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NFL 100: Our full list of greatest players of all time

30-09-2019 · Jerry Rice, Tom Brady and Lawrence Taylor top our list of the 100 greatest NFL players of all time. USA TODAY Sports. View Comments. Play. Pause. Sound On. Sound Off. 0:00. 1:26.

30-09-2019

In conjunction with the NFL’s 100th season celebration, 19 current and former reporters across the USA TODAY Sports Network were asked to compile a list ranking the 100 greatest players in pro football history.

The challenge was daunting, considering each person had to assess talent back to 1920. While there were no strict parameters, the process for making decisions focused on the field of play and considered elements such as induction to the Hall of Fame, statistics, awards, reputation and the eye test. Each voter was asked to rank 60 players. Those votes produced a list of 170 names. A points system was used for the rankings starting with 60 points for the top player on a list down to 1. Ties were broken by using the highest single vote a player received.

USA TODAY Sports is unveiling the best 100 players in NFL history.

Our panel: Jarrett Bell, USA TODAY; Dave Birkett, Detroit Free Press; Christine Brennan, USA TODAY; Mark Curnutte, Cincinnati Enquirer; Nate Davis, USA TODAY; Pete Dougherty Green Bay Press-Gazette; Gregg Doyel, Indianapolis Star; Gentry Estes, Nashville Tennessean; Doug Farrar, Touchdown Wire; Martin Frank, Wilmington (Del.) News Journal; Mike Jones, USA TODAY; Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz, USA TODAY; Joe Rexrode, formerly Nashville Tennessean; Steven Ruiz, For The Win; Kent Somers, Arizona Republic; Rachel Shuster, former USA TODAY; Art Stapleton, Bergen (N.J. Record); Andy Vasquez, Bergen (N.J.) Record; Larry Weisman, former USA TODAY.

Feel free to agree, disagree, argue or simply enjoy a trip through the years. Let us know on Twitter or Facebook.

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EVERY TEAM'S BEST:Top players in the history of each NFL franchise

BEST TEAMS EVER:Which squad is best in league history?

With that, here are the best 100 player in NFL history:

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1: Jerry Rice

Jerry Rice is a three-time Super Bowl champion and holds the NFL records in all-purpose touchdowns (208), total receptions (1,549), total receiving yards (23,546) and touchdown receptions (197).

Position: WR

Years: 1985-2004

Teams: San Francisco 49ers, Oakland Raiders, Seattle Seahawks

Achievements: Inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame (2010); 3-time Super Bowl champ; Super Bowl MVP; NFL MVP; 13 Pro Bowls; Leads the NFL in all-purpose touchdowns (208); Leads the NFL in receiving yards (22,895); Only player in NFL history with more than 20,000 receiving yards; Leads the NFL in total receptions (1,549); Leads the NFL in all-purpose yards (23,546); Leads the NFL in TD receptions (197); leads the NFL in consecutive games with at least one reception (274); holds 36 total NFL records

***

2: Tom Brady

Tom Brady is a six-time Super Bowl champion, four-time Super Bowl MVP, three-time NFL MVP and holds a plethora of Super Bowl records.

Position: QB

Years: 2000-Present

Team: New England Patriots

Achievements: 6-time Super Bowl champ; 4-time Super Bowl MVP; 3-time NFL MVP; 3-time First-team All-Pro (2007, 2010, 2017); 2-time Second-team All-Pro (2005, 2016); 2-time NFL Offensive Player of the Year (2007, 2010); NFL Comeback Player of the Year (2009); Holds NFL record for most Super Bowl wins as a player (6); Holds multiple Super Bowl records including most TD passes (18), most passing yards (2,838), most completed passes (256), most passing attempts (392) and most consecutive competitions in a single SB (16); Holds NFL record for most games won by a QB (207); only QB to have 3 consecutive games w/ 300 passing yards, 3 TD passes and 0 interceptions; Tied for most Pro Bowl selections (14); Holds NFL record for most postseason games played (40); Holds NFL record for most postseason TD passes (73); Oldest QB to win a Super Bowl (41 years, 6 months)

***

3: Lawrence Taylor 

Lawrence Taylor is a two-time Super Bowl champion, a nine-time First Team All-Pro selection, the NFL MVP (1986) and a 3-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year (1981, 1982, 1986).

Position: LB

Years: 1981-1993

Team: New York Giants

Achievements: Inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame (1999); 2-time Super Bowl champ; 10-time Pro Bowl; 9-time first-team All-Pro (1981-1989); second-team All-Pro (1990); NFL MVP (1986); 3-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year (1981, 1982, 1986); NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year (1981)

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4: Jim Brown

Jim Brown is a four-time NFL MVP, an eight-time First Team All-Pro, was the first player in league history to reach 100 rushing touchdowns and still holds the record for average rushing yards per game in a career (104.3).

Position: RB

Years: 1957-1965

Team: Cleveland Browns

Achievements: Inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame (1971); 1964 NFL Champ; 4-time NFL MVP (1957,1958, 1963, 1965); 8-time first-team All-Pro (1957-1961, 1963-1965); All-Pro 2nd-team (1962); 9 Pro Bowls appearances; NFL Rookie of the Year (1957); 1st player to reach 100 rushing touchdowns ; 1st NFL player to rush for over 10,000 yards; 10th most touchdowns in NFL history (126); 5th most rushing TDs in NFL history (106); Leads the NFL in average rushing yards per game in career (104.3)

***

5: Walter Payton

Walter Payton is a Super Bowl champion, the NFL MVP (1997) and the second leading rusher in NFL history.

Position: RB

Years: 1975-1987

Team: Chicago Bears

Achievements: Inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame (1993); Super Bowl champ; 7-time first-team All-Pro (1976-1980, 1984, 1985); second-team All-Pro (1986); NFL MVP (1977); NFL Offensive Player of the Year (1977); second leading rusher in NFL history (16,726); 4th most rushing TDs in NFL history (110)

***

6: Joe Montana

Joe Montana is a four-time Super Bowl champion, a three-time Super Bowl MVP, two-time NFL MVP and holds several Super Bowl passing records.

Position: QB

Years: 1979-1994

Teams: San Francisco 49ers, Kansas City Chiefs

Achievements: Inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame (2000); 4-time Super Bowl champ; 3-time Super Bowl MVP; 2-time NFL MVP (1989, 1990); 8 Pro Bowl invites; 3-time first-team All-Pro (1987, 1989, 1990); 2-time second-team All-Pro (1981, 1984); holds a Super Bowl record passer rating of 127.8;  holds Super Bowl records for most throws without an interception (122)

***

7: Reggie White

Reggie White was a Super Bowl champion, a two-time AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year and a 13-time Pro Bowler.

Position: DE

Years: 1985-2000

Teams: Philadelphia Eagles, Green Bay Packers, Carolina Panthers

Achievements: Inducted into Hall of Fame in 2006; Super Bowl champion (1996); AP Defensive Player of the Year (1987, ‘98); 1st-team All-Pro (1986, ‘87, ‘88, ‘89, ‘90, ‘91, ‘95, 98); 13-time Pro Bowler

***

8: Peyton Manning

Peyton Manning is a two-time Super Bowl champion, a five-time NFL MVP, 2-time NFL Offensive Player of the Year and holds several major NFL passing records.

Position: QB

Years: 1998-2015

Teams: Indianapolis Colts, Denver Broncos

Achievements: 2-time Super Bowl champ; Super Bowl MVP; 14-time Pro Bowl; 7-time first-team All-Pro (2003, 2004, 2005, 2008, 2009, 2012, 2013); 3-time second-team All-Pro (1999, 2000, 2006); 5-time NFL MVP (2003, 2004, 2008, 2009, 2013); 2-time NFL Offensive Player of the Year (2004, 2013); leads the NFL in career TD passes (539); holds the NFL record for most passing yards in a single season (5,477 in 2013); 2nd most passing yards in NFL history (71,940); 3rd most passes completed in NFL history (6,125)

***

9: Johnny Unitas

Johnny Unitas won a Super Bowl, was a three-time NFL champ and holds the third longest passing TD streak in NFL history (47 games).

Position: QB

Years: 1956-1971

Teams: Baltimore Colts, San Diego Chargers

Achievements: Inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame (1979); Super Bowl champ; 3-time NFL Champ; 3rd longest TD streak in NFL history (47 games)

***

10: Barry Sanders

Barry Sanders ranks third all-time in rushing yards, was named a Pro Bowler 10 times and was the first player to rush for 1,000 yards in his first 10 seasons.

Position: RB

Years: 1989-98

Team: Detroit Lions

Achievements: Inducted into Pro Football HOF 2004; 15,269 rushing yards, 3rd all-time; 10 pro bowls; 6-time All Pro; first player to rush for 1,000 yards in his first 10 seasons.

re are Nos. 11-100 in our list of the greatest NFL players of all time: 

***

11: Joe Greene

Joe Greene is a four-time Super Bowl champion, a two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year (1972, 1974), the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year (1969) and a 10-time Pro Bowler.

Position: DT

Years: 1969-1981

Team: Pittsburgh Steelers

Achievements: Inducted into the Pro Football HOF (1987); 4-time Super Bowl champ; 5-time First-team All-Pro (1972-1974, 1977, 1979); 3-time Second-team All-Pro (1971, 1975, 1976); 2-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year (1972, 1974); NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year (1969); 10-time Pro Bowler

***

12: Dick Butkus

Dick Butkus (51) is a two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year (1969, 1970), a six-time First Team All-Pro and an eight-time Pro Bowler.

