A busy night is ahead for all of us NFL fanatics as the 2012 Draft comes barreling toward us in a few hours. For me, I’ll officially kick off the night with an appearance with my partner, Eric Allen, at the top of this year ‘s Draft Web Show on newyorkjets.com. The show will start at 6 p.m. ET and wrap up with plenty of time for all to get refreshed, restocked and rehydrated before Commissioner Goodell takes the podium at Radio City around 8 p.m.
In fact, I’ll depart from the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center shortly after helping EA kick off the draft show and will then wend my way into the city and eventually end up at 51st and Sixth to take in the night’s proceedings, which should include meeting up with the Jets’ new first-round selection, whoever it is and wherever that choice is made, for some quality time in between his making stops at the draft headquarters and then down the street at the SNY studios.
Will the Jets spend that No. 16 pick? Who knows. We’ve heard the Jets might move up, might move back, might sit tight. If the Jets do spend the 16th selection, it will be only the third time they’ve used that pick on a player in their history.
The previous two Sweet 16s did well for the Green & White for a short while and have had good careers since their Jets days:
■ DE Hugh Douglas, who came to the Jets at No. 16 out of Central State in Ohio in 1995, left after the ’97 for the Eagles, and in all had a 10-year, 80-sack career and now is an ESPN talking head.
■ WR Santana Moss, No. 16 in 2001, who’s still going after playing his first 11 seasons for the Jets and Redskins and making 639 regular-season receptions combined. ‘Tana also holds the distinction (until perhaps Jeremy Kerley breaks it) of having the most recent punt-return touchdown for the Jets, on Jan. 15, 2005, in the playoff loss at Pittsburgh.
And the No. 16 the team had in 2000 only counts if you add an asterisk. The Jets parlayed that pick and their 48th choice in the ’00 draft and sent it to San Francisco for the 49ers’ 12th overall pick. With that choice they selected DE Shaun Ellis, who until last season was a longtime contributor to the defensive cause.
Keep Hangin’ In There, Steve
As always, reality intrudes into the Jets’ and the NFL’s world. Tonight when I take time out from draft developments, I’ll offer a quick prayer to Steve Mendelsohn as he follows the draft from his Dumont, N.J., home.
I detailed Steve’s battle with pancreatic cancer before the start of last season in a story on newyorkjets.com. The Jets’ frequency coordinator since 1999 had already beaten doctors’ prognoses that he had a year to live due to a lung sarcoid six years ago and three to five months to go from the cancer back in January 2011. His goal then was to make it to the Jets’ next playoff game. They didn’t get the postseason, of course, but Mendelsohn and his extended green family did go into the offseason together.
Steve was sent home from the hospital last week with a new prognosis of two to six weeks to live. He admitted to me that he was pretty down last Friday. But a list of Jets visiting his home this week, led by general manager Mike Tannenbaum and head coach Rex Ryan, has reinflated his spirits. His new goal: to attend one of the Jets’ early OTA practices the week after next.
“The GM made the request that I come out and have lunch then,” Steve said. “God has made my life plentiful these last weeks. I don’t take bad news easily when I know I can overcome it. So I’m coming out. Whatever it takes.”
Have a great draft tonight, Steve, and we’ll see you here soon.
McElroy, Posey Do the Honors
QB Greg McElroy and DB Julian Posey will team up with the N.J. Department of Agriculture to honor Dwight Morrow High School in Englewood on Friday morning for being one of the winning schools in the 2011-12 “Eat Right, Move More” contest. The program encourages Garden State schoolkids to take advantage of healthy foods in their school cafeterias and become more active.
Tags: Hugh Douglas, Mike Tannenbaum, NFL Draft, Rex Ryan, Santana Moss, Shaun Ellis, Steve Mendelsohn
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