The Top Five New York Jets Defensive Tackles of All-Time


Nov 24, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Jets nose tackle

Damon Harrison

(94) against the Buffalo Bills at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

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Let’s continue the selection of our All-Time Jets roster.

We have started to vote on the defensive side of the football. We voted on defensive ends a couple of days ago, now we move to the inside.

In case you missed it the other day, for purposes of this roster, we are going with a 3-4 defensive front. So that means, we are choosing just one defensive tackle to make our all-time Jets roster. For this group, we have two guys that were recognized with Pro Bowl appearances, including a player that many believe should be in the hall of fame. Our other choices are consistent members of talented Jets fronts, that were the unsung heroes.

Without further adieu, let’s get to the nominees.

Next: Jason Ferguson

Our first nominee is shown here during his time with the Miami Dolphins, but spent several years in New York to begin his career. Jason Ferguson was selected in the seventh round of the 1997 draft, Bill Parcells’ first with the team. He became the Jets starter at nose tackle in the 12-4 season of 1998, posted 42 tackles and four sacks that year.

During his seven years with the Jets, Ferguson was a mainstay along the Jets defensive line, starting 83 out of 101 games with the Green and White. During that time, Ferguson posted 344 tackles and 21.5 sacks, good numbers for a guy whose main role is to take up the middle of the line to allow the players on the outside to get the job done.

Seven years, 83 starts, and 344 tackles later, we have our first nominee, number 72, Jason Ferguson!

Next: Joe Klecko

Our second nominee is a well-known, well-loved name in Jets history, and with the Jets fan base. Joe Klecko was one of the greatest steals in Jets draft history, chosen in the sixth round of the 1977 NFL draft. He actually could have been on this roster at defensive end, beginning his play in the league at the position. But as his knees began to fail him, Klecko was moved to the inside, and eventually to nose tackle. Luckily for the Jets, he had the talent to excel at each position.

Klecko is the only player in NFL history to be selected to the Pro Bowl at defensive end, defensive tackle, and nose tackle. He had already made it to the Pro Bowl at DE in 1981, but in 1983, after the Jets moved him to tackle, he made the Pro Bowl in two straight years. New defensive coordinator Bud Carson moved him to NT in 1985, and he was elected to the Pro Bowl there as well.

One of the top players in Jets history, and a guy that should be in the Hall of Fame, our second nominee, number 73, Joe Klecko!

Next: Sione Po'uha

Our third nominee is one from more recent Jets history. Sione Po’uha was chosen by the Jets in the third round of the 2005 NFL draft. He sat patiently behind Kris Jenkins until 2009, where he became the Jets starter at nose tackle. During his time in the middle of the Jets line, he was a guy who could handle the double team, freeing up the Jets end players and linebackers to get much of the glory. Po’uha did well for himself, however, posting 30 and 40 plus tackle seasons, before his back curtailed his effectiveness.

Our third nominee, one of Rex Ryan’s top run defenders, number 91, Sione Po’uha!

Next: Kris Jenkins

Nominee number four did not begin his career with the Jets, but he ended it here, making an impact along the Jets line. Kris Jenkins was a long time member of the Carolina Panthers before coming to the Jets in 2008. He made several Pro Bowls as a member of the Panthers, and brought the same veteran influence to the New York Jets.

In 2008, Jenkins posted 3.5 sacks to go along with 37 tackles, earning his fourth and what would be his final Pro Bowl selection. Unfortunately, knee injuries ended Jenkins’ next two seasons prematurely, and ended his career at the end of the 2010 season. But when healthy, Kris Jenkins was a force upfront, and a strong veteran influence on the New York Jets.

Our fourth nominee, number 77, Kris Jenkins.

Next: Abdul Salaam

Our final name is one that our younger readers might not be as familiar with, but ask your parents. Abdul Salaam was chosen by the Jets in the seventh round of the 1976 NFL draft. He became a starter in 1977 and remained one until the 1983 season. He was part of that famous Jets front known as the “New York Sack Exchange”, setting the record for sacks in a season, though the stat wasn’t official yet.

Salaam didn’t receive the notoriety that guys like Mark Gastineau received, but Salaam clogged up the middle, occupying linemen that freed the edge rushers one on one matchups that they could win. Without Salaam, it could be argued that the Sack Exchange wouldn’t have existed. Lucky for the Jets that Salaam was there.

Our final nominee, number 74, Abdul Salaam!

So, there are the nominees. Please vote below. The winner makes the roster.

Who is the best New York Jets defensive tackle ever?

Joe Klecko

(89%, 59 Votes)

Kris Jenkins

(8%, 5 Votes)

Jason Ferguson

(3%, 2 Votes)

Sione Pouha

(0%, 0 Votes)

Abdul Salaam

(0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 66

Next: Mock Draft: Winston and Williams go 1-2

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