Position: LB

Years: 1965-1973

Team: Chicago Bears

Achievements: Inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame (1979); 6-time first-team All-Pro (1965, 1967-1970, 1972); 2-time second-team All-Pro (1966, 1971); 8 Pro Bowls; 2-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year (1969, 1970)

***

13: Ronnie Lott

Ronnie Lott is a four-time Super Bowl champion, a six-time First Team All-Pro and a 10-time Pro Bowler.

Position: DB

Years: 1981-94

Teams: San Francisco 49ers, Los Angeles Raiders, New York Jets

Achievements: Inducted into Hall of Fame in 2000; 4-time Super Bowl Champion (1982, ‘84, ‘88, ‘89); 1st-team All-Pro (81, ‘86, ‘87, ‘89, ‘90, ‘91); 10-time Pro Bowler

***

14: Anthony Munoz

Anthony Munoz was a nine-time First Team All-Pro, an 11-time Pro Bowler and was named the NFL's Walter Payton Man of the Year in 1991.

Position: LT

Years: 1980-92

Team: Cincinnati Bengals

Achievements: Inducted into Hall of Fame in 1998; 1st-team All-Pro (1981, ‘82, ‘83, ‘85, ‘86, ‘87, ‘88, ‘89, ‘90); 11-time Pro Bowler; 1991 NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year

***

15: Deacon Jones

Deacon Jones went to eight Pro Bowls, was a five-time First Team All-Pro and was named the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year two times (1967, 1968).

Position: DE

Years: 1961-1974

Teams: Los Angeles Rams, San Diego Chargers, Washington Redskins

Achievements: Inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame (1980); 5-time First-Team All-Pro (1965-1969); 3-time second-team All-Pro (1964, 1970, 1972); 8 Pro Bowls; 2-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year (1967, 1968); NFL didn’t record sacks an as official stat until 1982, but it is said Jones had 194.5 during his career

***

16: Deion Sanders

Deion Sanders is a two-time Super Bowl champion, was named the AP's NFL Defensive Player of the Year (1994) and was a six-time First Team All-Pro.

Position: DB

Years: 1989-2000, 2004-05

Teams: Atlanta Falcons, San Francisco 49ers, Dallas Cowboys, Washington Redskins, Baltimore Ravens

Achievements: Inducted into Hall of Fame in 2011; 2-time Super Bowl Champion (1995, ‘96); 1994 AP Defensive Player of the Year; 1st-team All-Pro (‘92, ‘93, ‘94, ‘96, ‘97, ‘98); 8-time Pro Bowler

***

17:  Otto Graham

Otto Graham was a three-time NFL champion, a four-time AAFC champion and a three-time NFL (UPI) MVP (1951, 1953, 1955).

Position: QB

Years: 1946-55

Team: Cleveland Browns

Achievements: Inducted into Hall of Fame in 1965; 3-time NFL Champion (1950, ‘54, ‘55); 4-time AAFC champion (1946, ‘47, ‘48, ‘49); 3-time NFL UPI MVP (1951, ‘53, ‘55), 1st-team All-Pro (1947, ‘48, ‘49, ‘51, ‘53, ‘54, ‘55); 5-time Pro Bowler

***

18: John Elway

John Elway is a two-time Super Bowl champion, a Super Bowl MVP, the 1989 AP NFL MVP and a nine-time Pro Bowler.

Position: QB

Years: 1983-98

Team: Denver Broncos

Achievements: Inducted into Hall of Fame in 2004; two-time Super Bowl champion (1998, ‘99); 1989 AP MVP; 1998 Super Bowl MVP; 1992 Walter Payton Man of the Year; 9-time Pro Bowler;

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19: Emmitt Smith

Emmitt Smith is the NFL's all-time leading rusher (18,355 yards) and rushing touchdowns (164) and is a three-time Super Bowl champion.

Position: RB

Years: 1990-2004

Teams: Dallas Cowboys, Arizona Cardinals

Achievements: Inducted into Pro Footbal HOF 2010; 18,355 rushing yards, No. 1 all-time; 4,409 attempts, No. 1 all-time; 164 rushing TDs, first all-time; started 219 of 226 games; three-time Super Bowl champ; Super Bowl MVP after 1993 season; NFL MVP 1993 season.

***

20: Dan Marino

Dan Marino was the NFL Rookie of the Year in 1983, the NFL MVP in 1984 and was a nine-time Pro Bowler.

Position: QB.

Years: 1983-1999

Teams: Miami Dolphins

Achievements: Inducted into the Pro Football HOF (2005); 3-time First-team All-Pro (1984-1986); 4-time second-team All-Pro; NFL MVP (1984); Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year (1998); NFL Rookie of the Year (1983); NFL Comeback Player of the Year (1994); 9-time Pro Bowler; Held multiple NFL passing records that have since been broke

***

21: Gale Sayers

Gayle Sayers was a five-time First Team All-Pro and a four-time Pro Bowler before his career was cut short by injuries.

Position: RB

Years: 1965-71

Team: Chicago Bears

Achievements: Inducted into Hall of Fame in 1977; 1st-team All-Pro (1965, ‘66, ‘67, ‘68, ‘69); 4-time Pro Bowler; four seasons in top 10 of all NFL rushers; career cut short by injuries; as a rookie scored four TDs, including 96-yard kickoff return, against Vikings, and later in season scored six touchdowns against 49ers including an 80-yard pass play, 50-yard run and 65-yard punt return.

***

22: Sammy Baugh

Sammy Baugh was a two-time NFL champion, a four-time First Team All-Pro and a six-time Pro Bowler.

Position: QB

Years: 1937-52

Team: Washington Redskins

Achievements: Inducted into Hall of Fame in 1963; 2-time NFL champion (1937, ‘42); 1st-team All-Pro (1937, ‘40, ‘42, ‘43); 6-time Pro Bowler

***

23: Ray Lewis

Ray Lewis was a two-time Super Bowl champion, a Super Bowl MVP, the 2003 AP Defensive Player of the Year and a 13-time Pro Bowler.

Position: LB

Years: 1996-2012

Team: Baltimore Ravens

Achievements: Inducted into Hall of Fame in 2018; 2-time Super Bowl champion (2001, 2013); 2003 AP Defensive Player of the Year; 2000-01 Super Bowl MVP; ranks second in league history for solo tackles; 1st-team All-Pro (1999, 2000, ‘01, ‘03, ‘04, ‘08, ‘09); 13-time Pro Bowler

***

24: Randy Moss

Randy Moss was a four-time First Team All-Pro, played in six Pro Bowls and holds the NFL record for most touchdown receptions in a season (23).

Position: WR

Years: 1998-2012

Teams: Minnesota Vikings, Oakland Raiders, New England Patriots, Tennessee Titans, San Francisco 49ers

Achievements: Inducted into the Pro Football HOF (2018); 4-time First-team All-Pro (1998, 2000, 2003, 2007); NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year (1998); 6-time Pro Bowler; Pro Bowl MVP (1999); Holds NFL record for most TD receptions in a season (23); Holds NFL record for most TD receptions in a rookie season (17); Only player to catch 90 touchdown passes, return a punt for a touchdown, and throw 2 touchdown passes

***

25: Don Hutson

Don Hutson was a three-time NFL champion, a two-time NFL MVP and an eight-time First Team All-Pro.

Position: E

Years: 1935-45

Team: Green Bay Packers

Achievements: Inducted into Hall of Fame in 1963; 3-time NFL champion (1936, ‘39, ‘44); 2-time NFL MVP (1941, ‘42); 1st-team All-Pro (1938, ‘39, ‘40, ‘41, ‘42, ‘43, ‘44, ‘45); 4-time Pro Bowler

***

No. 26 Brett Favre

Brett Favre is second in the NFL in career passing yards (71,838), has the most career starts of any NFL player (298, 322 including the post season) and was the first player to record 500 career TD passes.

Position: QB

Years: 1991-2010

Teams: Atlanta Falcons, Green Bay Packers, New York Jets, Minnesota Vikings

Achievements: Inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame (2016); Super Bowl champ; 3-time first-team All-Pro (1995-1997); 3-time second-team All-Pro (2001, 2002, 2007); 11-time Pro Bowler (1992, 1993, 1995-1997, 2001-2003, 2007-2009); 3-time AP NFL MVP; 2nd in the NFL in career passing yards (71,838); Has the most career starts of any NFL player (298, 322 including the post season); 1st player to 500 career TD passes; 1st NFL QB to defeat 32 franchises

***

27: Alan Page

Alan Page was the 1971 NFL MVP, a two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year (1971, 1973) and had 23 fumble recoveries in his career.

Position: DT

Years: 1967-81

Teams: Minnesota Vikings, Chicago Bears

Achievements: Inducted into Pro Football HOF in 1988 in hometown of Canton, Ohio; played in 238 consecutive games, including postseason; NFL MVP for 1971 season; NFL defensive player of the year 1971, 1973; 23 fumble recoveries.

***

28: Bruce Smith

Bruce Smith was a two-time Defensive Player of the Year (1990, 1996) and holds the NFL career sack record (200).

Position: DE

Years: 1985-2003

Teams: Buffalo Bills, Washington Redskins

Achievements: Inducted into the Pro Football HOF (2009); 8-time First-team All-Pro (1987, 1988, 1990, 1993-1997); 2-time Second-team All-Pro (1989, 1998); 2-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year (1990, 1996); NFL career sack record (200 sacks)

***

29: Jack Lambert

Jack Lambert is a four-time Super Bowl champion and a two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year (1976, 1983).

Position: LB

Years: 1974-1984

Team: Pittsburgh Steelers

Achievements: Inducted into the Pro Football HOF (1990); 4-time Super Bowl champion; 6-time First-team All-Pro (1976, 1979-1983); 2-time Second-team All-Pro (1975, 1978); 2-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year (1976, 1983); NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year (1974); 9-time Pro Bowler

***

30: John Hannah

John Hannah was a seven-time First Team All-Pro and a nine-time Pro Bowler.

