Since 1969, there have been very few opportunities for New York Jets fans to smile.
Especially considering it's the weekend of the draft.
Marty Lyons, Lam Jones, Ron Faurot, Roger Vick, Blair Thomas, Kyle Brady, and DeWayne Robertson.
These are just a few of the names that have haunted Jets fans for the last 30 years. The draft has often been a time of boos, sarcastic laughs, and questioning of authority for Jets fans. When you take DeWayne Robertson over Kevin Williams, a fan surely has the right to be mad at the GM.
But the Jets fan doesn't have to be mad this year. Or for that matter, any of the last five years.
Let me come out and say that Mike Tannenbaum is one of the best general managers in the NFL. He has assembled an excellent team since 2006, and even though the Jets have made some very productive free agent signings, the core of the team has been built around the draft.
Names like Nick Mangold, D'Brickishaw Ferguson, Eric Smith, Brad Smith, Leon Washington, Darelle Revis, David Harris, Dustin Keller, Dwight Lowery, Mark Sanchez, and Shonn Greene are now household to the average Jets fan.
While Jerry Reese has been given a lot of credit for his excellent ability to draft, Tannenbaum also deserves a lot of credit.
The Jets drafted for need this year, and though the fan might not have been blown out of their seat like they were last year, the Jets did do a nice job of addressing the few areas of concern.
Here is the breakdown of the Jets 2010 draft:
First round, 29th overall—Kyle Wilson, CB, Boise State
Though Wilson is rather small, he is very fast and aggressive, and is excellent in man coverage. He will also provide depth at cornerback, where the Jets already have Antonio Cromartie, Darrelle Revis, and Dwight Lowery.
Second round, 61st overall—Vladimir Ducasse, OG, UMass
Ducasse is a dominating force at guard, and he ate up opponents while at UMass. Then again, UMass is a I-AA school, which means the competition isn't anything comparable to the NFL. The Jets also cut Alan Faneca for this guy, so there is a lot of pressure on him to come in immediately and perform well.
Fourth round, 112th overall—Joe McKnight, RB, USC
McKnight was one of the top high school players in the country, but he didn't get that many carries at USC, so many don't know who he is. McKnight is extremely fast but has some injury history and has also been investigated for for driving an SUV that wasn't his.
Along with Shonn Greene and LT, McKnight should fit in nicely, and when LT decides to retire, Greene and McKnight should form a very nice power and speed combo.
Fifth round, 139th overall —John Conner, FB, Kentucky
This pick is obvious anticipation that Tony Richardson will either retire some time very soon, or the Jets are planning to cut ties with him. Conner is short, but very explosive. He will be tutored by one of the best fullbacks in the last 20 years.