Seven days to the Draft: Year of the LB

In 1981, two great linebackers entered the NFL

Originally Published: April 18, 2009
By ESPN Stats & Information | Special to Insider

ESPN Stats & Information has ranked all NFL players drafted in the modern draft (1967 to 2008) based on their performance during their NFL careers -- regardless of how they fared with the team that drafted them. Insider will count down each team's best draft class (seeded 1 through 32), then conduct a tournament to determine the best class of all time.

For a short explanation of the ranking system, click here, or, for a more detailed rundown of how the system was developed, click here.

One draft may never produce a better duo of defenders. In 1981, the New York Giants drafted North Carolina's Lawrence Taylor with the second overall pick. Thirty-six picks later, the Chicago Bears drafted Baylor's Mike Singletary. Here's how good they were: Using ESPN Stats & Information's points system, Taylor and Singletary combine for more points (188) than any other draft class, including the entire 1974 linebacker class (150), which includes Jack Lambert, Randy Gradishar and Matt Blair.

Lawrence Taylor
Bill Cummings/WireImage.comLawrence Taylor is the top linebacker in the top linebacker class.

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