Position: G

Years: 1973-85

Team: New England Patriots

Achievements: Inducted into Hall of Fame in 1991; 1st-team All-Pro (1976, ‘78, ‘79, ‘80, ‘81, ‘83, ‘85); 9-time Pro Bowler.

***

31: Bob Lilly

Bob Lilly won a Super Bowl, was named a First Team All-Pro seven times and played in 11 Pro Bowls.

Position: DT

Years: 1961-74

Team: Dallas Cowboys

Achievements: Inducted into Hall of Fame in 1980; Super Bowl Champion (1972); 1st-team All-Pro (1964, ‘65, ‘66, ‘67, ‘68, ‘69, ‘71); 11-time Pro Bowler

***

32: Ed Reed

Ed Reed was the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2004, is a five-time First Team All-Pro and holds the record for most playoff interceptions (9).

Position: S

Years: 2002-2013

Teams: Baltimore Ravens, New York Jets, Houston Texans

Achievements: Inducted into the Pro Football HOF (2019); Super Bowl Champion; 5-time First-team All-Pro (2004, 2006-2008, 2010); 3-time Second-team All-Pro (2003, 2009, 2011); 9-time Pro Bowler; NFL Defensive Player of the Year (2004); Tied for Most Career Playoff Interceptions (9); Longest Interception Return in NFL History (107 yards); Most Career Interception Return Yards (1,590); First player in NFL history to return an interception, punt, blocked punt and fumble for a TD; Holds the record for most multi-interception games in a career (12); Tied for most career blocked punts returned for TD (3)

***

33: Dick 'Night Train' Lane

Dick

Position: CB

Years: 1952-1965

Teams: Los Angeles Rams, Chicago Cardinals, Detroit Lions

Achievements: Inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame (1974); 7-time first-team All-Pro (1956-1957, 1959-1963); 7 Pro Bowls; 4th most interceptions in NFL history (68); most interceptions in a season in NFL history (14)

***

34: Drew Brees

Drew Brees is Super Bowl champion, a two-time NFL Offensive Player of the Year (2008, 2011) and has been named a Pro Bowler 12 times.

Position: QB

Years: 2001-Present

Teams: San Diego Chargers, New Orleans Saints

Achievements: Super Bowl XLIV champion; 2-time NFL Offensive Player of the Year (2008, 2011); First-team All-pro (2006); 12 pro bowls

***

35: Gino Marchetti

Gino Marchetti was a two-time NFL champion, a seven-time First Team All-Pro selection and an 11-time Pro Bowler.

Position: DE

Years: 1952-66

Teams: Dallas Texans, Baltimore Colts

Achievements: Inducted into Hall of Fame in 1972; 2-time NFL champion (1958, ‘59); 1st-team All-Pro (1957, ‘58, ‘59, ‘60, ‘61, ‘62, ‘64); 11-time Pro Bowler

***

36: Tony Gonzalez

Tony Gonzalez currently holds the NFL record for receiving yards and receptions by a tight end, is second behind only Jerry Rice for most all-time receptions and was named a Pro Bowler 14 times, which is tied for the most all-time.

Position: TE

Years: 1997-2013

Teams: Kansas City Chiefs, Atlanta Falcons

Achievements: Inducted into the Pro Football HOF (2019); 6-time First-team All-Pro (1999-2001, 2003, 2008, 2012); 4-time Second-team All-Pro (2002, 2004, 2006, 2007); 14-time Pro Bowler (tied for most all-time); holds the NFL record for total receiving yards by a TE (15,127); Leads the NFL in career receptions for TEs (1,325); Second in NFL history for receptions behind Jerry Rice; tied for most seasons with 1,000 receiving yards by a TE (4).

***

37: Rod Woodson

Rod Woodson won a Super Bowl, was the 1993 AP Defensive Player of the Year and an 11-time Pro Bowler.

Position: DB

Years: 1987-2003

Teams: Pittsburgh Steelers, San Francisco 49ers, Baltimore Ravens, Oakland Raiders

Achievements: Inducted into Hall of Fame in 2009; 2001 Super Bowl champion; 1993 AP Defensive Player of the Year; 1st-team All-Pro (1989, ‘90, ‘92, ‘92, ‘94, 2002); 11-time Pro Bowler

***

38:  Eric Dickerson

Eric Dickerson was the 1996 AP Offensive Player of the Year, a five-time First Team All-Pro and a six-time Pro Bowler.

Position: RB

Years: 1983-93

Teams: Los Angeles Rams, Indianapolis Colts, Los Angeles Raiders, Atlanta Falcons

Achievements: Inducted into Hall of Fame in 1999; 1986 AP Offensive Player of the Year; 1st-team All-Pro (1983, ‘84, ‘86, ‘87, ‘88); 6-time Pro Bowler

***

39:  Mel Blount

Mel Blount was a four-time Super Bowl champion, the 1975 AP Defensive Player of Year and a five-time Pro Bowler

Position: DB

Years: 1970-83

Team: Pittsburgh Steelers

Achievements: Inducted into Hall of Fame in 1989; 4-time Super Bowl champion (1974, ‘75, ‘78, ‘79); 1975 AP Defensive Player of Year; 1st-team All-Pro (1975, ‘81); 5-time Pro Bowler

***

40: O.J. Simpson

O.J. Simpson was named the AP’s NFL MVP in 1973, was a five-time First Team All-Pro and a six-time Pro Bowler.

Position: RB

Years: 1969-79

Teams: Buffalo Bills, San Francisco 49ers

Achievements: Inducted into Hall of Fame in 1985; 1973 NFL AP  MVP; 1973 Bert Bell Award winner; 1st-team All-Pro (1972, ‘73, ‘74, ‘75, ‘76); 6-time Pro Bowler

***

41: Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers is a two-time NFL MVP (2011, 2014), a Super Bowl champ and a seven-time Pro Bowler.

Position: QB

Years: 2005-Present

Team: Green Bay Packers.

Achievements: Super Bowl XLV champion; 2x NFL MVP (2011, 2014); Super Bowl XLV MVP; 2-time First-team All-pro (2011, 2014); Second-team All-pro (2012); Seven pro bowls

***

42: Ray Nitschke

Ray Nitschke was a three-time NFL champion and a two-time Super Bowl champion.

Position: LB

Years: 1958-72

Team: Green Bay Packers

Achievements: Inducted into Hall of Fame in 1978; 3-time NFL champion (1961 ‘62, ‘65); 2-time Super Bowl champion (1966, ‘67); 1st-team All-Pro (1964, ‘65); Pro Bowler

***

43: Forrest Gregg

Forrest Gregg was a three-time Super Bowl champion, seven-time First Team All-Pro and played in nine Pro Bowls.

Position: T

Years: 1956-71

Teams: Green Bay Packers, Dallas Cowboys

Achievements: Inducted into Pro Football HOF (1977); 3-time Super Bowl Champion, 7-time First-team All-pro (1960, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967); nine pro bowls.

***

44: Chuck Bednarik

Chuck Bednarik was a two-time NFL champion, a six-time First Team All-Pro and played in eight Pro Bowls.

Position: C/LB

Years: 1949-62

Team: Philadelphia Eagles

Achievements: Inducted into Hall of Fame in 1967; 2-time NFL champion (1949, ‘60); 1st-team All-Pro (1950, ‘51, ‘52, ‘53, ‘54, ‘60); 8-time Pro Bowler

***

45: Jim Thorpe

Jim Thorpe was First Team All-Pro in 1923 and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1963.

Position: RB

Years: 1920-28

Teams: Canton Bulldogs, Cleveland Indians, Oorang Indians, Rock Island Independents, New York Giants, Chicago Cardinals

Achievements: Inducted into Pro Football HOF (1963); First-team All-pro (1923)

***

46: Mike Singletary

Mike Singletary was a Super Bowl champ, a seven-time First Team All-Pro and played in 10 Pro Bowls.

Position: LB

Years: 1981-92

Team: Chicago Bears

Achievements: Inducted into Pro Football HOF (1998); Super Bowl XX Champion; 7-time First-team All-pro (1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1991); Second-team All-pro (1990); 10 pro bowls

***

47: Red Grange

Red Grange was a running back with the Chicago Bears and New York Yankees. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1963.

Position: RB

Years: 1925-34

Teams: Chicago Bears, New York Yankees

Achievements: Inducted into Pro Football HOF (1963); 2-time First-team All-pro (1930, 1931)

***

48: Roger Staubach

Roger Staubach was the NFL MVP in 1971 and was the MVP of Super Bowl VI.

Position: QB

Years: 1969-79

Team: Dallas Cowboys

Achievements: Inducted into Pro Football HOF in 1985; NFL MVP 1971, Super Bowl VI MVP; 22,700 passing yards, 153 passing touchdowns, 20 rushing touchdowns, 2,264 rushing yards; lost statistics by delaying entry into NFL for four years because of military commitment after graduating from the Naval Academy.

***

49: Jim Parker

Jim Parker was a two-time NFL champion, a nine-time First Team All-Pro and an eight-time Pro Bowler.

Position: OG/OT

Years: 1957-1967

Team: Baltimore Colts

Achievements: Inducted into the Pro Football HOF (1973); 2-time NFL champion, 9-time First-team All-Pro (1957-1965); Second-team All-Pro (1966); 8-time Pro Bowler

***

50: Bronko Nagurski

Bronko Nagurski was a three-time NFL champion and a four-time First Team All-Pro.

Position: FB

Years: 1930-43

Team: Chicago Bears

Achievements: Inducted into Hall of Fame in 1963; 3-time NFL champion (1932, ‘33 ‘43,); 1st-team All-Pro (1932, ‘33, ‘34, ‘36)

***

51: John Mackey

John Mackey was a Super Bowl champion and a five-time First Team All-Pro.

