2. Kyle Clifton, LB, NY Jets
Kyle Clifton played 13 seasons in the NFL — all with the Jets. He was a versatile linebacker and at different points in his career played middle linebacker as well as both right and left inside linebacker depending on the defensive scheme at the time.
Clifton was drafted in the third round of the 1984 NFL Draft and played his college football at Texas Christian University. In spite of having a long and productive career with the Jets, he is probably the most underrated of the three players on this list.
Not only was Clifton one of the better linebackers to ever put on a Jets uniform, but he was also one of the best linebackers to play in the NFL during the 1980s and into the early 1990s. Clifton led the NFL in combined tackles with 160 in 1983, 174 in 1986, and 162 in 1988.
He was in the top-10 in the NFL for combined tackles seven times from 1984 through 1991. The only exception was in 1987 when he was slowed by injuries. At the time of his retirement in 1997, Clifton was the second-leading tackler in NFL history.
As for the Jets, Clifton remains the team's all-time leading tackler with a total of 1,484 combined tackles. From 1984 to 1996, he played 204 games and started in 149 of them for Gang Green. He recorded 12 interceptions, 5.5 sacks, and forced 13 fumbles. He also played in four playoff games for the team.
With these kinds of numbers, it remains a mystery as to why Clifton has not received more attention for his performance on the field. He clearly ranks as one of the finest linebackers to have ever played for the Jets and should at the very least be considered for future induction into the Ring of Honor.