New York Jets' Success Secrets: 13 First Round Picks Show Why Jets Flying High

Eric EdmundsonContributor IJanuary 18, 2011

13 First Round Picks Show Why The New York Jets Are Succeeding

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    D'Brickashaw Ferguson is one of many 1st round picks on the jets roster
    D'Brickashaw Ferguson is one of many 1st round picks on the jets rosterEzra Shaw/Getty Images

    If our measuring stick of "talent" on an NFL roster is based upon how many high draft picks they have, then the New York Jets run away with the "talent" award.  Many think this is just a team of feisty underdogs, but, to the contrary, there is no team that can boast as many high draft picks as this Jets team. 

    To follow are an astonishing 13 first round draft picks that have contributed greatly to the Jets success this season.  And many of the remaining contributors or back-ups on their roster are 2nd and 3rd round picks.

    The Jets are not just a group of scrappy trash-talkers, as they would like you to believe.  This team is absolutely loaded with highly acclaimed talent that many of us forgot about long ago and here are some of their most gifted.

LaDainian Tomlinson: Running Back

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    FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 16:  LaDainian Tomlinson #21 of the New York Jets runs for a touchdown during their 2011 AFC divisional playoff game against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on January 16, 2011 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Elsa/
    Elsa/Getty Images

    Drafted: 2001
    (5th overall by the Chargers)

    After spending his entire career with the San Diego Chargers, setting numerous records, earning five pro bowls, and even an NFL MVP award, the Jets were able to coerce him to New York.

    He has shown us all that there was still life in his legs.

    Talented?  Yep, about as talented as they come.

Damien Woody: Tackle

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    EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - AUGUST 27:  Damien Woody #67 of the New York Jets in action against the Washington Redskins  during their preseason game on August 27, 2010 at the New Meadowlands Stadium  in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Ima
    Al Bello/Getty Images

    Drafted: 1999
    (17th overall by the Patriots)

    Yes, Woody's season is over but he contributed to their success for most of the year.

    Amazingly, his replacement, Wayne Hunter, is NOT a first round pick.  He's a slouch.  He's only a third-rounder.

Trevor Pryce: Defensive End

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    EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 25:  Quarterback Carson Palmer #9 of the Cincinnati Bengals is tackled for a safety by Trevor Pryce #93 of the New York Jets at New Meadowlands Stadium on November 25, 2010 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Jets defeated t
    Chris Trotman/Getty Images

    Drafted: 1997
    (28th overall by the Broncos)

    After spending most of his career with the Broncos, Pryce worked with Rex Ryan in Baltimore when Ryan was the defensive coordinator.  After being released by the Ravens prior to this season, Ryan immediately snatched him up.

    Another talented individual that has contributed for the Jets this season.

Shaun Ellis: Defensive End

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    INDIANAPOLIS, IN - JANUARY 08:  Defensive end Shaun Ellis #92 of the New York Jets rushes the passer against Bobby Eldridge #81 of the Indianapolis Colts during their 2011 AFC wild card playoff game at Lucas Oil Stadium on January 8, 2011 in Indianapolis,
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Drafted: 2000
    (12th overall by the Jets)

    Ellis is the oldest first rounder on the Jets roster that was actually drafted by the Jets.

    He's not playing like his age, though, and destroyed the Patriots offensive line in yesterday's game.

    Tom Brady will be having nightmares with this first rounder's face in the middle of it.

Darrelle Revis: Cornerback

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    FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 16:  Darrelle Revis #24 of the New York Jets breaks up a pass intended for Deion Branch #84 of the New England Patriots during their 2011 AFC divisional playoff game at Gillette Stadium on January 16, 2011 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.
    Al Bello/Getty Images

    Drafted: 2007
    (14th overall by the Jets)

    Revis Island didn't come out of nowhere.  He was highly touted coming out of college in the 2007 draft.  Typically, a cornerback's peak years are in his mid 20's.

    Hmmmm...........

    25 years old and incredibly talented?   Beast.

