The New York Jets now own the 226th pick in the NFL draft, whose prior selections include two Pro-Bowlers and an American hero.
The only NFL draft tradition more enduring than current mocks is revisiting the selections of the past.
Jet X looks back on the ten spots where the New York Jets are slated to select the coming draft and highlights the best players chosen in each role.
After a free agency frenzy, our countdown continues a look back at the names selected with the 226th pick, the modern pick gained from Carolina in the Sam Darnold deal. (The team’s 227th pick is technically the No. 226 with the New England Patriots’ third-round forfeiture.)
1961: OT Ernie McMillan, Boston (AFL)
Ernie McMillan was the penultimate pick of the Boston Patriots’ AFL Draft class (along with Fran Tarkenton), but he opted to join the NFL’s St. Louis Cardinals instead. The Illinois alum would go on to play 14 seasons with the future Arizonans, appearing in four Pro Bowls.
McMillan’s brother Shellie also appeared in the NBA, while his son Erik was drafted by the Jets in 1988’s third round.
1985: WR/ST Steve Tasker, Houston
A ninth-round choice of the Oilers that began his career at Dodge City Community College, Steve Tasker would later move onto Northwestern before finding his fortune with the Buffalo Bills.
Disregarded for his size (5’9), Tasker would go on to become an integral part of the Bills’ AFC dynasty. He would establish himself as a deadly special teams prescience, namely as a fumble-forcing gunner, prying free seven in his career. Tasker played it into seven All-Pro and Pro Bowl teams each and was notably the MVP of the 1993 all-star game.
Campaigns have since been raised to get Tasker into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
1998: S Pat Tillman, Arizona
Pat Tillman is renowned for his decision to leave football behind and join the United States Army after the Sept. 11, 2001 tragedies. He was sadly lost through friendly fire in Afghanistan at the age of 27 in 2004.
Prior to his departure, Tillman was a rookie starter with the Cardinals, ending his career with 374 tackles and three interceptions over four seasons.
Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags