Many were confused when the Jets took Sheldon Richardson in the first round in 2013, but he made the Jets look very smart. Richardson was a monster his rookie season, recording 78 tackles, a forced fumble, 3.5 sacks, two rushing touchdowns, and taking home the defensive rookie of the year honors. Richardson showed amazing athletic ability for his size and an amazing motor on every single play. He still has a lot of potential to become even better.
Marcell Dareus was the number three pick back in the 2011 draft, and is still only 24 years old. Dareus has emerged as one of the best defensive tackles in the league, recording 71 tackles, 7.5 sacks, a forced fumble, and earning his first trip to the Pro Bowl. At 331 pounds, Dareus is so gifted as an athlete and is very explosive. The only question about Dareus is off the field, as he was arrested just recently on drug charges.
The number one pick in 2006 is already 29 years old, but he is still a beast at rushing the passer. In 2013, Williams racked up 13 sacks and a forced fumble. Williams made the Pro Bowl for the third time in his career in 2013, during his second season with the Buffalo Bills. Williams had an offseason hip procedure, so I will be interested to see if he has the same explosiveness early on in the season.
After a breakout 2012 season, Muhammad Wilkerson got even better in 2013. The former first round pick had 63 tackles, 10.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, and an interception. Wilkerson, still only 24 years of age, was snubbed of his first Pro Bowl appearance, but was rewarded by being named to the All-Pro team. Wilkerson is a beast and should be rewarded in the near future with a new contract by the Jets.
Cameron Wake is a real veteran at 32 years of age, but he can still make a ton of plays on the football field. After 15 sacks in 2012, Wake dropped down to 8.5, but still had a great impact on the Dolphins defense. Wake is a three time Pro Bowler and two time All-Pro. People forget Wake has only being playing in the NFL since 2009, as he played in the CFL for a few seasons.