Jets have gotten least value from NFL draft since 2012

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The Jets’ poor draft record is well documented, but a new metric offers another glimpse at just how bad Gang Green has been at picking NFL players over the last decade.

ESPN determined the Jets have drafted the least valuable players since 2012, according to its “Career Approximate Value Over Expected” statistic. This metric takes Pro Football Reference’s original Approximate Value for a player and measures it against where that player was drafted. So, first-round prospects who fail to perform are graded more harshly than players drafted later. How long that player stays with the original team doesn’t factor into “CAVOE.”

New York ranked 32nd in the NFL with a -304.9 CAVOE. Every one of New York’s draft classes from 2012-2020 had a negative score, while the 2021 class barely reached a positive number with 0.7. The Jets’ Day 3 (rounds four through seven) score of -73.3 also ranked last, meaning the Jets picked poorly throughout the entire draft.

Unsurprisingly, the Jets’ 55-106 record from 2012-2021 ranked near the bottom of the league at 30th.

What’s even worse is that the best players from the Jets’ list don’t even play for the team anymore. The top individual score went to LB Demario Davis, who the Jets drafted in the third round of the 2012 draft. But his 53.0 CAVOE only steadily increased when he started playing for the Saints four seasons ago.

On the other end of the spectrum, the Seahawks rank first with a total score of 176.6, mostly anchored by an incredible 2012 class score of 219.6. That class featured Russell Wilson and Bobby Wagner.

Joe Douglas is looking to turn this Jets trend around immediately. While his 2020 class may not look great, those players are still only entering their third season. The 2021 class showed a lot of promise as well, and the 2022 class could be the best of Douglas’ three as the Jets’ general manager.

But none of Douglas’ selections will matter if his first-round pick from 2021, Zach Wilson, doesn’t pan out. A good quarterback is the common thread among the top-four teams on ESPN’s list. The Seahawks, Chiefs, Ravens and Cowboys all drafted star passers at some point over the last decade, though Seattle just traded Wilson.

Douglas needs to ensure that all of his picks support Wilson if he wants to reverse the damage done by his predecessors.

List

8 dark horse candidates for the Jets' first-round draft picks