2nd round- No. 61 overall pick
Vladimir Ducasse, OT, Massachusetts
Grade: F— One of the most disappointing draft picks in recent memory. Touted as a dominating run blocker, Ducasse has hardly seen the field and when he has toed the gridiron, the results have been nothing short of catastrophic. He may very well steal the moniker of ‘the turnstile’ from teammate Wayne Hunter for his own inept pass blocking ability.
1st round- No. 6 overall pick
Vernon Gholston, DE, Ohio State
Grade: F— Drawing comparisons to Terrell Suggs of the Baltimore Ravens, Gholston was supposed to be an elite pass-rusher in New York. It did not pan out that way. Gholston failed to make a smooth transition from defensive end to outside linebacker in Ryan’s 3-4 scheme. The Jets tried to convert Gholston back to his natural position of defensive end prior to the start of the 2009 season, but the change yielded similar results. In three seasons with the Green and White, the former Ohio State standout failed to record a sack. Gholston was a Dud with a capital ‘D.’
2nd round- No. 49 overall pick
Kellen Clemens, QB, Oregon
Grade: D— General manager Mike Tannenbaum drafted Clemens as an insurance policy for then-starting quarterback Chad Pennington. After Pennington suffered an ankle injury in New York’s 2007 season opener, Clemens was named the starter for a Week two contest against the Baltimore Ravens. The former Oregon Duck started eight games in 2007, tallying five touchdowns, ten interceptions and completing just 52 percent of his pass attempts. Clemens backed-up Brett Favre in 2008 and Mark Sanchez from 2009-2010. Granted he was drafted as a second-stringer, Clemens was not a serviceable reserve signal caller for the Jets.
5th round- No. 139 overall pick
John Conner, FB, Kentucky
Grade: B+ —Conner has evolved into one of the top run blockers at his position. Nicknamed ‘the Terminator’, the Jets fullback is renowned for delivering bone-jarring hits to his opponents. Gang Green utilized Conner has a short yardage running back with decent success in 2011. The former Kentucky bruiser showed a propensity for fumbling while not developing as a pass-catching threat out of the backfield. There is still room for growth in the young career of New York’s budding star.
1st round-No. 30 overall pick
Dustin Keller, TE, Purdue
Grade: B + —Mark Sanchez’s security blanked has enjoyed a superb four seasons in Green and White. In 48 career games as a Jet, Keller has hauled in 213 receptions totaling 2,559 yards and registered 15 touchdowns. The speedy tight end has shown tremendous athleticism and agility in the open field, yet his blocking skills have failed to impress. In spite of his shortcomings as a blocker, Keller has ascended to the NFL’s elite pass-catching tight ends.
1st round- No. 14 overall pick
Darrelle Revis, CB, Pittsburgh
Grade: A+ —Widely regarded as the top cornerback in the NFL, Revis is a game-changer on the defensive side of the ball. Opposing quarterbacks steer clear of Revis’ side of the field terming his territory ‘Revis Island.’ The former Pittsburgh Panther star has been the focal point of the Jets vaunted defense for the past five seasons. In 77 career games, Revis has amassed 283 total tackles, 95 pass deflections, 18 interceptions—three of which were returned for touchdowns. The Jets have uncovered the NFL’s diamond in the rough.
2nd round-No. 47 overall pick
David Harris, ILB, Michigan
Grade: A —Harris is everything a franchise linebacker should be. He’s tough-minded, physically domineering and a leader both on and off the field. The Jets man in the middle is a menacing presence, making opposing offenses think twice before running between the tackles against New York. In 75 career games, Harris has collected 514 total tackles, 19.5 sacks, six interceptions—one of which was returned for a score. Gang Green hit a home run when they landed Harris in the second round of the 2007 NFL draft.
1st round- No. 4 overall pick
D’Brickashaw Fergusion, OT, Virginia
Grade: A —Quietly becoming the game’s premier left tackle, Ferguson is charged with the not-so coveted task of protecting Sanchez’s blindside. Amid the offensive lines' struggles in 2011, Ferguson was a pillar of strength keeping opposing pass-rushers at bay. In his sixth season with the Green and White, Ferguson has started 96 games, not missing a single contest due to illness or injury. The New York native has been a mainstay with Gang Green and appears to be right at home in the Big Apple.
1st round- No. 29 overall pick
Nick Mangold, C, Ohio State
Grade: A —Prior to the start of the 2011 season, Mangold did not miss a single football game dating back to his high school playing days. Mangold’s high ankle sprained forced him to miss two-games in 2011, a span during which the Jets gained a better appreciation for exactly how valuable their star center is to the team’s success. Sanchez and Mangold have developed a great rapport with New York’s center serving as a calming influence for the franchise’s young signal caller. Mangold is arguably the top center in the league and without question a key cog in the Jets offensive attack.
Tannenbaum's Grade: B+
The Jets have a strong crop of home-grown talent with the occasional 'dud' going by the wayside during Tannebaum's tenure. New York's front office will have some major decisions ahead of them with the 2012 NFL draft fast approaching.
Rick Laughland covers the New York Jets for Greenandwhitereport.com
You can follow him on Twitter @rlaughland