My Big NFL 5: Linebackers

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September 19, 2011; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants former defensive greats Lawrence Taylor (left) and Harry Carson (right) and the rest of the 1986 super bowl champion Giants are honored at halftime against the St. Louis Rams at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Mills/THE STAR-LEDGER via USA TODAY Sports

1. Lawrence Taylor (Giants)

Nowadays, LT refers to Ladanian Tomlinson, but that shouldn’t be the case. Tomlinson was an outstanding runningback, but the real LT is Lawrence Taylor, the greatest linebacker to ever play in the NFL. He was drafted in 1981 by the Giants, and went on to have a Hall of Fame career. You might remember him as the guy that ended Joe Theismann’s career by causing a compound fracture in his shin, one of the most gruesome sports injuries ever, which he felt so guilty for, but Taylor was so much more than that. He was at one time the Giants All time sacks leader at 132.5, and this was with two years of his career in which stats weren’t a stat. He was slso at one point the NFL’s single season stats leader, which, like the Giants team sacks record, was broken by Michael Strahan. Taylor also had 9 career interceptions. He was the first ever rookie to win the Defensive Player of the Year Award in 1991, also winning rookie of the year in that season. He also won DPOY in 1982, and won another in 1986. He was on the 1980s All-Decade Team.

Honorable Mentions:

Mike Singletary

Jack Ham

Jason Taylor

Brian Urlacher

Tedy Bruschi

Terrell Suggs

 

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