Throwback Thursday: The 1979 NFL Draft


With the draft rapidly approaching, I wanted start the last few weeks of “Throwback Thursday” posts, prior to the draft, to be draft related posts. Yes, NFL world, our New York Jets have made a lot of mistakes in the NFL draft. Too many worth mentioning ever, despite everyone’s jokes that are made.

But, the Jets have had their NFL draft successes as well, and we are going to look at those over the next few weeks.

The first one, we go back into the history books a bit, to 1979.

With a record of 8-8, the Jets had the 14th pick of the draft in round one, and the 41st pick overall when round two came around. The Jets made the most of these two picks, choosing two of their most memorable players in their history. So, who did they choose to help Walt Michaels and his Jets?

We bring you a brief slideshow, giving you the picks. …..

Oct 8, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets former player

Marty Lyons

attends the game against the Houston Texans at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports

Most fans know Marty Lyons as the radio voice of the New York Jets, along with Bob Wischusen. Older fans remember Marty as the 14th pick overall in the NFL draft in 1979, and a stellar member of the Jets’ defensive line from 1979-1989.

Marty played defensive tackle, so he didn’t put up the huge numbers in the sack department that others did, he was just as key, occupying guys in the middle, giving the outside rushers one-on-one matchups to get them into the backfield.

Marty Lyons posted 29 sacks for his career.

Oct. 8, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets former player

Mark Gastineau

during the Ring of Honor ceremony at half time at the game between the New York Jets and the Houston Texans at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

The extravagance was reserved for this guy. Mark Gastineau, chosen with the 41st pick overall in the 1979 NFL draft.

Mark was the guy out front with the pass rush. He was the first to dance after sacking the quarterback, much to the chagrin of opponents. But, he backed it up with his performance, posting 74 sacks before leaving the game abruptly in 1988.

In 1984, he set the record for sacks on one season with 22, which held up until 2001, when Michael Strahan topped the mark with 22.5 sacks.

The 1979 NFL draft, a success for the New York Jets.