- Jane McManus, Reporter & Columnist, espnW.com
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Sounds almost fitting doesn't it?
Among all the other moves the Jets made on Saturday was official word that Vernon Gholston would be moved to defensive end from his spot at outside linebacker. Truthfully, he's been playing more special teams, but this moves Gholston back to his natural spot.
If you look at the defensive players in the top 10 picks of the 2008 draft it's easy to see why he is considered a bust. Gholston has just 30 tackles and nary a sack to his name, while those in his draft class have produced a lot more.
Pick, Name, Pos., Team, career tackles and sacks
No. 2 Chris Long DE Rams 83 tackles 9 sacks
No. 5 Glenn Dorsey DT KC 100 2
No. 7 Sedrick Ellis DT Saints 64 6
No. 8 Derrick Harvey DE Jacksonville 76 5.5
No. 9 Keith Rivers LB Bengals 109 1
No. 10 Jerod Mayo LB Patriots 231 1.5
Jets coach Rex Ryan made a statement about Gholston the day he took the Jets job.
"I see some things in his play that I knew that I would like to coach this young man because I don't even think he's scratched the surface of the kind of player he can be," Ryan said back on that January day.
The fact that a year in the system hasn't brought Gholston a lot closer to being the formidable player is somewhat telling. No doubt Ryan and defensive coordinator Mike Pettine have tried, and no doubt that Gholston has been listening, but the pro game just has never clicked with the kid from Ohio State.
It's not physical. The 6-foot-3, 264-pound Gholston is in great shape. Some have speculated that he never caught up with the speed of the pro game, that he doesn't have the instincts or the passion to be one of the best.
He agreed to a five-year deal with the Jets, but he won't be staying that long if he can't produce more from his new spot. The clock is running out on Gholston, but consider this: Even if he leaves after this season he will have earned roughly $21 million in guaranteed money.
Jay Feely was allowed to go to the Cardinals after quibbling over $300K.