Rex Ryan is declaring the New York Jets the winners of the 2013 NFL draft. Despite inconsistent play from most of the Jets' rookies, Ryan gave the squad's 2013 draft class the highest grade possible Wednesday, citing the five starters the Jets yielded from their selections. "If this is not an A-plus class, I don't know what you're looking for," Ryan said. "I think this class is about as strong a class as I've ever seen." The Jets had seven picks in April's draft, and have turned the majority of them into starters. Cornerback Dee Milliner (ninth), defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson (13th), quarterback Geno Smith (39th), guard Brian Winters (72nd) and fullback Tommy Bohanon (215th) have taken over starting roles. Ryan said Richardson is probably the defensive rookie of the year, praised Smith for starting each game, and had complimentary words for the jobs Winters and Bohanon have done. Milliner has struggled, but Ryan attributed that to him going through the ups and downs that almost all rookie corners do. Richardson, who has been the most impressive Jets pick thus far, agreed with his coach's grade. "I don't know how many other rookies are getting drafted and actually starting on the team right now, but it's not that many," Richardson said. "Mostly our whole draft class except for two players is producing and actually doing something to contribute to wins and these losses. I most definitely would grade us out as an A-plus, though. We're just trying to keep contributing and get better." Smith said it's "impressive" that the Jets rookies have claimed five starting spots. "I can remember when we first got in here one of the things we all talked about [was] wanting to play big minutes and wanting to step up to the plate and help our team out," Smith said. "I'm not here to rate the draft class; we've got a lot of work ahead of us and a lot of things we have to improve on. That's where it lies."
Rex Ryan: We're draft winners
ESPN | Dec 4