3. Mickey Shuler, TE, NY Jets
Mickey Shuler had a very long and successful career as a tight end for the Jets. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, he seems to fly under the radar in terms of notoriety with the team. He is arguably the best tight end in franchise history and he has the numbers to prove it.
Shuler played for the Jets for 12 seasons from 1978 through 1989. He was drafted in the third round of the 1978 NFL Draft out of Penn State University. He is the all-time franchise leader in career receptions for a tight end with a total of 438 catches.
Shuler is tied for fifth place with Wesley Walker on the Jets' all-time reception leaders list. The former Nittany Lion also amassed 4,819 receiving yards and 37 touchdowns while with the team.
Shuler was a tough and durable player who played in 160 games of which he started in 102 for the Jets. His many honors include twice being named to the Pro Bowl and All-Pro teams in both 1986 and 1988. He is a member of the Jets All-Time Four-Decade Team and the Jets Dream Team.
Shuler played in seven playoff games for the Jets as well and recorded another 20 receptions for 249 yards and two touchdowns in those games. In addition, he ranks second all-time in franchise history for most consecutive games played with at least one reception at 86 games.
In an era where tight ends were still viewed more for their blocking skills than their receiving ability, Shuler put up multiple years of high-ranking reception totals — 76 receptions in 1985, 70 receptions in 1988, 69 receptions in 1986, and 68 receptions in 1984.
Shuler finished up his outstanding career by playing his final two seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles in 1990 and 1991. Shuler's overall statistics are far superior to those of other acclaimed tight ends in Jets history such as Pete Lammons, Dustin Keller, Richard Caster, and Jerome Barkum.
Hopefully, at some point in the near future, Shuler will be given further consideration for induction into the Jets Ring of Honor.