Jets most hated: the top 20 villains in Gang Green history – Part 1 (20-11)

New York Jets helmets. (Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images)
New York Jets helmets. (Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images) /
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New York Jets
Vernon Gholston, New York Jets. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images) /

15. Vernon Gholston

Vernon Gholston is infamously remembered as not only the worst first-round draft pick in New York Jets history but also as one of the biggest draft busts in NFL history. In 2007, Gholston capped off a magnificent career at Ohio State with an outstanding senior season. The defensive end had 87 tackles, 30.5 of which went for a loss, including 22.5 sacks in two-and-a-half seasons for the Buckeyes.

A can’t miss prospect; New York selected Gholston sixth overall in the 2008 NFL Draft. Hah. They signed him to a five-year rookie contract worth $32M with $25M guaranteed. Aside from being the worst draft pick, Gholston may also have a team record for the worst use of team funds. He lasted three abysmal seasons totaling 42 tackles and ZERO sacks.

14. Peyton Manning

This is another story of what could have been. In 1996, Peyton Manning had a fantastic junior year at Tennessee. Had he declared for the draft, he was the sure-fire top quarterback of the class and would have likely been the number one overall pick of 1997. Coincidently, the New York Jets “earned” the first pick coming off an abysmal 1-15 season.

The Manning’s let it be known that he didn’t want to play for the Jets and Peyton went back to Tennessee for his senior season, much to the amazement of the Vols coaching staff. A year later, Manning went first overall to Indianapolis.

The Sherrif also makes this list because of his results against Gang Green over the years. In 15 games, he threw for 3,671 yards and 20 touchdowns against NYJ. One of those 15 appearances was the 2009 AFC Championship game, where he threw for 377 yards and three TDs to lead Indianapolis to a 30-17 win, and a trip to the Super Bowl.