Position: TE

Years: 1963-72

Teams: Baltimore Colts, San Diego Chargers

Achievements: Inducted into Pro Football HOF (1992); Super Bowl V champion; 3-time First-team All-pro (1966,1967,1968); five pro bowls

***

52: Terrell Owens

Terrell Owens is third all-time in receiving yards and played in six Pro Bowls.

Position: WR

Years: 1996-2010

Teams: San Francisco 49ers, Philadelphia Eagles, Dallas Cowboys, Buffalo Bills, Cincinnati Bengals

Achievements: Inducted into Pro Football HOF (2018); 5-time First-team All-pro (2000, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2007); 3rd all-time receiving yards; six pro bowls

***

No. 53 Merlin Olsen

Merlin Olsen was a five-time First Team All-Pro and played in 14 Pro Bowls.

Position: DT

Years: 1962-1976

Team: Los Angeles Rams

Achievements: Inducted into the Pro Football HOF (1982); 5-time First-team All-Pro (1966-1970); 3-time Second-team All-Pro (1965, 1973, 1974); NFL Rookie of the Year (1962); 14-time Pro Bowler (this is a career NFL record. Olsen is tied with Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Bruce Matthews and Tony Gonzalez) 

***

No. 54. LaDainian Tomlinson

LaDainian Tomlinson was the NFL MVP and Offensive Player of the Year in 2006 and a five-time First Team All Pro.

Position: RB

Years: 2001-11

Teams: San Diego Chargers, New York Jets

Achievements: Inducted into Pro Football HOF (2017); NFL Most Valuable Player (2006); NFL Offensive Player of the Year (2006); 3-time First-team All-pro (2004, 2006, 2007); 2-time Second-team All-pro (2002, 2003); five pro bowls

***

No. 55 Gene Upshaw

Gene Upshaw was a two-time Super Bowl champion, a five-time First Team All-Pro and a Pro Bowler seven times.

Position: G

Years: 1967-81

Team: Oakland Raiders

Achievements: Inducted into Pro Football HOF (1987); 2-time Super Bowl champion; AFL Champion; 5-time First-team All-pro (1968, 1969, 1970, 1974, 1977); 4- time Second-team All-pro (1972, 1973, 1975, 1976); seven pro bowls

***

No. 56 Steve Young

Steve Young was a two-time NFL MVP (1992, 1994), a Super Bowl MVP and won six NFL passing titles.

Position: QB

Years: 1985-99

Teams: Tampa Bay Buccaneers, San Francisco 49ers

Achievements: Inducted into Pro Football HOF 2005; two-time NFL MVP (1992, 1994); Super Bowl MVP (1994); 33,124 passing yards, 64.3 completion percentage, 232 touchdowns, 4,239 rushing yards, 43 touchdowns; seven-time Pro Bowler; won six NFL passing titles.

***

No. 57 Marshall Faulk

Marshall Faulk was a three-time NFL Offensive Player of the Year and is the only player in league history with 12,000 rushing and 6,000 receiving yards.

Position: RB

Years: 1994-2005

Teams: Indianapolis Colts, St. Louis Rams

Achievements: Inducted into the Pro Football HOF (2011); Super Bowl champion; 3-time First-team All-Pro (1999-2001); 3-time Second-team All-Pro (1994, 1995, 1998); NFL MVP (2000); 3-time NFL Offensive Player of the Year (1999-2001); NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year (1994); 7-time Pro Bowler; one of only 3 NFL players to amass at least 10,000 rushing yards and 5,000 receiving yards; only player to accumulate 12,000 rushing and 6,000 receiving yards; only NFL RB with 100 rushing and 30 receiving TDs; holds NFL career record for most games with a rushing and receiving TD (15).

***

No. 58  Raymond Berry

Raymond Berry was a two-time NFL champion and a six-time Pro Bowler.

Position: Split end

Years: 1955-67

Team: Baltimore Colts

Achievements: Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1973; 2-time NFL champion (1958, ‘59); 1st-team All-Pro (1958, ‘59, 60); 6-time Pro Bowler

***

59: Earl Campbell

Earl Campbell was a three-time AP Offensive Player of the Year and played in five Pro Bowls.

Position: RB

Years: 1978-85

Teams: Houston Oilers, New Orleans Saints

Achievements: Inducted into Hall of Fame in 1991; 1979 AP MVP; NFL PFWA MVP (1978, ‘79); AP Offensive Player of the Year (1978, 1979, 1980); 1st-team All-Pro (1978, ‘79, ‘80); 5-time Pro Bowler

***

60: Junior Seau

Junior Seau was the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1992, the NFL Man of the Year in 1994 and played in 12 Pro Bowls.

Position: LB

Years: 1990-2009

Teams: San Diego Chargers, Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots

Achievements: Inducted into the Pro Football HOF (2015); 8-time First-team All-Pro (1991-1996, 1998, 2000); 2-time Second-team All-Pro (1997, 1999); NFL Defensive Player of the Year (1992); NFL Man of the Year (1994); 12-time Pro Bowler

***

61: Charles Woodson

Charles Woodson is a Super Bowl champion, the 2009 Defensive Player of the Year and played in nine pro bowls.

Position: DB

Years: 1998-2015

Teams: Oakland Raiders, Green Bay Packers

Achievements: Super Bowl XLV champion; 2009 Defensive Player of the Year; 3-time First-team All-Pro (1999, 2009, 2011); Four-time Second-team All-Pro (2000, 2008, 2010, 2015); nine pro bowls; NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year

***

62: Lance Alworth

Lance Alworth was a champion in Super Bowl VI champion, an AFL champion in 1963 and was a six-time First Team All-Pro.

Position: WR

Years: 1962-72

Teams: San Diego Chargers, Dallas Cowboys

Achievements: Inducted into Pro Football HOF (1978); Super Bowl VI champion; AFL Champion (1963); AFL Player of the Year (1963); 6-time First-team All-Pro (1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968); Second-team All-Pro (1969); seven pro bowls

***

63: Bart Starr

Bart Starr was a two-time Super Bowl champion, a two-time Super Bowl MVP, a five-time NFL champion and a four-time Pro Bowler.

Position: QB

Years: 1956-1971

Team: Green Bay Packers

Achievements: Inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame (1977); 2-time Super Bowl champ; 2-time Super Bowl MVP; 5-time NFL champ; 4-time Pro Bowl; first-team All-Pro (1966); 3-time second-team All-Pro (1961, 1962, 1964); NFL MVP (1966); holds the NFL record for the highest postseason passer rating (104.8)

***

64: J.J. Watt

J.J. Watt has won the NFL Defensive Player of the Year award three times (2012, 2014, 2015) and is the first player with multiple 20-sack seasons (2012, 2014).

Position: DE

Years: 2011-Present

Team: Houston Texans

Achievements: 5-time First-team All-Pro (2012-2015, 2018); 3-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year (2012, 2014, 2015); Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year (2017); 5-time Pro Bowler; Pro Bowl Defensive MVP (2014); Bert Bell Award (2014); first player with multiple 20-sack seasons (2012, 2014)

***

65: Larry Fitzgerald

Larry Fitzgerald holds the NFL record for most seasons with 90  receptions (8).

Position: WR

Years: 2004-Present

Team: Arizona Cardinals

Achievements: 1st-team All-Pro (2008); 2-time 2nd-team All-pro (2009, 2011), 11-time Pro Bowler, Pro-Bowl MVP (2008); Holds NFL record for most seasons with 90 receptions (8); Most TD receptions in a postseason (7 in 2008); Most receptions in a postseason (30 in 2008); Most receiving yards in a postseason (546 in 2008); Third all-time in career receptions (1,303); Second all-time in career receiving yards (16,279)

***

66: Mike Webster

Mike Webster was a five-time First Team All-Pro and played in nine Pro Bowls.

Position: C

Years: 1974-90

Teams: Pittsburgh Steelers, Kansas City Chiefs

Achievements: Inducted into Pro Football HOF (1997); 5-time First-team All-pro (1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1983); Second-team All-Pro (1984); nine pro bowls

***

67: Jack Ham

Jack Ham was a four-time Super Bowl champion and was the league's NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1975.

Position: LB

Years: 1971-1982

Team: Pittsburgh Steelers

Achievements: Inducted into the Pro Football HOF (1988); 4-time Super Bowl champ; 6-time First-team All-Pro (1974-1979); 2-time Second-team All-Pro (1973, 1980); NFL Defensive Player of the Year (1975); 8-time Pro Bowler

***

68: Joe Namath

Joe Namath was a Super Bowl champion, a Super Bowl MVP and played in five Pro Bowls.

Position: QB

Years: 1965-77

Teams: New York Jets, L.A. Rams (1977)

Achievements: Five pro bowls; Super Bowl champion and Super Bowl MVP; Inducted into Pro Football HOF (1985); first to pass for more than 4,000 yards in one season; had 27,663 passing yards and 173 TDs for career.

***

69: Orlando Pace

Orlando Pace played in seven Pro Bowls and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Position: LT

Years: 1997-2009

Teams: St. Louis Rams, Chicago Bears

Achievements: Inducted into Pro Football HOF (2016); 3-time First-team All-Pro (1999, 2001, 2003); Second-team All-Pro (2000); seven pro bowls.

***

70: Art Shell

Art Shell won two Super Bowls and was inducted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Position: OT

Years: 1968-82.

Team: Oakland Raiders (L.A. 1982).

Achievements: Two-time Super Bowl champion. Hall of Fame. Played 207 games. NFL 1970s all-decade team.