Antonio Cromartie: Cornerback

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    INDIANAPOLIS, IN - JANUARY 08:  Antonio Cromartie #31 of the New York Jets returns a kickoff 47-yards in the final minute of the fourth quarter against kicker Pat McAfee #1 of the Indianapolis Colts during their 2011 AFC wild card playoff game at Lucas Oi
    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    Drafted: 2006
    (19th overall by the Chargers)

    As if Darrelle Revis weren't enough, the Jets needed another top cornerback in the league and traded for Cromartie in the off-season.

    Greedy, just greedy.

Calvin Pace: Linebacker

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    FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 16:  Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots looses the ball as he is sacked by Calvin Pace #97 of the New York Jets in the third quarter of their 2011 AFC divisional playoff game at Gillette Stadium on January 16, 2011 in Foxboro,
    Al Bello/Getty Images

    Drafted: 2003
    (18th overall by the Cardinals)

    After spending his first few years with the team that drafted him, the Arizona Cardinals, the Jets were able to sign Pace as a free agent in 2008, a year before Rex Ryan joined him in New York.

    Rex says thank you to the Jets management.

Santonio Holmes: Wide Receiver

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    FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 16:  Santonio Holmes #10 of the New York Jets makes a fourth quarter touchdown reception over Kyle Arrington #27 of the New England Patriots during their 2011 AFC divisional playoff game at Gillette Stadium on January 16, 2011 in Fox
    Jim Rogash/Getty Images

    Drafted: 2006
    (25th overall by the Steelers)

    The Steelers dumped Holmes after too many run-ins with the law, even though he was the MVP of Super Bowl XLIII.

    The Jets don't care.  He's extremely talented, duh?

D'Brickashaw Ferguson: Tackle

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    CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 26: Julius Peppers #90 of the Chicago Bears rushes against D' Brickashaw Ferguson #60 of the New York Jets at Soldier Field on December 26, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Jets 38-34. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Gett
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Drafted: 2006
    (4th overall by the Jets)

    Ferguson came into the league with high expectations.  After a rough start, he has hit his stride.

    It was just a matter of time before his athletic superiority took over.

Nick Mangold: Center

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    EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 19:  Nick Mangold #74 of the New York Jets blocks Vince Wilfork #74 of the New England Patriots during their  game on September 19, 2010 at the New Meadowlands Stadium  in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Al Bello/Ge
    Al Bello/Getty Images

    Drafted: 2006
    (29th overall by the Jets)

    Now considered by many to be one of the best centers in the NFL, Mangold was drafted in the same round and same year as Ferguson.

    The Jets were able to solidify the two most important positions on their offensive line in one round of a single draft.  It's almost unfair, right?

Mark Sanchez: Quarterback

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    FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 16:  Mark Sanchez #6 of the New York Jets drops back during their 2011 AFC divisional playoff game against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on January 16, 2011 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images
    Jim Rogash/Getty Images

    Drafted: 2009
    (5th overall by the Jets)

    Just another USC quarterback selected in the first round of the NFL draft.

    Of course the Jets have one .............

Braylon Edwards: Wide Receiver

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    FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 16:  Braylon Edwards #17 of the New York Jets scores a second quarter touchdown as Devin McCourty #32 and Brandon Meriweather #31 of the New England Patriots attempt to tackle during their 2011 AFC divisional playoff game at Gillette
    Elsa/Getty Images

    Drafted: 2005
    (3rd overall by the Browns)

    Another first round pick that the Jets traded to acquire.

    Edwards is so physically gifted, he sometimes forgets to catch the ball before showing us his amazing skills.

Dustin Keller: Tight End

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    INDIANAPOLIS, IN - JANUARY 08:  Dustin Keller #81 of the New York Jets runs for yards after the catch against Gary Brackett #58 of the Indianapolis Colts during their 2011 AFC wild card playoff game at Lucas Oil Stadium on January 8, 2011 in Indianapolis,
    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    Drafted: 2008
    (30th overall by the Jets)

    Another homegrown first round success for the Jets organization.

    He is now Sanchez's safety valve, although there seem to be a lot of safety valves on this team.