Crashed And Burned: New York Jets’ 7 Biggest Draft Busts

April 23, 2019 - 10:02 am


Every team has its share of draft-day busts. The Jets, however, have made an art out of bungling their first-round picks.

Sure, Gang Green has hit some home runs along the way, but for many years, their first-round draft history read more like a Stephen King horror novel.

Here is a look at their worst picks:

7. Dewayne Robertson, DT, Kentucky, 2003

Robertson actually had a couple of decent years in New York, but he never lived up to the lofty expectations that not only came with being the fourth overall selection but also the Jets giving up two first-round picks to trade up to get him. In five seasons with Gang Green, he had 174 tackles and 14½ sacks.

6. Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama, 2013

The Jets were looking for a new shutdown cornerback after trading Darrelle Revis to Tampa Bay, and Milliner certainly looked the part after a stellar college career at Alabama. But his game never translated to the NFL, and health wasn’t on his side, either. In three seasons in New York, Milliner played in just 21 games, intercepting three passes.

The Jets' Dee Milliner attempts to tackle Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson on Sept. 14, 2014.

5. Kyle Brady, TE, Penn State, 1995

The Rich Kotite era got off to inauspicious start when the first-year Jets coach passed on defensive tackle Warren Sapp, who failed a predraft drug test, and instead took Brady, who put together four ho-hum seasons in New York. In all fairness to the Jets, 10 other teams also passed on Sapp, and by most accounts, Bill Belichick and the Browns were ready to snatch up Brady one spot after the Jets’ pick.

4. Roger Vick, FB, Texas A&M, 1987

Taken with the 21st pick, Vick rushed for 1,289 yards and 10 touchdowns in his three years with the Jets. He spent a year with the Eagles, carrying the ball just 16 times, before his career was over.


3. Johnny “Lam” Jones, WR, Texas, 1980

The Jets were so enamored by the Olympic gold-medal sprinter that they traded up to the second overall pick to get him, giving up two first-round picks in the process. Jones could fly, but catching the ball — that was another story. He spent seven seasons with the Jets, but entirely missed two of them with injuries. His best season: 43 catches, 734 yards, four touchdowns.

2. Blair Thomas, RB, Penn State, 1990

The Jets used the second overall pick on the Penn State running back. In four years with Gang Green, Thomas’ best season was 728 rushing yards and three TDs. Just think Emmitt Smith came out that very same year.

1. Vernon Gholston, DE/LB, Ohio State, 2008

After recording just 29 team sacks in 2007, the Jets hoped Gholston would be the answer to their pass-rushing woes. But the sixth overall pick in the draft was out of football after three years, having never recorded a single sack.

Vernon Gholston