***

71: Ted Hendricks

Ted Hendricks was a four-time Super Bowl champion, a four-time First Team All-Pro and an eight-time Pro Bowler.

Position: LB.

Years: 1969-83

Teams: Baltimore Colts, Green Bay Packers, Oakland Raiders, L.A. Raiders.

Achievements: Inducted into the Pro Football HOF (1990); 4-time Super Bowl champion; 4-time First-team All-Pro (1971, 1974, 1980, 1982); 2-time Second-team All-Pro (1972, 1976); 8-time Pro Bowler

***

72: Randy White 

Randy White was a Super Bowl champion, a Super Bowl MVP and a nine-time Pro Bowler.

Position: DT.

Years: 1975-88

Team: Dallas Cowboys.

Achievements: Inducted into Hall of Fame in 1994; 1977 Super Bowl Champion; 1977 Super Bowl MVP; 1st-team All-Pro (1978, ‘79, ‘81, ‘82, ‘83, ‘84, ‘85); 9-time Pro Bowler

***

73: Bruce Matthews

Bruce Matthews played in 14 Pro Bowls and started 293 games in his NFL career (second in NFL history).

Position: OL.

Years: 1983-2001

Teams: Houston Texans, Tennessee Titans.

Achievements: Inducted into Hall of Fame in 2007; 1st-team All-Pro (1988, ‘89, 90, ‘92, ‘98, ‘99, 2000); 14-time Pro Bowler; started 293 games in career (second in NFL history).

***

74: Larry Allen

Larry Allen was a Super Bowl champion and played in 11 Pro Bowls.

Position: OL.

Years: 1994-2007

Teams: Dallas Cowboys, San Francisco 49ers.

Achievements: Inducted into Hall of Fame in 2013; 1995 Super Bowl Champion; 1st-team All-Pro (1996, ‘97, ‘98, ‘99, 2000, ‘01); 11-time Pro Bowler 

***

75: Terry Bradshaw

Terry Bradshaw was a four-time Super Bowl champion and a two-time Super Bowl MVP.

Position: QB

Years: 1970-83

Team: Pittsburgh Steelers.

Achievements: Inducted into Hall of Fame in 1989; 4-time Super Bowl champion (1974, ‘75, ‘78, ‘79) ; 1978 AP MVP; Super Bowl MVP (1978, ‘79); 1978 Bert Bell Award winner; 1st-team All-Pro (1978); 3-time Pro Bowler

***

76: Sid Luckman

The Chicago Bears' Sid Luckman won four NFL championships and was a First Team All-Pro five times.

Position: QB.

Years: 1939-50

Team: Chicago Bears.

Achievements: Inducted into Hall of Fame in 1965; 1943 Joe F. Carr MVP Trophy winner; 4-time NFL Champion (1940, ‘41, ‘43, ‘46); 1st-team All-Pro (1941, ‘42, ‘43, ‘44. ‘47); 3-time Pro Bowler 

***

77: Jim Otto

Jim Otto was a 10-time First Team All-Pro selection and played in 12 Pro Bowls.

Position: Center.

Years: 1960-74  

Team: Oakland Raiders.

Achievements: Inducted into Hall of Fame in 1980; 1st-team All-Pro selection (1960, ‘61, ‘62, ‘63, ‘64, ‘65, ‘67, ‘68, ‘69, ‘70); 12-time Pro Bowler 

***

78: Michael Strahan 

Michael Strahan won a Super Bowl, played in seven Pro Bowls, won a defensive player of the year award (2012) and holds the record for the most sacks in one season (22.5).

Position: DE.

Years: 1993-2007

Team: New York Giants.

Achievements: Inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame (2014); Super Bowl champ; 7 Pro Bowls; 4-time first-team All-Pro (1997, 1998, 2001, 2003); 2-time second-team All-Pro (2002, 2005); NFL Defensive Player of the Year (2001); holds the NFL record for most sacks in a season (22.5); 6th most career sacks in NFL history (141.5)

***

79: Kellen Winslow Sr.

Kellen Winslow was selected as a First Team All-Pro three times and played in five Pro Bowls.

Position: TE.

Years: 1979-87

Team: San Diego Chargers.

Achievements: Inducted into the Pro Football HOF (1995); 3-time First-team All-Pro (1980-1982); Second-team All-Pro (1987); 5-time Pro Bowl selection

***

80: Adrian Peterson

Adrian Peterson was the NFL MVP in 2012, was named a First Team All-Pro four times and has played in seven Pro Bowls.

Position: RB.

Years: 2007-present

Teams: Minnesota Vikings, Arizona Cardinals, New Orleans Saints, Washington Redskins.

Achievements: NFL Most Valuable Player (2012); NFL Offensive Player of the Year (2012); 4-time First-team All-Pro (2008, 2009, 2012, 2015); 3-time Second-team All-Pro (2007, 2010, 2013); seven pro bowls; NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year (2007). Eight on all-time rushing list coming into 2019 season.

***

***

81: Walter Jones

Walter Jones was named to a First Team All-Pro four times and played in nine Pro Bowls during his career.

Position: OT.

Years: 1997-2008

Team: Seattle Seahawks

Achievements: Inducted into Pro Football HOF (2014); 4-time First-team All-Pro (2001, 2004, 2005, 2007); 2-time Second-team All-Pro (2006, 2008); nine pro bowls.

***

82: Willie Lanier

Willie Lanier played in eight Pro Bowls and was named a First Team All-Pro three times.

Position: LB.

Years: 1967-77

Team: Kansas City

Achievements: Inducted into Pro Football HOF (1986); Started 146 of 149 regular-season games. Eight pro bowls (1968-75). Three-time All-Pro (1968, 1971, 1973).

***

83: Michael Irvin

Michael Irvin is a three-time Super Bowl champion and played in five Pro Bowls in his NFL career with the Dallas Cowboys.

Position: WR.

Years: 1988-1999

Team: Dallas Cowboys

Achievements: Inducted into Pro Football HOF (2007); 3-time Super Bowl champ; First-team All-Pro (1991); Two-time Second-team All-pro (1992, 1993); five pro bowls.

***

84: Jonathan Ogden

Jonathan Ogden played in 11 Pro Bowls, was a four-time First Team All-Pro and won a Super Bowl with the Ravens.

Position: OT.

Years: 1996-2007

Team: Baltimore Ravens

Achievements: Inducted into Pro Football HOF (2013); Super Bowl champ; 4-time First-team All-Pro (1997, 2000, 2002, 2003); 5-time Second-team All-Pro (1998, 1999, 2001, 2004, 2006); 11 pro bowls.

***

85: Marvin Harrison

Marvin Harrison is an eight-time Pro Bowler, a Super Bowl champion and a Hall of Famer.

Position: WR.

Years: 1996-2008

Team: Indianapolis Colts

Achievements: Inducted into the Pro Football HOF (2016); Super Bowl champ; 3-time First-team All-Pro (1999, 2002, 2006); 5-time Second-team All-Pro (2000, 2001, 2003-2005); 8-time Pro Bowl selection; Holds multiple NFL receiving records including most receptions in a single season (143), most consecutive seasons of 1,000 all-purpose yards and 10 TD receptions (8), first player to record two seasons of 1,600 yards receiving in NFL history, (1999 & 2002); also holds multiple records with Peyton Manning as a QB/WR pair.

***

86: Derrick Thomas

Derrick Thomas holds the record for sacks in a single game (7).

Position: LB.

Years: 1989-1999

Team: Kansas City Chiefs

Achievements: Inducted into the Pro Football HOF (2009); 3-time First-team All-Pro (1990-1992); 3-time Second-team All-Pro (1993, 1994, 1996); 9-time Pro Bowl selection; NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year (1989); holds the NFL record for sacks in a single game (7).

***

87: Troy Polamalu

Troy Polamalu tormented offenses during his NFL career and was an eight-time Pro Bowler and four-time All-Pro.

Position: S.

Years: 2003-14

Team: Pittsburgh

Achievements: Eight pro bowls (2004-08, 2010-11, 2013) and four-time All-Pro (2006, 2008, 2010-11). Twice had seven interceptions in a season. Started 142 regular-season games. NFL defensive player of the Year in 2010 (AP). Super Bowl champ.

***

88: Aaron Donald

Aaron Donald is already a five-time Pro Bowler and has won two defensive player of the year awards.

Position: DL.

Years: 2014-present

Teams: St. Louis/Los Angeles Rams

Achievements: 2-time AP Defensive Player of the Year (2017, ‘18); 1st-team All-Pro (2015, ‘16, ‘17, ‘18); 5-time Pro Bowler.

***

89: Rob Gronkowski

Rob Gronkowski was a three-time Super Bowl champion and was voted a Pro Bowler five times.

Position: TE.

Years: 2010-18

Team: New England Patriots

Achievements: 3-time Super Bowl Champion 2015, ‘17, ‘19); 1st-team All-Pro (2011, ‘14, ‘15, ‘17); 5-time Pro-Bowler; 2014 AP Comeback Player of the Year.

***

90: Tony Dorsett

Tony Dorsett was named AP's offensive rookie of the year in 1977, won a Super Bowl and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Position: RB.

Years: 1977-88

Teams: Dallas Cowboys, Denver Broncos

Achievements: Inducted into Hall of Fame in 1994; 1977 Super Bowl champion; 1st-team All-Pro (1981); 4-time Pro Bowler; 1977 AP Offensive Rookie of the Year.

***

91: Lee Roy Selmon

Tampa Bay Buccaneer Lee Roy Selmon played in six Pro Bowls and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1995.

Position: DE.

Years: 1976-84

Team: Tampa Bay

Achievements: Inducted into Hall of Fame in 1995; 1979 AP Defensive Player of the Year; 1st-team All-Pro (1979); six pro bowls.

