New York Jets: Top 10 Prospects

Mark Sanchez (Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Scout.com's Chris Steuber continues the top 10 prospects series and concludes the AFC East by profiling the New York Jets. In this series, an NFL prospect is classified as a player entering their third year in the NFL or under 25 years of age. Find out who the Jets top 10 prospects are entering the 2010 season.

Pos
Ht
Wt
Exp
Age
QB
6-2
225
2
23

The Jets made a bold trade to move up in the 2009 draft to select Mark Sanchez with the fifth overall pick. The selection of Sanchez triggered a new era for the Jets, as they had a new head coach in place and a franchise quarterback to build their team around. Sanchez was named the starting quarterback a week before the season opened, and after a few successful starts, his teammates nicknamed him "The Sanchize". But as good as Sanchez was to start the year, he also had some rookie moments that he would like to forget. In the end, Sanchez helped lead the Jets to the AFC Championship, but lost to the Indianapolis Colts. He finished his rookie campaign completing 53.8-percent of his passes for 2,444 yards, 12 touchdowns and 20 interceptions.

Drafted by New York in the 1st Round (2009).
Pos
Ht
Wt
Exp
Age
RB
5-11
226
2
24

Just like they did for Sanchez, the Jets traded up in the third round to secure Shonn Greene in the 2009 draft. Greene proved to be an effective complement to Thomas Jones last season and displayed the ability to be a featured runner. He played in 14 games as a rookie and carried the ball 108 times for 540 yards and two touchdowns. With Jones and Leon Washington no longer in New York, Greene will receive his opportunity to be the lead back this season. The Jets went out and found a change of pace runner for Greene this season with the signing of former San Diego Chargers great LaDainian Tomlinson.

Drafted by New York in the 3rd Round (2009).
Pos
Ht
Wt
Exp
Age
TE
6-2
248
3
25

Dustin Keller has the ability to be one of the best playmaking tight ends in the NFL. He has great speed, runs sound routes and flashes sure hands. But, he has yet to fully display his true talents as an offensive threat. He's been a consistent performer the last two years; as a rookie he caught 48 passes for 535 yards and three touchdowns and in 2009, he caught 45 passes for 522 yards and two touchdowns. Now entering his third year, the former first round pick is a strong candidate to have a breakout season.

Drafted by New York in the 1st Round (2008).
Pos
Ht
Wt
Exp
Age
CB
5-10
193
R
22

Born in Piscataway, New Jersey, Kyle Wilson will play his pro ball close to his family and friends. Wilson, who was the Jets first round pick this year, fits well in a Rex Ryan defense and possesses the aggressiveness, cover skills and swagger to be an immediate success. As a senior at Boise State, Wilson recorded 43 tackles and three interceptions. With Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie the likely starters at cornerback for the Jets, Wilson will be in the mix for the nickel corner job this season.

Drafted by New York in the 1st Round (2010).
Pos
Ht
Wt
Exp
Age
OG
6-5
315
R
22

Even before the 2010 draft, there were rumors circulating about veteran guard Alan Faneca being released. So, when the Jets selected Vladimir Ducasse in the second round, it was even more apparent that the release of Faneca was imminent; he was released the next day and signed with Arizona shortly after. Ducasse is raw, but can be a dominant figure inside. He's a versatile lineman and can play tackle, but it appears that he will replace Faneca at guard this season.

Drafted by New York in the 2nd Round (2010).
Pos
Ht
Wt
Exp
Age
CB
5-11
198
3
24

Dwight Lowery has been a very productive performer for the Jets since being a fourth round pick a couple of years ago. He's been a valuable part of the secondary, and when asked to start, he's stepped up and made some big plays. Lowery has played in 29 games, starting 15 of them, and has recorded 88 tackles and four interceptions in his first two seasons with the Jets.

Drafted by New York in the 4th Round (2008).
Pos
Ht
Wt
Exp
Age
RB
6-0
200
R
22

When you talk about value in the draft, being able to select a dynamic runner like Joe McKnight in the fourth round was a steal for the Jets. There are scouts that compare McKnight to former USC standout and current New Orleans Saints running back Reggie Bush. McKnight decided to leave USC after his junior season, a season where he rushed for 1,014 yards on 164 carries and eight touchdowns. With Greene and Tomlinson as the main attractions in the backfield this season, McKnight will be used in certain packages to create mismatches against the opposition.

Drafted by New York in the 4th Round (2010).
Pos
Ht
Wt
Exp
Age
DE
6-3
264
3
23

It seems like Vernon Gholston has been around for years, and while many in New York may not feel he's deserving of making this list, the fact remains that he will enter his third year in the NFL at the still developing age of 24 (he will turn 24 on June 5th). The former sixth overall selection in the 2008 draft, Gholston has been a major disappointment thus far and the main reason for his struggles could be because he was playing out of position at outside linebacker. To help save his career in New York, the Jets are moving him to defensive end, the position that he starred at during his time at Ohio State.

Drafted by New York in the 1st Round (2008).
Pos
Ht
Wt
Exp
Age
LB
6-3
255
2
25

Signed as an undrafted free agent after the 2009 draft, Jamaal Westerman surprisingly made the team and played a vital role on special teams and was a situational defender at outside linebacker. Westerman played in 14 games last season and recorded 10 tackles and a sack. With Gholston moving to defensive end this year, Westerman will see more action on defense this season.

Signed by New York as an undrafted free agent (2009).
Pos
Ht
Wt
Exp
Age
FB
5-11
240
R
22

The Jets were looking towards the future when they drafted John Conner in the fifth round this year. Veteran fullback Tony Richardson has been solid since joining the team two years ago, but he enters the 2010 season on the downside of his career at the age of 38. Conner compares favorably to Richardson and with this likely being Richardson's final year in the league, Conner has a tremendous mentor to learn from for a year before he takes over fulltime.

Drafted by New York in the 5th Round (2010).


For more on the Jets, check out Jets Confidential.


A member of the Pro Football Writers of America and the Football Writers Association of America, Chris Steuber has provided his analysis of the NFL and NFL Draft prospects on the web and on the radio since 1999. Steuber’s features are published across the Scout.com network and on FoxSports.com. If you wish to contact Chris Steuber, email him at: csteuber@scout.com. You can also now follow Chris Steuber on Twitter.

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