oklahoma country kid. I was just super excited that somebody just wanted me to play and participate. It was a thrill of a lifetime. Absolutely!"

Lawrence Pillers – 1976 11th Round
"I was excited because I was looking forward to getting drafted. It didn't matter what team, but when I got drafted by the Jets, it was a new experience. Everybody with the organization was fantastic."

Chansi Stuckey – 2007 7th Round
"It was incredible and actually really surprising because growing up in Georgia, New York is this big, unobtainable place, the 'Concrete Jungle.' I honestly felt surprised and a little nervous at the same time because I knew it was going to be totally different from anything I had experienced. It was like, wow, this is a lot going on at one time, and you need to get ready for it in a hurry."

Ryan Yarborough – 1994 2nd Round
"I was just happy to finally have my name called more than anything, because at that particular time, my brothers, they're older and have their own families now, they were little guys, and so they didn't understand the process of waiting and waiting until you get your name called. So when I got my name called, I was ecstatic to say the least."

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