Revis Goes to Jets

PITTSBURGH -- Darrelle Revis was believed to be among the elite cornerbacks in college football last season, and he validated that by being the first one selected Saturday afternoon when the New York Jets took him with the 14th pick in the first round during the annual NFL Draft.

"We knew Darrelle would go in the first round, but we didn't know where or to which team,'' Revis' agent, Neil Schwartz, said. "We believed he could go in the top 10, but we're very happy with him going at No. 14 to the Jets.

The Jets traded up to get Revis, which hurt the Pittsburgh Steelers in the No. 15 spot, because they were about to make a trade down to the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jets switched picks with the Carolina Panthers, who got the 25th pick in the first round, as well as New York's second- and fifth-round selections. The Jets also got a six-round pick.

Revis joined his Uncle, Sean Gilbert (1992) and cornerback Ty Law (1995), as former Aliquippa High School stars to be taken in the first round. Revis was also the 22nd former Pitt player to be drafted in the first round. Revis watched the draft at Gilbert's mother's large home in Center Township, Pa. She is Revis' grandmother.

"This is a great day for me and my family,'' Revis said. "We were watching all these picks go by, a lot of names, wondering where I was going to go. (And) just to see my name on the screen was great.''

Revis noted that the New York Jets were among the teams who showed some interest in him, but he was unsure where he would go in the first round.

"When the Jets picked me, I was ecstatic,'' Revis said. "They're a good team with a lot of good players, so I'm just going to go in there and do whatever I can to help them win. I'm going up there with the intention of playing this season, whether it's at cornerback or on special teams.''

Revis joins former Pitt star Hank Poteat, Andre Dyson, Drew Coleman, David Barrett, Alphonso Hodge and Justin Miller as cornerbacks with the Jets.

"Darrelle was a guy we spent a lot of time on,'' Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum said. "We liked the tape on him initially.

"Eric (Coach Mangini) and I spent a lot of time with him as a person and, as everyone knows here, that is really important to us. So as a player and a person, we think he is a good fit.''

That's why the Jets moved up to draft Revis, the first cornerback they selected with their No. 1 pick since they took Aaron Glenn in 1994.

"We really liked him on tape in term of his toughness, his play at the line of scrimmage, his athleticism, his size and his speed,'' Mangini said. "All those things were very good. Then, you factor into the equation his special teams value and the return ability that he has.

"More importantly than that, we spent a lot of time with him. He spent a day here with us. We talked to him prior to that, and we did our research. We liked him as a person and to me that is the most important thing, the core Jets values, and he has those. When you combine those with the other aspects, I just think it was a solid pick.''

While it won't be easy for Revis to crack the lineup for the Jets right away, he certainly should be a special teams contributor. And that suits him just fine. Revis ran two punts back for touchdowns in his career, including a dazzling 73-yard return for a score last season, as he broke several tackles and tight-roped the sideline to go all the way.

"I love special teams,'' Revis said. "I have to credit my special teams coach, Charlie Partridge. He put me back there and let me help the team. Even if it was on punt block, I just tried to help the team any way I could.

"I'm a team player. So, I want to get to New York and focus on learning the system and meeting my new teammates.''

The Panthers remaining players eligible to be drafted Sunday, during rounds 4-7, include linebackers H.B. Blades and Clint Session, quarterback Tyler Palko, center Joe Villani and punter Adam Graessle.

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