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Inside the Numbers: LB Bob Crable Is Jets' Only 23rd Overall Draft Pick (Until This Year?)

Others to Be Selected at No. 23 Over the Years Include Ozzie Newsome, Ty Law & Ray Guy


Besides the No. 2 overall selection in the April draft, the Jets also have the 23rd pick of the first round, the first of three high-round picks they acquired from Seattle in the Jamal Adams trade in July.

Will 23 be a blessing for the Green & White (as in "The Lord is my shepherd" to open Psalm 23) or a quick out (as in 23 Skidoo)? It's impossible to tell from franchise draft history, since the Green & White selected only player at that spot. That player was Notre Dame linebacker Bob Crable, the two-time consensus All-American and two-time Irish team captain who arrived in the 1982 NFL Draft.

Crable was a fine pick at the time, a leader and a tackling machine. In his six Jets seasons he played in 66 games with 43 starts, plus another six games and four starts in three playoff seasons. One of those postseason starts came at the end of his rookie season of '82 in the AFC Championship Game at Miami (a.k.a. "the Mud Bowl").

His tackle totals, from coaches' video breakdown, were impressive, especially his 179 tackles in 1983, second on the defense behind Lance Mehl's 205, and his 95 tackles in the 1987 strike season, which led the Jets. For his career he recovered six fumbles and forced four more that the Jets recovered. Knee injuries ended his playing career prematurely after that '87 season.

If GM Joe Douglas and his draft team hold onto that pick, new head coach Robert Saleh and his staff would welcome a 23rd pick of the draft who brought the impact of a Robert Edward Crable, if perhaps for a little more than a sixpack of NFL seasons.

No. 23 Overall Picks in NFL Draft History
And the Jets would be happier still to entertain the skills of one of the three future Pro Football Hall of Famers, one for each unit, that were selected at No. 23 since the start of the common draft in 1967.

On offense, Alabama TE Ozzie Newsome was tabbed by Cleveland in 1978. On defense, Michigan CB Ty Law was selected by New England in 1995. For special teams, 23 is where Southern Miss punter Ray Guy was grabbed by Oakland in 1973.

Law spent his first 10 seasons with the Patriots, then divvied up his last five playing seasons among the Jets, Chiefs and Broncos. As a Jet in 2005, he's the last member of the Green & White to have 10 INTs in a season (2005) and the last with three interceptions in a game (vs. Buffalo in the '05 finale). Newsome had 662 catches, with 14 of them coming at Cleveland against the Jets in 1984 — still the most catches in a game by a tight end vs. the Jets.

Other noteworthy 23s in NFL history are T Bruce Armstrong (New England, 1987) and CB Antoine Winfield (Buffalo, 1999), RBs Deuce McAlister (New Orleans, 2001) and Willis McGahee (Buffalo, 2003), and C-G Jeff Hartings (Detroit, 1996), who helped keep the Jets out of the 2000 playoffs by recovering an offensive fumble in the end zone for the Lions' only TD in their 10-7 Week 16 win.

But it's worth keeping in mind that while 15 individual players have gone on from the 23rd overall pick to the Pro Bowl since 1967, that's only 9.7% of the No. 23s taken since the start of the common draft. And that about 35% of them (17 of 49 picks through 2015) played for six seasons or fewer.

Feb. 19:Jets' 34th Overall Pick, the 2nd Choice of Round 2

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