***

92: Fran Tarkenton

Fran Tarkenton was the NFL MVP in 1975 and played in nine Pro Bowls during his career.

Position: QB.

Years: 1961-78

Teams: Minnesota Vikings, New York Giants.

Achievements: Inducted into Hall of Fame in 1986; 1975 NFL MVP; 1st-team All-Pro (1975); nine pro bowls (1964-65, 1967-70, 1974-76).

***

93:  Marion Motley

Marion Motley, left, is an NFL champion and a two-time First Team All-Pro. He was the second African American to be inducted in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Position: FB.

Years: 1946-55

Teams: Cleveland (AAFC), Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers

Achievements: Inducted into the Pro Football HOF (1968. 2nd black player ever inducted); NFL champion; 4-time AAFC champion; Pro Bowl; 2-time First-team All-Pro (1948, 1950); averaged 5.6 YPC (a record that still stands for FBS).

***

94: Herb Adderley

Cornerback Herb Adderley is a Pro Football Hall of Famer and a three-time Super Bowl champion.

Position: DB.

Years: 1961-72

Teams: Green Bay Packers, Dallas Cowboys

Achievements: Inducted into Hall of Fame in 1980; 3-time Super Bowl Champion (1965, ‘66, ‘67); 1st-team All-Pro (1962, ‘63, ‘65, ‘66); 5-time Pro Bowler

***

95: Adam Vinatieri

Adam Vinatieri is a four-time Super Bowl champion who holds the record most career points in NFL history.

Position: K.

Years: 1996-Present

Teams: New England Patriots, Indianapolis Colts

Achievements: 4-time Super Bowl champ; 3-time First-team all-Pro (2002, 2004, 2014); 3-time Pro Bowl selection; Holds NFL records for most consecutive FGs made (44), most career FGs made (582) and most career points in NFL history (2,600); Only player to score 1,000 points for 2 teams.

***

96:  Darrell Green

Darrell Green played his entire career with the Washington Redskins, winning two Super Bowls.

Position: CB.

Years: 1983-2002

Team: Washington Redskins

Achievements: Inducted into Hall of Fame in 2008; 2-time Super Bowl champion (1987, ‘91); 1996 Walter Payton Man of the Year; 1st-team All-Pro (1991); 7-time Pro Bowler.

***

97: Mike Haynes

Mike Haynes won a Super Bowl during his career that included nine Pro Bowl selections and the 1976 defensive rookie of the year award.

Position: CB.

Years: 1976-89

Teams: New England Patriots, L.A. Raiders

Achievements: Inducted into the Pro Football HOF (1997); Super Bowl champ; 2-time First-team All-Pro (1984, 1985); 6-time Second-team All-Pro (1976-1980, 1982); 9-time Pro Bowl selection; NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year (1976).

***

98: Willie Brown

Willie Brown played for the Denver Broncos and Oakland Raiders during his Hall of Fame career.

Position: CB.

Years: 1963-78

Teams: Denver Broncos, Oakland Raiders

Achievements: Inducted into the Pro Football HOF (1984); 3-time Super Bowl champ; 2-time First-team All-Pro (1971, 1973); AFL champion (1967); 3-time First-team All-AFL (1964, 1968, 1969); 4-time Pro Bowl selection; held the Super Bowl record for longest interception (75 yards) until James Harrison broke it.

***

99: Franco Harris

Franco Harris won four Super Bowls during his Hall of Fame career.

Position: RB.

Years: 1972-84

Teams: Pittsburgh Steelers, Seattle Seahawks

Achievements: Inducted into the Pro Football HOF (1990); 4-time Super Bowl champ; Super Bowl MVP; First-team All-Pro (1977); 2-time Second-team All-Pro (1972, 1975); NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year (1972); 9-time Pro Bowl selection; rushed for 1,000 or more yards in 8 seasons

***

100: Troy Aikman

Troy Aikman won three Super Bowls with the Dallas Cowboys.

Position: QB.

Years: 1989-2000

Team: Dallas Cowboys

Achievements: Inducted into Hall of Fame in 2006; 3-time Super Bowl champion (1992, ‘93, ‘95); 1992 Super Bowl MVP; 1997 NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year; 1st-team All-Pro (1993); 6-time Pro Bowl selection

Contributing: Tess DeMeyer, Lila Bromberg,, Thomas Hindle

Sources: Pro Football Hall of Fame, Pro Football Reference, USA TODAY research

en.wikipedia.org

17-12-2021 · 101 rowsThe Top 100: NFL's Greatest Players was a ten-part television series that set out to …

17-12-2021
For the 100th Anniversary All-Time Team, see National Football League 100th Anniversary All-Time Team.

The Top 100: NFL's Greatest Players was a ten-part television series that set out to determine the top 100 greatest NFL players of all time. It was presented by the NFL Network in 2010. The series was based on a list of the top 100 National Football League players of all time, as compiled by a "blue-ribbon" panel assembled by the NFL Network. The members of the panel were current and former NFL coaches, players, executives, and members of the media. Each episode, broadcast each Thursday from September 3 to November 4, 2010, introduced a group of 10 players from the list, with each nominee player presented and advocated for by a separate noteworthy individual in the world of sports and entertainment. It started with the players ranked 100 through 91, and moving up the list each week.[1]

The final episode, premiering on November 4, 2010, introduced the top 10 players of all time according to the panel.[2] Jerry Rice was chosen as the top player of all time, with Jim Brown as the second choice.[3]

The list

Rank Player Position Team(s)† Year inducted to Pro Football Hall of Fame
1 Jerry Rice WR 49ers 2010
2 Jim Brown FB Browns 1971
3 Lawrence Taylor LB Giants 1999
4 Joe Montana QB 49ers 2000
5 Walter Payton RB Bears 1993
6 Johnny Unitas QB Baltimore Colts 1979
7 Reggie White DE Eagles, Packers 2006
8 Peyton Manning QB Colts, Broncos 2021
9 Don Hutson E Packers 1963
10 Dick Butkus LB Bears 1979
11 Ronnie Lott S 49ers 2000
12 Anthony Muñoz OT Bengals 1998
13 Joe Greene DT Steelers 1987
14 Sammy Baugh QB Washington Redskins 1963
15 Deacon Jones DE Rams 1980
16 Otto Graham QB Browns 1965
17 Barry Sanders RB Lions 2004
18 Ray Lewis LB Ravens 2018
19 Bronko Nagurski FB, LB, OT Bears 1963
20 Brett Favre QB Packers 2016
21 Tom Brady Patriots, Buccaneers N/A (active)
22 Gale Sayers HB Bears 1977
23 John Elway QB Broncos 2004
24 John Hannah G Patriots 1991
25 Dan Marino QB Dolphins 2005
26 Bob Lilly DT Cowboys 1980
27 Merlin Olsen Rams 1982
28 Emmitt Smith RB Cowboys 2010
29 Jack Lambert LB Steelers 1990
30 Dick Lane CB Rams, Chicago Cardinals, Lions 1974
31 Bruce Smith DE Bills 2009
32 Jim Parker OT, G Baltimore Colts 1973
33 Sid Luckman QB Bears 1965
34 Deion Sanders CB, RS Falcons, Cowboys 2011
35 Chuck Bednarik C, LB Eagles 1967
36 Raymond Berry SE Baltimore Colts 1973
37 Jim Thorpe HB Canton Bulldogs [4] 1963
38 Lance Alworth WR San Diego Chargers 1978
39 Gino Marchetti DE Baltimore Colts 1972
40 O. J. Simpson RB Bills 1985
41 Rod Woodson CB Steelers 2009
42 John Mackey TE Baltimore Colts 1992
43 Alan Page DT Vikings 1988
44 Mel Blount CB Steelers 1989
45 Tony Gonzalez TE Chiefs 2019
46 Roger Staubach QB Cowboys 1985
47 Ray Nitschke LB Packers 1978
48 Red Grange HB Bears 1963
49 Mike Haynes CB Oakland Raiders, Patriots 1997
50 Terry Bradshaw QB Steelers 1989
51 Bart Starr Packers 1977
52 Eric Dickerson RB Rams 1999
53 Willie Lanier LB Chiefs 1986
54 Forrest Gregg OT Packers 1977
55 Earl Campbell HB Oilers 1991
56 Gene Upshaw G Oakland Raiders 1987
57 Mike Singletary LB Bears 1998
58 Steve Van Buren HB Eagles 1965
59 Mike Ditka E Bears 1988
60 Jack Ham LB Steelers 1988
61 LaDainian Tomlinson RB San Diego Chargers 2017
62 Randy White DT Cowboys 1994
63 Jim Otto C Oakland Raiders 1980
64 Herb Adderley CB Packers 1980
65 Randy Moss WR Vikings 2018
66 Willie Brown CB Oakland Raiders 1984
67 Kellen Winslow TE San Diego Chargers 1995
68 Mike Webster C Steelers 1997
69 Bobby Bell LB Chiefs 1983
70 Marshall Faulk RB St. Louis Rams 2011
71 Paul Warfield WR Browns,
Dolphins
1983
72 Jonathan Ogden OT Ravens 2013
73 Ozzie Newsome TE Browns 1999
74 Marion Motley HB, LB 1968
75 Darrell Green CB Washington Redskins 2008
76 Art Shell OT Oakland / Los Angeles Raiders 1989
77 Tony Dorsett RB Cowboys 1994
78 Bruce Matthews OL,
LS
Oilers / Titans 2007
79 Emlen Tunnell S Giants 1967
80 Troy Aikman QB Cowboys 2006
81 Steve Young 49ers 2005
82 Ted Hendricks DE Oakland Raiders 1990
83 Norm Van Brocklin QB Rams 1971
84 Joe Schmidt LB Lions 1973
85 Marcus Allen RB Oakland Raiders 2003
86 Willie Davis DE Packers 1981
87 Elroy Hirsch E, FL Rams 1968
88 Ed Reed S Ravens 2019
89 Ernie Nevers FB Chicago Cardinals 1963
90 Kurt Warner QB Rams 2017
91 Fran Tarkenton Vikings 1986
92 Michael Irvin WR Cowboys 2007
93 Sam Huff LB Giants 1982
94 Lenny Moore HB Baltimore Colts 1975
95 Larry Allen G Cowboys 2013
96 Mel Hein C Giants 1963
97 Derrick Brooks LB Buccaneers 2014
98 Lee Roy Selmon DE 1995
99 Michael Strahan Giants 2014
100 Joe Namath QB Jets 1985

† Only team(s) with major contribution.

