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The 2017 Draft Class by the Numbers

Jets' 9 Selections Over the Long Weekend Are Historically Heavy with DBs, SEC Representatives


We couldn't let the Jets' just completed draft slip into the history books without a few more observations on the Class of '17 by the numbers:

Top-Heavy with DBs
With the drafting of Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye in the first two rounds, that marked not only the first time the Jets took safeties with their first two picks in a draft but also the first time they took two defensive backs with their first two picks.

The closest the Green & White have come to taking two DBs with their first two picks:

2014 — S Calvin Pryor (first pick, Round 1) and CB Dexter McDougle (third pick, Round 3)

1998 — S Scott Frost (second pick, Round 3) and CB Kevin Williams (third pick, Round 3)

1988 — CB Terry Williams (second pick, Round 2) and S Erik McMillan (third pick, Round 3) (and CB James Hasty the fourth pick, also in Round 3)

1985 — S Lester Lyles (second pick, Round 2) and CB Donnie Elder (third pick, Round 3)

Of that foursome, the biggest impact was made in 1988. Williams, out of Bethune-Cookman, managed 11 games, no starts and two seasons for the Jets. But McMillian, from Missouri, had a too brief but very bright five-year career in the deep middle, earning NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year honors in '88 and two Pro Bowl appearances and notching a franchise-record seven return touchdowns, five on interceptions and two on fumbles.

This personal message to Adams and Maye: "Show me" you both can equal or top McMillan's impact on the Jets defense, beginning with this weekend's rookie minicamp at the Atlantic Health Training Center.

Conference Call
The picks of Adams (LSU), Maye (Florida) and WR ArDarius Stewart (Alabama) with their top three selections and CB Derrick Jones (Mississippi) with their last gave the Jets four Southeastern Conference additions to their roster.

The last time the Green & White went to one particular conference's well four times was 11 years ago. In the 2006 draft they brought in four players from the Big Ten — C Nick Mangold (1B, Ohio State), LB Anthony Schlegel (3A, Ohio State), S Eric Smith (3B, Michigan State) and TE Jason Pociask (5, Wisconsin). Mangold, of course, started 164 games and played in seven Pro Bowls through the 2016 season, and Smith played in 95 with 36 starts.

The one-conference fourpack-plus was executed nine times before that, with seven picks coming from the SEC in 1974 and the Titans/Jets Big Ten scout living large by tabbing 26 conference players in the four AFL drafts from 1961-64.

This and That
Before Stewart and Chad Hansen out of Cal in Round 4, it had been 17 years since the Jets had taken wide receivers with back-to-back picks. In 2000, after they were done with "the Four Aces," they tabbed Laveranues Coles (Round 3, Florida State) and Windrell Hayes (Round 5, Southern Cal). ... Jordan Leggett (Round 5, Clemson) is only the second tight end ever selected by the Jets out of the ACC. The first was Billy Griggs (Round 8, 1984, Virginia). ... The youngest of this year's nine picks: Adams (21 years, 197 days). The oldest: LB Dylan Donahue (24 years, 255 days).

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