The Raiders' anticipated release of QB JaMarcus Russell has people scrambling to compile lists of the all-time draft busts. Well, the Jets have had a few over the years. So, in conjuction with Russell's pink slip, we present the biggest busts in Jets history:
1. Johnny (Lam) Jones, WR, 1980, First Round (No. 2 overall): Close call between him and Blair Thomas, but we'll put Jones in the dreaded No. 1 spot because the Jets actually traded two first-round picks to move up for him. He finished his career with only 138 catches and a lot of drops.
2. Blair Thomas, RB, 1990, First Round (No. 2 overall): I happened to be sitting next to GM Dick Steinberg during the Senior Bowl that year. Thomas dominated, winning the MVP honors. Right there, in the press box, Steinberg told me, "Even my grandmother could tell you he was the best player on the field." Maybe Steinberg should've drafted his grandmother.
3. Ron Faurot, DE, 1984, First Round (No. 15 overall): The late defensive coordinator Bud Carson told reporters in Faurot's first training camp that the big kid out of Arkansas wasn't tough enough to cut it on the NFL level. Carson was right, although Faurot was hurt by injuries. His career: 20 games, two sacks.
4. Roger Vick, RB, 1987, First Round (No. 21 overall): I remember the Jets' old RB coach, Bobby Hammond, defending Vick to reporters. "I'll go to my grave believing Roger Vick is a good football player." Now you know why Hammond didn't last long in coaching. Vick didn't last long, either, playing only 58 games and rushing for 1,289 yards.
5. Mike Haight, G, 1986, First Round (No. 22 overall): Nice guy, tried hard, but was completely overwhelmed by the NFL. Most projections had him going in the middle rounds. His career lasted 63 games.
6. Dave Cadigan, T, 1988, First Round (No. 8 overall): An over-hyped, juiced-up left tackle from USC, Cadigan was a spectacular failure from the outset. In his first NFL game, he did an impersonation of a 'Welcome Mat,' letting the Pats' Andre Tippett walk over him on the way to a sack.
7. Johnny Mitchell, TE, 1992, First Round (No. 15 overall): Longtime colleague Paul Needell said it best, once writing for the Daily News that Mitchell had a "body by Porsche, brains by Mattel." Physically, Mitchell was freakishly gifted, but he just didn't get it. Actually, he had decent career numbers -- 159 catches, 13.2 ypc and 16 TDs. Sorry, he still makes the list.
8. Dewayne Robertson, DT, 2003, First Round (No. 4 overall): He was hailed as "Baby Sapp," the next-great three-technique tackle. Ha! The Jets actually traded two No. 1 picks to move up for Robertson, who -- as we found out later -- had a bone-on-bone condition in one of his knees. The Jets drafted him anway. Yeesh.
9. Browning Nagle, QB, 1991, Second Round (No. 34 overall): Nagle's nickname was "Nuke" Laloosh, the Tim Robbins character from "Bull Durham." Million-dollar arm, 10-cent brain, they say of Laloosh in the movie. In terms of Nagle, never has a nickname been so fitting.
10. Vernon Gholston, DE, 2008, First Round (No. 6 overall): It's not too late for Gholston to remove his name from the list and to change his legacy, but let's be honest: After two seasons and zero sacks, does anybody expect a dramatic turnaround?