New York Jets - AFC East
USC QB Mark Sanchez
USC QB Mark Sanchez
Posted Apr 27, 2009

New York Jets - AFC East, 2009 Draft Selections & Prospects

New York Jets

- 2009 NFL Draft Breakdown and Analysis
1st Round
| 2nd Round | 3rd Round | 4th Round | 5th Round | 6th Rd | 7th Rd

CFN 2009 Draft Central & Team-by-Team Picks and Analysis


5 5 1st Round 
Mark Sanchez, QB USC (Jr.) 6-2, 227
One of the toughest calls of the draft, Sanchez isn't the talent that Carson Palmer was coming out of USC, and he appears to be more fired up about being a great quarterback, rather than a big star, than Matt Leinart. The big knock is his lack of playing experience having only been the main man for roughly a year and a half. The other knock is that he hasn't faced a whole bunch of adversity playing with all the talent around him at USC. The Trojans weren't nearly as talented when Palmer was under center, and Leinart had proved himself in national championships (even in the loss to Texas) and in tight battles against Notre Dame and Fresno State. Sanchez was fine, but nothing special despite a tremendous performance against Penn State in the Rose Bowl. To be a star in the NFL, he'll have to be a gym rat and they're going to have to kick him out of the weight room. He needs to get bigger, stronger, and faster; he's not an elite athlete in any way. On the plus side, he has a good enough NFL arm to make all the throws, he's used to competition, and again, he appears to be the type of prospect who wants to make himself better and will do all the dirty work needed.
CFN Value Rank:
First Round       CFN Position Rank: 2
1 65 3rd Round (from Detroit)   
Shonn Greene, RB Iowa 5-11, 230 (Jr.)
Greene didn't completely come from out of nowhere, but no one saw a Doak Walker season coming. No one. Forgotten now, Greene was barely the sure-thing starter coming out of spring ball last year with other backs also getting looks. While he's not fast, he's extremely strong, bounces off tacklers when he's trying for a hard yard, and he doesn't have a lot of tread on the tires considering he's only been the man for a year. He'll have to show early on in camp that he can run strong every play and he has to become more of a receiver, but with his size, his consistency, and with his upside as a 25-carry back, he's a good prospect with more boom than bust.
CFN Value Rank: Third Round
   CFN Position Rank: 4
20 193 6th Round
Matt Slauson, OG Nebraska 6-5, 315
The skills are there to become a nice backup guard. He's versatile enough to play almost anywhere on the line with good athleticism and decent enough power, but he's not consistent and he hasn't always played up to his skills. There needs to be more of a killer instinct as he didn't do enough to plow over defenders in the running game, but he can move and has the raw materials to make a team.
CFN Value Rank: Seventh Round
   CFN Position Rank: 15


The Draft Was ... Solid considering the lack of selections. They got the end with the biggest upside (Vernon Gholston) and the No. 1 tight end (Dustin Keller), and a fifth rounder on Erik Ainge could turn out to be a major steal if he's given a year of playing time to get his feet wet. CB Dwight Lowery is a boom-or-bust pick in the fourth round.
Best Value Pick: Vernon Gholston, DE Ohio State. 1st Round. No one will ever be honest about their draft boards, but it's safe to say Gholston was in the top three of on at least half of them and number one overall on a few.
Biggest Reach: Dwight Lowery, CB San Jose State. 4th Round. A limited corner, Lowery is a bit of a flier considering the Jets only ended up having six picks. They could regret not taking DT Dre Moore, who went two picks later to Tampa Bay.
They Should've ... Gotten a running back. Thomas Jones isn't the answer, and if Darren McFadden is a superstar and Gholston busts, Jets fans will never forget what might have been. More should've been done to get a third round pick to take a back.


6 6 1st Round  Vernon Gholston, DE Ohio State
It's all about the motor. If Gholston has the fire lit under him and goes full-tilt all the time, he's the best defensive player in the draft and he could be the best overall talent available. The question will be his game-in-game-out consistency. Oh sure, when it's Monday Night Football and the spotlight is on, he'll blow up and come up with the game needed to make a big splash and create a Pro Bowl buzz, but will he show up for that non-descript 1:00 early November game against Buffalo? Versatile enough to be used as an outside linebacker and more than strong enough to be an every down end, he can do it all for a defense and when he's on, he'll be unstoppable. He has safety athleticism and proved at the Combine he's as strong as any offensive lineman. While he's not the sure thing Chris Long is, there's a much, much bigger upside.
CFN Value Rank: Top Ten Overall   CFN Position Rank: 1
30 30 1st Round (from Green Bay)    Dustin Keller, TE Purdue
Considered around the third or fourth best tight end prospect after the season, Keller blew everyone away at the Combine running a 4.57 and proving to be the most athletic of the bunch. While he's not going to block anyone and he doesn't have prototypical size, coming in at 6-2 and around 245 pounds, he has the potential to be a dangerous receiver with the potential to grow into a plus for r the ground game.
CFN Value Rank: Second Round      CFN Position Rank: 1
14 113 4th Round (from trade)  Dwight Lowery, CB/FS San Jose State
Coming over from the JUCO ranks, Lowery made a huge splash with nine interceptions as a junior and four last year. He's a good pass defender and made the most of his opportunities, but he'll have to work his way into a safety role to stick around the league for a while. He's not a good man-on-man defender and he doesn't have the speed to become a starting NFL corner.
CFN Value Rank: Seventh Round   CFN Position Rank: 26 (as a CB)
27 162 5th Round (from trade)  Erik Ainge, QB Tennessee
Think a less awkward Bernie Kosar. While he doesn't have the rocket arm the NFL types would like and he's not mechanically sound enough to be a star, he could be the type of backup quarterback who sits on a bench for two years, comes in and has a huge four game stretch, and then cashes in on the free agent market. No, he's not going to throw a pea through a cement wall like a Joe Flacco, but he proved at Tennessee under offensive coordinator David Cutcliffe that he could get the ball in a position for his receivers to do big things. He had a great receiving corps as a junior and was fantastic. He had a developing, young receiving corps as a senior and he was even better. He makes his receivers look better than they actually are.
CFN Value Rank: Fourth to Fifth Round   CFN Position Rank: 8
5 171 6th Round  Marcus Henry, WR Kansas
With great size and decent speed, he has good measurables. The 6-4, 207-pounder has 4.57 speed and is smooth like butter. However, he doesn't use his speed well and doesn't use his size to beat up defensive backs for the ball. He needs to become a more physical player, but overall he has good upside.

CFN Value Rank: F
ree Agent  CFN Position Rank: NR
4 211 7th Round  Nate Garner, OT Arkansas
HUGE. At 6-6 and 335 pounds, he has the size to be a powerful right tackle and could even be moved inside a little bit, but he's a developmental prospect. With no athleticism whatsoever, he'll be ripped apart if he ever has to face a speed rusher. He has potential as a big-time run blocker.
CFN Value Rank: Free Agent   CFN Position Rank: 29