Commentary

Pennington among best Jets draft picks

Let's break down Gang Green's best selections of the past 20 drafts

Updated: April 21, 2011, 8:49 AM ET
By Rich Cimini | ESPNNewYork.com

As the New York Jets approach the 2011 NFL draft, ESPN New York decided to take a look back at the past two decades and some of the gems the Jets drafted.

There were more gems at certain positions than others, but here's a few we thought were worth mentioning.

OFFENSE

[+] EnlargeDustin Keller
Rich Kane/Icon SMIKeller has emerged as an elite option for Mark Sanchez at tight end.

QB -- Chad Pennington (Round 1, 2000)

Winningest Jets QB over the past decade -- 32-29, plus two playoff wins. Injuries his downfall.

RB -- Leon Washington (Round 4, 2006)

Scored 19 touchdowns in four seasons. All-Pro kick returner in 2007.

RB -- Richie Anderson (Round 6, 1993)

A premier, pass-catching fullback. Finished with 400 career receptions.

WR -- Terance Mathis (Round 6, 1990)

Enjoyed four 1,000-yard receiving seasons with Atlanta Falcons after four non-descript seasons with Jets.

WR -- Laveranues Coles (Round 3, 2000)

Slipped in draft because of off-the-field issues. Fourth-leading receiver in team history.

TE -- Dustin Keller (Round 1, 2008)

Bucked the trend of lousy first-round tight-ends. Three seasons, 148 receptions -- and improving.

OL -- Nick Mangold (Round 1, 2006)

Arguably the best center in the NFL. Has started every game in five seasons. A two-time All-Pro.

OL -- D'Brickashaw Ferguson (Round 1, 2006)

Outstanding blind-side protection for Mark Sanchez. Highest-drafted player (fourth overall) on our team.

OL -- Jason Fabini (Round 4, 1998)

Classic overachiever. Started from Day 1 at right tackle, later switched to left tackle.

OL -- Randy Thomas (Round 2, 1999)

Tough, athletic guard, lasted 10-plus seasons, the last six with Washington Redskins.

OL -- Kareem McKenzie (Round 3, 2001)

Best pick of the Terry Bradway era. Smart and steady right tackle. Jumped to New York Giants in 2005.

DEFENSE

DL -- Hugh Douglas (Round 1, 1995)

Small-school star flashed promise with Jets, but shipped to Philadelphia, where he made three Pro Bowls.

DL -- Jason Ferguson (Round 7, 1997)

Absolute steal. Slipped because of positive drug test but lasted 11 years with Jets, Dallas Cowboys and Miami Dolphins.

DL -- Shaun Ellis (Round 1, 2000)

Never dominant, but always good. Two-time Pro Bowler. Has appeared in more postseason games than any Jet.

DL -- John Abraham (Round 1, 2000)

Rollercoaster stay with Jets, but has blossomed into elite pass rusher with Falcons. More than 100 career sacks.

LB -- Mo Lewis (Round 3, 1991)

Only retired player on our team that played entire career in one uniform. Made three Pro Bowls.

LB -- James Farrior (Round 1, 1997)

Another big one that got away. Found happiness with the Pittsburgh Steelers, winning two Super Bowl rings.

LB -- David Harris (Round 2, 2007)

Do-it-all linebacker. One of the cornerstones on the current defense. Designated "franchise" player.

DB -- Darrelle Revis (Round 1, 2007)

Best cornerback in football, has a chance to be an all-time great. Only player with his own "island."

DB -- Aaron Glenn (Round 1, 1994)

A shutdown corner in his prime. Played 14 seasons with five teams. Made three Pro Bowls.

DB -- Kerry Rhodes (Round 4, 2004)

Fell out of favor and dealt to Arizona Cardinals but had two very good years with Jets.

DB -- Marcus Coleman (Round 5, 1996)

A cornerback/safety, finished with 25 career interceptions for Jets and Houston Texans. Once had two picks in one overtime.

SPECIAL TEAMS

P/K -- Craig Hentrich (Round 8, 1993)

Cut in first training camp by Jets, hit it big with Green Bay Packers and Tennessee Titans. Lasted 16 seasons.

Rich Cimini

ESPN New York Jets reporter

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