Worst middle linebacker picks in New York Jets history


Bob Crable: First round, 23rd overall of the 1982 draft

Bob Crable came from a blue-blood program, Notre Dame, with high expectations. A two-time All-American, Crable was pegged to be plugged in to the Jets defense early on, but a couple of knee injuries sidelined him early in his career. Crable only started 2 games in a strike-shortened 1982 season, and played in 29 of 48 games the next three years. And while tackles weren’t tallied during his career, he didn’t make too many impact plays while he was on the field. In six years with the Jets, Crable only racked up 10 sacks, though he did snag three interceptions and four fumble recoveries. After a six-year career, Crable hung up his cleats in 1987.

Kurt Barber: Second round, 42nd overall of the 1992 draft

Another blueblood with high expectations, Kurt Barber was brought in to sure up depth at the linebacker position behind 2nd-year standout Mo Lewis and veteran Kyle Clifton. But his short career never materialized. Barber never started a game for the green and white and his playing time steadily decreased over time. In fact, in his 2nd year, Barber failed to register a single tackle for the Jets, and totaled 27 tackles and 3.5 sacks over his four-year career. Barber retired after the 1995 season.

Tim Crawford, Rogers Alexander, Ron Hadley: 1986 linebacker class – third, fourth and fifth-round picks

The Jets spent many of their early and mid-round picks in 1986 trying to build up some linebacker depth. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen in a very epic way. New York used four of its 12 picks that year on linebackers, including Crawford, Alexander and Hadley in consecutive rounds. The picks were so bad that Tim Crawford didn’t even make the team out of the preseason; he ended up playing three games with the Browns in 1987 after not playing at all his rookie year before retiring. Alexander didn’t fare any better. After playing all of one game for the Jets in ’86, Alexander moved on to play for the Patriots in 1987, where he played in three more games before his retirement. Ron Hadley had the longest career of the three, though he only played for three seasons, and none of them were with the Jets either. Hadley played two years with the 49ers in 1987-88 before he retired as well.

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