The New York Jets own three of the top 35 overall selections in this year's NFL Draft, providing the Green & White with tremendous flexibility on day one. They could choose to package draft selections and move up or they could listen to offers and trade down in order to stockpile picks.
But the Jets also could keep their top three selections - #4 overall, #29 overall and #35 overall. You can be sure that the Eric Mangini & Mike Tannenbaum led Jets are looking to stockpile their roster with smart, tough, character players.
Intrigued by these three selections in the top 35, we opened up the history books to find what players were drafted at those respective spots in the 21st century.
#4 Cedric Benson, RB, Texas – Chicago Bears
Benson, just the 5th back in NCAA history to rush for over 1,000 yards in each of his four seasons, didn't make much of an impact as a rookie. After a prolonged summer holdout and then a mid-season knee injury, the former Texas star played in only nine games and rushed for 272 yards. It also didn't help Benson that teammate Thomas Jones, a former first round draft selection himself, broke out and ran for 1,335 yards.
#29 Marlin Jackson, DB, Michigan – Indianapolis Colts
Jackson, a four-year starter at Michigan, played in 15 games for the Colts and registered 52 defensive tackles along with 10 special teams stops. The 6'0", 196-pound Jackson made one start his rookie season.
#35 Reggie Brown, WR, Georgia – Philadelphia Eagles
A good find for the Eagles in round two as Brown became Philly's best receiver down the stretch. He started 11 games for the 'Birds, totaling 43 receptions for 571 yards and he also scored four times.
#4: Phillip Rivers, QB, NC State University - NY Giants (traded to San Diego)
The ball finally rests with Rivers in San Diego following Drew Brees' free agent departure to New Orleans. Rivers has thrown just 30 career passes in the National Football League with one touchdown and one interception. He says he is ready to take the reins, and he'll get his opportunity leading one of the league's most talented outfits.
#29 Michael Jenkins, WR, Ohio State – Atlanta Falcons
Jenkins followed up a quiet rookie showing with a productive 2005. He started 12 games, hauling in 43 receptions for 627 yards. His 14.6-yard per catch average in the NFL is an impressive number.
#35 DT Igor Olshansky, DT, Oregon – San Diego ChargersThe first player every drafted from the Soviet Union racked up three sacks in his second season. He has produced 94 career tackles (68 solos) in the 3-4 San Diego front.* *
#4: Dewayne Robertson, DT, Kentucky – NY Jets
The Jets obtained this selection from Chicago in exchange for their two first round selections (#13 and #22) and the team's fourth round selection (#116 overall). Robertson has showed signs of dominance throughout his career while starting 44 games. He posted a career-high 3.5 sacks last fall. Robertson will play in a new defensive system this year, which will feature a lot more 3-4 fronts.
#29: Nick Barnett, LB, Oregon State – Green Bay Packers
Barnett has been nothing short of a tackling machine at the professional level. He was a great find for the Packers and just set their team single-season record for tackles with 194. His 128 solo stops a season ago place him second in the league, trailing only Jets middle linebacker Jonathan Vilma (143). Barnett has led the Packers in tackles in each of his first three seasons and he's always on the ball.
#35: Charles Tillman, CB, Louisiana-Lafayette – Chicago Bears
Tillman has 39 career starts to his credit and nine interceptions on the resume. The Bears were a surprise in '05 and Tillman made healthy contributions with five interceptions and 93 total tackles.
#4 Mike Williams, T, Texas – Buffalo Bills
This 6'6", 360-pound mammoth never lived up to his potential in Buffalo and was released in the offseason. Williams, who lost his right tackle starting job last fall, was a dominant run blocker at UT but his pro game has left a lot to be desired. The Jaguars took a free agent gamble on Williams in March, hoping his pass protection will improve considerably. It's hard to imagine Williams will ever live up to his billing as a potential Hall of Fame player.
#29 Marc Colombo, T, Boston College – Chicago BearsNow a Dallas Cowboy, Colombo played in 23 games with the Bears and started only seven times.
#35 Kalimba Edwards, DE, South Carolina – Detroit Lions
Edwards, a speed pass rushing specialist, posted seven sacks last season and now has 20 for his career.
#4 Justin Smith, DE, Missouri – Cincinnati Bengals
A consistent face in the Bengals lineup as Smith now has started 75 consecutive games. He switched from RDE to LDE last season and recorded six sacks and has totaled 34 for his career.
#29 Ryan Pickett, DT, Ohio State – St. Louis Rams
The Packers acquired this 6'2", 322-pound run stuffer in the spring. Pickett will fit in well on a team featuring the aforementioned Nick Barnett. The Ohio State alum led all defensive tackles with 115 stops in '05.
#35 Alge Crumpler, TE, North Carolina – Atlanta Falcons
A great value selection for the Falcons. Crumpler, 6'2", 262 pounds, has played in the past three Pro Bowls and he's Michael Vick's favorite target in the ATL. Crumpler, who just posted career-highs in catches (65) and receiving yards (877), is a big-play target with sure hands.
#4 Peter Warrick, WR, Florida State – Cincinnati Bengals
The best Florida State receiver in the 2000 Draft? Laveranues Coles. The Jets selected Coles - the 13th receiver taken in the 2000 draft - 74 selections after his former teammate. Warrick's career totals: 275 receptions, 2,991 yards and 18 touchdowns. Coles' career numbers: 415 receptions, 5,501 yards and 25 touchdowns. Warrick is now a reserve in Seattle.
#29 R. Jay Soward, WR, Southern California – Jacksonville Jaguars
Soward caught 14 balls his rookie season and then was suspended by the NFL for violating its substance abuse policy. In 2004, Soward moved north and signed a CFL contract with the Toronto Argonauts.
#35 John Engelberger, DE, Virginia Tech – San Francisco 49ers
Engelberger, a reserve lineman for the Denver Broncos, didn't start last year and registered 24 tackles. He was traded to the Broncos after reaching career-highs in both sacks (6) and tackles (64) with San Francisco.