New York Jets 2009 Post-Draft Review

He did it again

For the third year in a row, Mike Tannenbaum, the crafty General Manager of the New York Jets, made a big draft-day deal, moving up 12 spots to get the player he coveted, quarterback Mark Sanchez of Southern Cal. Sanchez immediately moves into contention for the starting signal-caller position on the Jets, as he displays the physical skills and mental make-up that warranted him being a top pick. In addition, he comes from a system at USC that emphasized a strong ground game and an aggressive defense, similar to what the Jets will hopefully be surrounding him with in New York. During his pre-draft visits to the East coast, the 22 year-old native from southern California wowed the Jets with his strong leadership-type personality and his desire to present his wares on one of the NFL's biggest media stages in New York. After the draft, Sanchez enamored himself further with Jet personnel by immediately contacting several veteran players to arrange throwing sessions with; while he also reached out to the quarterback he'll be "vying for" the starting spot against, Kellen Clemens. While no one has officially handed the starting reins over to Sanchez, nobody is expecting him to sit; especially after New York traded 3 players plus draft picks to make him a top-5 selection.

Added running back

Lost somewhat in the hoopla surrounding Mark Sanchez is the Jets' third round selection of Iowa running back Shonn Greene. Last year, the big 230- pound tailback rushed for at least 100 yards in every single Iowa game finishing 2008 off as the Big 10's leading rusher with 1,850 yards and 20 touchdowns. New York moved up 11 spots by trading 3 draft picks to select Greene and they are counting on the former Hawkeye to push for playing time beside Thomas Jones. With both Jones and Leon Washington also now unhappy with contracts and skipping the organized team activities, Greene has a big opportunity to make an impression during the rookie minicamps. While he is similar to Jones in both physicality and the type of runners they both are, Greene does not have the hands or receiving skills that Jones has. Nor does he have the speed coming out of the backfield that Washington possesses.

Last of three picks

In trading selections to move up, New York had only 3 picks in this draft and ended their selections by taking in the sixth round, Matt Slauson, a three-time All-Big 12 offensive lineman from Nebraska. Slauson made 35 starts in his Cornhusker career playing right guard and both tackle positions. In the rookie camps, he has been practicing almost exclusively at right guard and should be able to lend some depth to this position. Slauson reunites with the Jets' offensive line coach, Bill Callahan, who recruited the lineman when Callahan was head coach at Nebraska.


While the Jets should be applauded for their aggressive efforts to get the players they wanted, the wide receiver position is still a very concerning area of need. There are no game-breakers or big-time play-makers on this current roster, so the excitement of having a new quarterback is dampened somewhat by the lack of quality pass-catchers Sanchez will have at his disposal. And despite the re-signing of Bubba Franks, New York did not help its situation at tight end either, as there are still blocking concerns at this position.

Giant cast-off

Reportedly, the Jets have shown interest in controversial free-agent wide receiver Plaxico Burress. New York officials have confirmed inquires to his agent, while they wait on what will happen to the troubled player at his June court hearing on weapons charges. While there is no discounting that Burress' on-the-field talent would help the receiver-hungry Jets, it is his problems off the field that make him a headache and a risky proposition to teams that could use his services.

Free agents

On the defensive side of the ball, the Jets did nothing via the draft, although they did acquire some pretty high-profile veterans to be added to their stop-units as Coach Ryan scored by picking up starting inside linebacker Bart Scott, defensive end Marques Douglas, and free safety Jim Leonhard from his former team the Ravens. All 3 are expected to start. The signings of Douglas and Leonhard also helped the Jets make the deal with Cleveland to move up and select Sanchez; as they had replacements now, already in position for the players they gave up to the Browns. Pro-bowler Lito Sheppard landed in a trade with Philadelphia and he will team with another pro-bowler, budding superstar Darrelle Revis to give the Jets a couple of very strong cornerbacks in the secondary.

-Lenny Moretti for

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