Sending their first- and second-round picks to Cleveland along with three players, the Jets were able to slide up to the fifth position in the 2009 NFL Draft to select USC QB Mark Sanchez.
The aggressive tradition of the new New York Jets continues. When the team wants someone, Mike Tannenbaum goes out and gets him. Dazzling Eric Mangini with three players he covets, but didn’t fit in Rex Ryan’s plans, allowed the Jets to leapfrog over any other team hoping to acquire Sanchez.
The three players given to Cleveland were S Abram Elam, DE Kenyon Coleman, and QB Brett Ratliff. Two of the three had high potential, and Kenyon Coleman was expected to be on his way out anyway.
Ratliff’s potential seemed to have been brought back to reality after reports from April minicamps were less than satisfactory. According to all who viewed him, he looked exactly like an inexperienced, undrafted QB would look. His performances in the 2008 preseason must have been afterthought in the Rex Ryan regime.
The most productive player sent to Cleveland is, without a doubt, Abram Elam. Emerging in the second-half of the 2008 season, Elam was responsible for critical turnovers, and game-saving defensive touchdowns. His big play ability opened Mangini’s eyes, but made him a piece of a crowded defensive backfield in Rex Ryan’s defense.
Kenyon Coleman failed to impress after being acquired from the Dallas Cowboys as a free agent in 2007. A backup in Dallas, Coleman was awarded a hefty contract that he never played up to. Finding someone to be productive in his place was a concern heading into the 2009 offseason. The acquisition of Marques Douglas may provide a stop-gap solution if Ryan doesn’t find a way to make Vernon Gholston more effective.
Overall, the long-term value for what the Jets gave up is largely insignificant if Mark Sanchez becomes the quarterback everyone hopes he can be.
The Jets have sought a franchise QB to lead the organization for years, and if they acquired that by giving up a second-round pick and three players who would’ve been situational contributors and backups, then it’s quite possibly the deal of the century.