See also

  • NFL Top 100
  • List of Pro Football Hall of Fame inductees
  • National Football League 75th Anniversary All-Time Team
  • National Football League All-Decade Teams

References

  1. ^ The Top 100: NFL's Greatest Players to Debut Friday, Sept. 3 at 10 p.m. ET on NFL Network
  2. ^ Nate Davis, "Who is NFL's greatest player ever? NFL Network reveals No. 1 Thursday night", USA Today, November 4, 2010.
  3. ^ Andy Barall, "Jim Brown Should Be No. 1, but What About Most Underrated?", New York Times, November 5, 2010.
  4. ^ It was a NFL team

External links

  • The Top 100 list: NFL's Greatest Players
Retrieved from "https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=The_Top_100:_NFL%27s_Greatest_Players&oldid=1060794772"
NFL's Top 100 Players of All-Time & Their Key Football ...

Here is my list of the top 100 players off all-time in the NFL. 1 – Jim Brown (1957-1965) Brown is often considered the greatest athlete of all-time to ever play in the NFL. He is the original G.O.A.T. (Greatest off All-Time), who won three MVP awards and lead the league in rushing yards eight times. He would help revolutionize the running back position and won a championship with the ...

Posted by Vinnie Rullo on

The NFL during the 2019 season celebrated its 100th season of the league. A panel consisting of media members, former players and league personnel would vote on which players who were the greatest players all-time at each position over the course of the 100 years of the NFL. A number of finalists were chose at each position and the best coaches were voted on as well. NFL Network did segments on each position which included, 10 quarterbacks, 12 running backs, 10 wide receivers, 5 tight ends, 7 offensive tackles, 7 offensive guards, 4 centers, 7 defensive ends, 7 defensive tackles, 6 middle/inside linebackers, 6 outside linebackers, 7 cornerbacks, 6 safeties, 2 kickers, 2 punters, 2 kick/punt returners and 10 coaches. The players were not selected in the traditional 1-100 list order so I decided to compile my own list using the players that were specifically selected at each position and rank them 1-100. I also wanted to point out one football card of each player and talk about the history and value of these players’ sports cards. Here is my list of the top 100 players off all-time in the NFL.

1 – Jim Brown (1957-1965)

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Brown is often considered the greatest athlete of all-time to ever play in the NFL. He is the original G.O.A.T. (Greatest off All-Time), who won three MVP awards and lead the league in rushing yards eight times. He would help revolutionize the running back position and won a championship with the Cleveland Browns. His most sought after card is his 1958 Topps Rookie, a classic vintage sports card which is still very undervalued in low-grade examples and certified signed copies, in my opinion.

2 – Lawrence Taylor (1981-1993)

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LT forever changed how to rush the quarterback from the outside linebacker position. He is often considered the greatest defensive player to ever play in the NFL. LT won the DPOY award 3 times in his career along with two Super Bowls with the New York Giants. LT’s most popular football card is his 1982 Topps Rookie card. Graded PSA 9 examples are still very obtainable for buyers and collectors as this card will always have great long-term value.

3 – Tom Brady – (2000-pres)

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Brady has won six Super Bowls, the most by any quarterback of all-time. Due to his incredible accomplishments, he is often considered the greatest quarterback of all-time. He has played since the year 2000 and his cards have sold for record amounts within the last couple of years and will continue to become more sought after each year. Brady’s Contenders Autograph Rookie in 2000 set the standard for newer football Contenders cards. His Contenders Autograph card has a limited base autograph along with a rarer version serial numbered /100. Contenders Autographs in 2019 are still one of the most sought after most valuable modern sports cards today.

4 – Joe Montana – (1979-1994)

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Montana during the 1980s won four Super Bowls with the 49ers. He is often considered one of the greatest quarterbacks of all-time. Montana would win three Super Bowl MVP awards and two regular season MVP awards in his career. His most sought after card is his rookie card from 1981 Topps. Graded PSA 9 examples have a ton of upside to keep going up in value, great long-term investment for both collectors and buyers. Montana will always be considered one of the all-time greatest players in NFL history.

5 – Jerry Rice (1985-2004)

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Rice is often considered the greatest NFL receiver of all-time and some football experts rated him as the number one player of all-time. He holds many NFL records including, most receptions, most receiving yards, and the most receiving touchdowns. Rice won three Super Bowls with the 49ers, an MVP award and was named to the NFL’s first team 1980s and 1990s All-Decade team. His most popular card remains his rookie card 1986 Topps. His card has exploded in value in PSA 9’s and 10s within the last couple of years and will continue to trend up in value.

6 – Walter Payton – (1975-1987)

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Many current and former NFL running backs consider Walter Payton the greatest running back of all-time. The Walter Payton Man of the Year award was named after him in his honor. It honors a player’s volunteer and charity works, as well as his excellence on the field. Payton won a Superbowl and MVP award with the Bears. He was one of the most dominant running backs of all-time. His most popular card remains his vintage rookie card from 1976 Topps. Centered PSA 8 examples are a great investment that could easily go up a lot more in value.

7 – Peyton Manning- (1998-2016)

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Manning is often regarded as one of the greatest statistical quarterbacks of all-time. He holds the record for passing touchdowns in a season with 55 and passing yards in a season with 5,477. Manning was a two time Super Bowl Champion and won the regular season MVP award five times. He revolutionized the quarterback position with being able to read defenses pre-play and changing with an audible at the line of scrimmage. His most sought after card is his 1998 Playoff Contenders Autograph rookie. This card is becoming very difficult to find and many of them feature autographs with faded ink, which affects the value. Look for one with a bold auto, Will Manning Contenders Auto rookie ever approach Brady’s value someday?

8 – Barry Sanders – (1989-1998)

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Barry Sanders is regarded as one of the best running backs of all-time, best known for his quickness and elusiveness. Many football experts often say had Sanders not retired early with the Lions in his career he would have all of the major running back records. He was an NFL MVP in 1997, led the league in rushing four times and was a six-time All-Pro. His most popular rookie card is his 1989 Score rookie, PSA graded 10 examples are continually trending up in value each year. Investing in this card will pay off hugely in the long-term, also look for signed and slabbed examples of this card as well!

9 – Reggie White – (1985-2000)

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White is often regarded as one of the best defensive ends of all-time. He ranks 2nd all-time in career sacks with 198. White would win a Super Bowl with the Green Bay Packers, he was also a two-time Defensive Player of the Year, eight-time First-team All-Pro and a 13-time Pro Bowler. His most sought after card is his 1984 Topps USFL rookie, investing in a PSA 9 is a smart option because these still have plenty of upside to go up in value within the coming years. White’s USFL rookie is beginning to become tougher to find so invest in a PSA 9 example could pay off hugely for collectors or buyers.

10 - Johnny Unitas – (1956-1973)

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Unitas is regarded as one of the greatest quarterbacks of all-time. He is often mentioned as being one of the first quarterbacks to play in the NFL that is compared to this generation of quarterbacks today. Unitas featured a strong throwing arm and was a fan favorite throughout his career. He was a Super Bowl champion with the Colts, three-time NFL Champion, three-time NFL MVP, 10-time Pro Bowler and a 5-time First-team All-Pro. His most sought after card remains his 1957 Topps Rookie, this card is considered one of the best vintage football rookie cards of the hobby. Unitas’s rookie card is highly sought after especially high-end PSA graded examples. His rookie card will only continue to increase in value.

11 – Joe Greene – (1969-1981)

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Greene is considered one of the greatest defensive lineman in NFL history. He played defensive tackle for the Pittsburgh Steelers for his entire career. During the era that he played, he was often considered the best player of his generation and one of the most popular players in the NFL. Greene was a four-time Super Bowl Champion, two-time Defensive Player of the Year, 10-time Pro Bowler and a five-time First-team All-Pro. Greene is also famous for appearing on a Coca-Cola commercial during a Super Bowl ad in 1980, which is considered one of the best television commercials of all-time. His best card is his 1971 Topps Rookie card, investing in a PSA 8 or higher is a smart investment because 8’s are continually trending up in value on vintage football rookies. Greene’s rookie graded in a PSA 8 only has 225 graded examples according to the PSA Population Report as of January 2020.

12 – Dick Butkus (1965-1973)

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Butkus defined the middle linebacker position and was one of the most feared defensive players in NFL history. He would play his entire career with the Chicago Bears, where he was a two-time Defensive Player of the Year, six-time First-team All-Pro and eight-time Pro Bowler. Butkus has often been regarded as the most feared tackler of all-time. His most sought after card is his 1966 Philadelphia Rookie card, which is highly regarded and is continually trending up in value. Centered PSA 8 examples and higher of this card are considered one of the premier cards of the 1960s and these will continue to become more sought after each year.

