The Top Five New York Jets Outside Linebackers of All Time


Dec 7, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New York Jets defensive end

Sheldon Richardson

(91) celebrates his safety with linebacker

Calvin Pace

(97) during the first quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at TCF Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

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Let’s continue selecting our All-Time Jets roster.

We have been spending several days here at the site, looking at the top players at each position. We have been giving their credentials from their Jets careers, and then voting at the end of the post. When we are through, we will be revealing our All-Time Jets roster, chosen by you, the Jets fans.

As we said earlier in the process, for the purpose of this roster, we will be giving the Jets a 3-4 defensive alignment. We have chosen our defensive linemen, and last time, we looked at the top Jets inside linebackers. This morning, we begin our search for the top Jets outside linebackers in team history.

We have five, spanning the decades of Jets history. Read the credentials, and vote at the end. The top two will make our all-time Jets roster. Here we go with nominee number one.

Next: Larry Grantham

Our first nominee comes from the good old days, even before the Jets were the Jets. Larry Grantham was chosen by the Baltimore Colts in the 15th round of the 1960 NFL draft. He ended up choosing the Titans of the AFL, who we all know, became the Jets. Grantham started on the left side, then became the right linebacker in 1961, remaining in that position until the end of the 1974 season. Grantham’s career was entirely spent with the Jets, as he played in 174 games with the Green and White.

Grantham received many accolades during his time with the Jets. Grantham was selected to five Pro Bowls (1962, 1963, 1964, 1966, 1969), and was selected first team All-Pro from 1960-1964.

Our first nominee, number 60, Larry Grantham!

Next: Mo Lewis

Aug 4, 2013; Canton, OH, USA; Bill Parcells at the 2013 Enshrinees Gameday Roundtable at the Canton Memorial Civic Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Our second nominee played for the man above, and was with the Jets in good times and bad. Mo Lewis was selected by the Jets in the third round of the 1991 draft. He became a starter in his rookie year, and he remained in that role for his entire 13 year career, all with the Jets. 1991-1995 were lean years for the Jets, but not for Mo Lewis, who posted at least 75 tackles each year. When Bill Parcells came around, Lewis blossomed as a pass rusher, with 30.5 sacks over the years 1997-2000.

Over his entire Jets career, Lewis reached the exclusive club of over 1,000 tackles, to go along with 52.5 sacks. He was recognized with a Pro Bowl selection in three straight years, 1998-2000. He was first team All-Pro in 1998. He started 199 out of 200 games with the Jets, making his mark in team history.

Our second nominee, number 57, Mo Lewis!

Next: Greg Buttle

Many of you know this next guy from the Jets pregame and postgame shows on the radio, but he was also a talented linebacker. Greg Buttle was selected in the third round of the 1976 draft. He too became a starter as a rookie, and held the position for his entire nine-year career, all with the Jets. One of his best performances of his career came in the 1981 playoffs, when he picked off two passes in the Jets 31-27 loss to Buffalo.

Buttle was a durable player, starting 107 out of 110 games with the Jets.

Our third nominee, number 51, Greg Buttle!

Next: John Abraham

Sep 8, 2014; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals linebacker

John Abraham

(55) against the San Diego Chargers at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Our fourth nominee was already seen in the defensive end category, but the team listed him as both an end and linebacker, so I felt he was worthy here as well. John Abraham was selected in the first round of the 2000 draft by the Jets, with the 13th pick overall. He became a starter in 2001, and became one of the most dominant pass rushers in New York Jets history. Over the next two seasons, Abraham posted 23 sacks, and over his Jets career, he never posted less than 4.5 sacks.

In six seasons with the Jets, Abraham started 64 out of 73 total games. He posted 53.5 sacks, making him a player that Jets fans will never forget.

Our fourth nominee, number 94 (and 56), John Abraham!

Next: Ralph Baker

For many years, the Jets were not allowed to play at Shea Stadium until November. That was until May 26, 1977.

Our final nominee goes back in time as well, to the Super Bowl and beyond. Ralph Baker was chosen by the Jets in the sixth round of the 1964 AFL draft. He was also selected by the Steelers in the NFL, but chose New York, and Jets fans were happy that he did. Our young Jets fans can take a look at his stats below. They didn’t keep tackles back then, but you can see he was active in pass coverage:

Defense & Fumbles

It was an 11 year career, where Baker played 142 games for the New York Jets.  He is remembered fondly.

Our final nominee, number 51, Ralph Baker!

There you have it.  Please vote below.  The top two make the roster:

Who is the best Jets outside linebacker of all time?

Mo Lewis

(64%, 54 Votes)

Larry Grantham

(15%, 13 Votes)

Greg Buttle

(8%, 7 Votes)

John Abraham

(8%, 7 Votes)

Ralph Baker

(4%, 3 Votes)

Total Voters: 84

Next: A Look Back at the 2005 Jets NFL Draft

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