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5 biggest NFL Draft busts in New York Jets history


When you think of the word disaster, one team comes to mind — the New York Jets. The J-E-T-S are inept in many ways, such as free agency, hiring head coaches, or attempting to find starting quarterbacks. Where they might be the worst is in the NFL Draft.

The Jets have arguably made more bad picks over the years than any other team in the league. You can combine a few teams, and the bad picks will not equal that of Gang Green. That made this list very hard to put together, but boy, it is a fun one to think about if you are not a fan of the Jets.

All members of this list were selected in the first round. Before we begin, let’s look at some classic second-round blunders by the Jets. In 2005, New York drafted a Mike Nugent with the 47th overall pick. Yes, a kicker. In 2012, Stephen Hill became a Jet with the 42nd overall pick. Just four years later, the Jets selected Christian Hackenberg with the 51st pick. It is important to note that the Penn State product did not enter a game in two years with the Jets. You could probably count on one hand the number of times he suited up.

5. Dewayne Robinson, DT

Robinson begins out the list of first-round busts. The word to describe Robinson as a pro is serviceable, but that is not the word you want when thinking of a fourth overall pick. New York traded away two first-round picks so that they could move up and take Robinson in 2003.

Robinson played six seasons and finished his career with 16 sacks. He turned in a huge combine workout that moved him up draft boards quickly. Robinson is a prime example of why combine workouts should not be viewed the way they are.

4. Kyle Brady, TE

In 1995, the Jets held the ninth-overall pick in the draft. Out of every player available, New York opted to draft a blocking tight end out of Penn State to have this at No. 4 on the list should have you looking forward to the top-three.

Brady played four years with the Jets and caught 10 total touchdowns. He never eclipsed 30 catches in a season. To make matters worse, Hall of Famer Warren Sapp was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers three picks later.

3. Roger Vick, FB

If you thought a tight end at nine was bad, how about a fullback at 21? That is what the Jets did in 1987. Yes, the game was different back then but not different enough to warrant taking Vick in the first round.

Vick lasted three years with the Jets. He totaled 1,231 rushing yards and nine touchdowns. After leaving the Jets, he spent one year with the Philadelphia Eagles before his career ended.

2. Lam Jones, WR

The Jets traded away two first-round picks in 1980 to move up and take a wide receiver. The problem is, they took the wrong one. New York drafted Johnny “Lam” Jones with the second overall pick. They loved his speed at the position, but that was about all he had. Jones could not stay healthy and had a problem catching the ball.

Jones lasted five years with the Jets, and that was the end for him. He totaled 13 touchdowns and 138 catches. The next wide receiver drafted in 1980 came at No. 18 by the Washington Redskins. It was Hall of Famer Art Monk. Even worse than that, the Cincinnati Bengals used the No. 3 overall pick in 1980 on Hall of Fame tackle Anthony Munoz.

1. Vernon Gholston, LB

Gholston is not just No. 1 on the Jets’ list, but he is among the worst draft busts of all-time. The Jets selected the Ohio State product with the sixth-overall pick. He recorded 22.5 sacks in two seasons as a Buckeye. The Jets thought they had their next big name pass rusher. It turned out to be quite the opposite.

In three years with the Jets, Gholston did not record a sack. Think about how amazing that is. Players have recorded sacks by accident, and a player drafted sixth-overall could not get one. He played 45 games with the Jets and started just five times. He finished his career with 24 solo tackles, no sacks, and a very bad reputation.