Looking Back: New York Jets 2006 NFL Draft Ranking

Kevin DeBenedetto@KDebo9Correspondent IApril 19, 2009

NEW YORK - APRIL 29:  D'Brickashaw Ferguson with his family after being selected fourth oveall by the New York Jets in the 2006 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 29, 2006 in New York City.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

It is well-known that draft classes can only truly be graded once the class is in their third year or later.

That means that the 2006 NFL Draft class can finally now be examined, and I will grade my favorite team, the New York Jets.

The Jets were coming off a 4-12 season in 2005 and had two first round draft picks this year.  It was the first year for Mangini in the war room and a good draft could really give him support from the fans.

I will go round by round looking at every pick they made, talk a little bit about the player, and then grade them. They will be graded on play so far, and their potential grade. Their potential grade is a guess on how they could end up as a player for the rest of their career.

Round one

Fourth overall pick: D’Brickashaw Ferguson, OT, Virginia

He has received a lot of hate, which is not deserved. Did he have a rocky start? Sure, but he was a rookie playing in the second-hardest position to play in the NFL. Very few rookies can start in game one and have a great season (See: Clady, Ryan).

You also have to understand for that his first two years, he had no help on that line besides the other first round pick this year, Nick Mangold.

To put it differently, ‘Brick only allowed four sacks this past season. That ranked 14th among left tackles, so right now he is better than half of the league’s starting tackles. That number also came with Brett Favre taking snaps, who didn’t move much at all. If he had a young QB behind him, like he will this year, that number should drop.

Expect to see a 1-2.5 sack allowance number this year.

29th overall pick: Nick Mangold, C, Ohio State

The anchor of this offensive line, Nick Mangold has played like a top-ten pick.

He allowed two sacks this season, a phenomenal number. Considering he is playing next to Alan Fanaca (seven sacks allowed) and Brandon Moore (two sacks allowed), both run-blocking specialists who lack in pass blocking, he has done great.

Mangold was also given credit by Richard Seymour, who said he is the toughest center in the league to play against. He also is practicing against Kris Jenkins everyday, which will only make him better. Both of these young talents will be on the Jets line for the next ten years.

Round two

49th overall pick: Kellen Clemens, QB, Oregon

The jury is still out on Kellen Clemens.

He was given some time to play in 2007, and it was iffy. But we have to look at the facts for 2007. The offensive line was absolutely terrible, and offered little to no pass protection. I’m sure all Jets fans remember how bad that line was.

He almost led the Jets to victory in week two over the Baltimore Ravens, except a certain someone named Justin McCariens didn't know how to hang onto the ball.

He played great ball-control offense in both the Washington game and Pittsburgh game, which produced a win against Pittsburgh game and should have against Washington.

He has a great arm, great poise, and has shown leadership qualities this off season. He would be a perfect quarterback for Rex Ryan, and I think he should be given a chance.

Round three

76th overall: Anthony Schlegel, LB, Ohio State

Erm, what?

This was a terrible pick for a so far good draft. The front office snagged the future LT and C, a possible franchise quarterback, and then take...Schlegel?

Undersized, and reached for, Schlegel played for the Air Force Academy for his first two years of college, then transferred to OSU, where he was decent but never excellent.

Predicted as a fourth, fringe fifth round player, the Jets reached for him here, and boy was that a mistake. Released only a year after, he was signed by the Bengals and then released again.

97th overall pick: Eric Smith, S, Michigan State

The first compensatory selection of the 2006 NFL Draft, Eric Smith has had an ok career with the Jets so far.

His good measurables at the combine boosted him from a mid-fourth round choice to the third, where the Jets took him. Although he has given up plenty of plays deep, he is a good tackler, but nothing more then a backup.

He will most likely see a large decrease in playing time with the signing of Jim Leonhard, and possibly even cut from the team.

Round Four

103rd overall pick: Brad Smith, WR/QB, Missouri

The NCAA record-holder for rushing yards for a QB (before Pat White broke it this season), Brad Smith was drafted to play wide receiver for the Jets.

A true Mangini guy, he was a great gimmick for trick plays. Reverses, lining up as the quarterback when the ‘WildCat’ formation came to life this past season, wide receiver passes, you name it.

Not known to be the strongest or fastest, he used his tools and used them well, to be a decent receiver for the Jets these past couple of years.

117th overall pick: Leon Washington, RB, Florida State

Ahh, the fan favorite of Jets fans for the past couple of years. Lightning in a bottle, ‘Neon’ Leon, this man has the nicknames. He deserves them too, for his electric play.

We got this pick when Herman Edwards went to coach the Chiefs, and we can only thank them. He became well-known after Justin Miller tore his ACL and Leon started returning kicks, and then started bringing them to the house.

Fans have been crying for him to get the ball more and it looks like this year it will happen.  He is a true threat to score a touchdown every time he touches the ball, and he was one of the best picks in this draft, for any team.

Herm going to the Chiefs might have been the best thing he did for the Jets.

Round Five

150th overall pick: Jason Pociask, TE, Wisconsin

A pick for tight end depth, Pociask was released the next year. He currently plays for the Buccaneers, although I don’t think he has done anything except serve as a backup. He has the potential to be a good blocking tight end, although I don’t think he wants to be.

Round Six

189th overall pick: Drew Coleman, CB, TCU

He is still currently playing on the team and has been a dime back for us since the Jets drafted him. He is known to give cushion to receivers, which hurts us. He will never be higher than a nickleback, although he has seen some snaps as a safety.

Round Seven

220th overall pick: Titus Adams, DT, Nebraska

Drafted just to use the draft choice, Adams was never expected to make an impact. He was waived in September of 2006 and resigned to the practice squad. Adams has been a journeyman ever since.

Overall, this was a decent draft for the Jets. They scored two members of our offensive line who should be with the team their whole careers in D’Brickashaw Ferguson and Nick Mangold.

They drafted a potential franchise quarterback in the second round, Kellen Clemens, who should see full-time action this year. The Jets got the steal of the draft in Leon Washington in the fourth round, and all Jet fans hope he will be in Green and White for the rest of his career.

The only round that if they could go back in time and fix would be the third round, and they wouldn’t of taken Schlegel. Looking at the linebackers taken in the third round after him, Clint Ingram or Freddy Kiaho would have been a better choice there. Despite these picks, this draft was a major step in the right direction to make the Jets a legitimate franchise.


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