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New York Jets Look Back Series: New York Jets 2008 NFL Draft

July 3rd, 2013 at 10:50 PM
By Peter Schifani

Now with a little over three weeks remaining until the New York Jets open training camp on July 26th, we will take a look back at the team's last five NFL Drafts. In this first part of the series we look back at the 2008 NFL Draft class. It was a draft full of promise but wound up being devoid of almost any talent.

'Service members unfurl flag at NY Jets first home game in new stadium' photo (c) 2010, MarineCorps NewYork - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

For those who may not remember exactly whom the New York Jets selected back in 2008 here are all of the Jets draft choices:

1st Round/6th overall: Vernon Gholston/LB, Ohio State: he was projected to be the pass rushing specialist the Jets needed to add to make their defense even more devastating.

1st Round/30th overall: Dustin Keller/TE, Purdue: a new, young target for the newly acquired but aging quarterback Brett Favre.

4th Round/113th overall: Dwight Lowery/CB, San Jose State: selected to add depth in the secondary, but would be thrust into a starting role due to injury in his rookie campaign.

5th Round/162nd overall: Erik Ainge/QB, Tennessee: developmental young quarterback that had drug abuse issues since he was a teenager.

6th Round/171st overall: Marcus Henry/WR, Kansas: was selected due to his size, but needed development that never occurred despite time on practice squad.

7th Round/211th overall: Nate Garner/OT, Arkansas: in the season after taking D'Brickashaw Ferguson and Nick Mangold, Garner would have added depth but didn't stay long in New York.

As we all know now you can pretty much call this draft a total bust for the New York Jets. Despite that tight end Dustin Keller had four decent seasons, it was because of his oft-injured 2012 campaign that he is now playing with Nate Garner for the Dolphins in Miami. The Jets tried Vernon Gholston both at defensive end and outside linebacker, and because he was undersized for either position he became a complete draft bust within just two seasons.

Dwight Lowery was a decent player as a reserve/third cornerback, then safety for the Jets and would've helped provide veteran depth for this upcoming season if not for being with the Jaguars for two years now. Erik Ainge is retired and continuing to try to stay clean and away from drugs. While playing in the CFL for the Edmonton Eskimos, Marcus Henry has had two decent seasons averaging nearly 12 and 14 yards per catch respectively, but with only three touchdowns total. As mentioned, Nate Garner has been with the Dolphins since the Jets released him during the 2008 season, but only starting about one full seasons worth of games, 17, in the last five seasons.

Suffice it to say that it is not even worth trying to give this New York Jets 2008 Draft a grade, except to say again it was a total bust since none of these players are with the team just five years later. In the next part of this five part series we will look back at the Jets 2009 NFL Draft class.

Tags: 2008 NFL Draft, Dustin Keller, Dwight Lowery, Erik Ainge, Football, New York, New York Jets, NFL, NFL Draft, Nick Mangold

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