13 – Deion Sanders – (1989-2005)

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Sanders was one of the most popular players of his era and often referred to as “Prime Time” for his stellar and electrifying plays. He is often considered the greatest cornerback in the history of the NFL. Sanders would win a Super Bowl with both the San Francisco 49ers and Dallas Cowboys. He was also a Defensive Player of the Year, nine-time First-team All-Pro and an eight time Pro Bowler. He is the only athlete ever to play in both a Super Bowl and World Series. His most popular card is his 1989 Score Rookie card. Investing in a PSA 10 example is a great option because these are still very undervalued and still have plenty of room to go up in value.

14 – Ronnie Lott (1981-1994)

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Lott is considered the greatest safety of all-time in NFL history. He would win four Super Bowls with the San Francisco 49ers. Lott was also a six-time First-team All-Pro, two-time NFL interceptions leader and a 10 time Pro Bowler. His most sought after card is his 1982 Topps Rookie, this card has a very low POP in a PSA 10 example. Investing in a PSA 10 of Lott could pay off hugely because 10’s of elite players are continually trending up in value and being so that there is only 74 graded PSA 10 examples as of January 2020 on the PSA Population Report, makes this a very good investment.

15 – Deacon Jones – (1961-1974) 

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Jones is considered the greatest defensive end in NFL history. He revolutionized the position of a defensive end and because of Jones’s dominant play on defensive, he was the first player to define “sacking the quarterback.” Jones was often sacking the quarterback before they were even being tracked and because of his dominant defensive play helped paved the way for many other future star defensive pass rushers. His most sought after card remains his 1963 Topps rookie card. Investing in old sports cards such as this PSA 8 example is a great long-term investment because this card in this high-grade example will continually trend up in value. There is only a little over a hundred examples on the PSA Population Report in graded 8 examples as of December 2019.

16 – Dan Marino – (1983-1999)

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Marino is regarded as one of the best quarterbacks of all-time, he would play his entire career with the Miami Dolphins. During the era that he played, he was often regarded as one of the best players in the NFL. He was an MVP in 1984, three-time First-team All-Pro and a nine-time Pro Bowler. Marino also led the league in passing yards five times. His most sought after card remains his 1984 Topps Rookie. Investing in at least a PSA 9 example is a smart investment because these will continually trend up in up value and Marino will always be an all-time great quarterback.

17 – Otto Graham – (1946-1955)

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Graham is regarded as one of the greatest quarterbacks of his era. He would lead the Cleveland Browns to multiple champions in both the AAFC and NFL. Graham would win three NFL Championships in his career along with three MVP’s. He was also a five-time Pro Bowler, four-time First-team All Pro and a two-time NFL passing yards leader. His best card is his 1950 Bowman rookie, investing in at least a PSA 6 centered example is a smart investment because these will continually become tougher to find.

18 – Anthony Munoz – (1980-1992)

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Munoz ranks on many offensive lineman lists as the best overall lineman in NFL history. He was a 9-time First-team All-Pro and an 11-time Pro Bowler. Munoz’s most sought after card is his rookie card from 1982 Topps. This card has seen a big increase in value in high-grade condition within the last month from November of 2019 through December of 2019. Investing in a PSA 9 will pay off hugely because PSA 10s are becoming very difficult to find. This card will always have great value in high-grade condition, both PSA 9 and PSA 10 have a low PSA POP report.

19 – Emmitt Smith – (1990-2004)

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Smith is regarded as one of the best running back of all-time. He holds multiple NFL records including most rushing yards of all-time and most touchdowns of all-time. Smith would win three Super Bowls with the Dallas Cowboys, one of which he be named Super Bowl MVP. He was also an eight-time Pro Bowler, NFL MVP and was a four-time NFL rushing yards leader and touchdown leader. His most popular card is his 1990 Score Supplemental Rookie, graded PSA 10 examples are a great investment because Smith will always have great value because he is the all-time leading rusher in NFL history.

20 – John Elway – (1983-1998)

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Elway was one of the top quarterbacks of his era, playing his entire career with the Denver Broncos. He would win two Super Bowls including a Super Bowl MVP and a regular season MVP in 1987. Elway was also a nine-time Pro Bowler and often was mentioned for being one of the best pure athletes in NFL history who could have played multiple different sports. His most sought after card is his 1984 Topps Rookie card, investing in at least a PSA 9 example is a smart investment because 9’s will continue to trend up in value within the coming years.

21 – Gale Sayers – (1965-1971)

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Sayers was one of the most dominant running backs during the era that he played. He would play his entire career with the Chicago Bears, where won the Rookie of the Year award, a five-time First-team All-Pro and a two-time NFL rushing yards leader. Sayers was one of the most explosive runners in the history of the NFL, he owns the NFL record of 138.75 all-purpose yards per game. His most sought after card his 1966 Philadelphia Rookie card, investing in at least a PSA 8 example is a great investment because vintage PSA rookies graded 8s or higher are continually becoming more sought after each year.

22 – Ray Lewis – (1996-2012)

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Lewis was known for being one of the best inspirational leaders both on and off the field. He is considered to be one of the best middle linebackers of all-time in NFL history. Lewis played his entire career with the Baltimore Ravens where he would win two Super Bowl Championships and win a Super Bowl MVP. He was also a 13-time Pro Bowler, two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year and a seven-time First-team All-Pro. His best card remains his 1996 Bowman’s Best rookie. Graded PSA 10 examples are a great investment because this card is Lewis’s PSA Hall of Fame Registry rookie card and this card will continually trend up in value.

23 – Sammy Baugh – (1937-1952)

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Baugh is one of the best quarterbacks of his era who played his entire career for the Washington Redskins. He was a two-time NFL Champion, seven-time First-team All-Pro and a two-time NFL Player of the Year. Baugh would often led the league in multiple different statistical quarterback categories yearly. He was also known for his versatility having also played punter and defensive back throughout his career. His most popular card is his 1948 Leaf rookie card, this card is Baugh’s PSA Rookie Hall of Fame Registry card. Investing in a centered graded example is a good investment because a lot of vintage collectors or buyers are wanting to buy the card rather than just the grade itself.

24 – Randy Moss – (1998-2012)

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Moss was one of the best dynamic wide receivers of all-time. He holds the record for most touchdowns in a rookie season with 17 by a receiver and the record for most touchdowns in a season with 23. Moss also ranks 4th all-time in receiving yards and second all-time in receiving touchdowns. One of his most sought after cards is his 1998 Bowman Autograph rookie card. The card is featured in a base autograph version, silver and gold. These are becoming a lot tougher to find, which makes one’s in high-grade condition a great investment.

25 – Don Hutson – (1935-1945)

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Hutson revolutionized the wide receiver position and is credited with many modern pass routes used in the NFL today. He would spend his entire career with the Green Bay Packers where he was a three-time NFL Champion, two-time NFL MVP and an eight-time First-team All-Pro. Hutson would nearly led the league in nearly every statistical wide receiver category throughout his entire career. His most sought after card is his 1955 Topps All-American Rookie. Investing in at least a PSA 7 graded example is smart because there is only 127 graded PSA 7 examples as of January 2020. PSA 7’s still have a lot of upside to go up in value as there still is some collectors or buyers not aware of how dominant of a player Hutson was.

26 – Brett Favre – (1991-2010)

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Favre was an all-time great quarterback who played 20 NFL seasons. He would become the first player in NFL history to throw for 500 touchdowns, he also owns the record for most consecutive starts by a quarterback of all-time. Perhaps his greatest accomplishment was winning the Super Bowl with the Green Bay Packers. Favre would led the league in touchdowns four times and win three NFL MVP awards. His most popular card is his 1991 Stadium Club rookie card, where Favre’s actual name is spelled wrong on the card. PSA 10 or 9 examples of this card are a great long-term investment because Favre will always be regarded as an all-time great quarterback.

27 – Alan Page – (1967-1981)

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Page is considered one of the greatest defensive tackles in NFL history. He is best known for being a member of the Vikings “Purple People Eaters,” which was known as a defensive line that often sacked the quarterback. Page had 148 and a half sacks in his career and there has been multiple reports saying that he had five other seasons with 10 sacks or more that were not credited at the time. He was a two-time Defensive Player of the Year, six-time First-team All-Pro and a nine-time Pro Bowler. His most popular card is his 1970 Topps Rookie, investing in a PSA 9 example is a great investment because they are still very obtainable and feature a low POP of just 115 PSA 9 examples as of January 2002. Page will always have great long-term value!

28 – Bruce Smith – (1985-2003)

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Smith was one of best defensive ends of all-time, he is best known for being the all-time career NFL leader in sacks with 200. He was a two-time Defensive Player of the Year, eight-time First-team All-Pro and an 11-time Pro Bowler. Smith played 19 seasons in the NFL and 13 of them he had at least 10 sacks. His most popular card remains his 1986 Topps Rookie card, investing in at least a PSA 9 example is a great option because these still have plenty of upside to go up in value and 10 examples are very difficult to find. Will another player break Smith’s all-time sacks record?

29 – Jack Lambert – (1974-1984)

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Lambert revolutionized the middle-linebacker position by becoming the field general and being required to defend both the run and the pass. He would play his entire career with the Pittsburgh Steelers where he would win four Super Bowls, a Defensive Player of the Year award, a six-time First-team All-Pro and a nine-time Pro Bowler. His best card is his 1976 Topps Rookie card, this card is considered one of the best rookie cards of the 1970s era. Investing in a PSA 9 example could pay off hugely because these are continually trending up in value each year and becoming tougher to find. Lambert’s PSA 9 rookie features a POP Report of just 222 examples as of January 2020.

30 – John Hannah – (1973-1985)

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Hannah is often considered one of the best offensive lineman of all-time. Many rankings have Hannah regarded as the first or second best lineman ever and even Sports Illustrated would mention him as “The Best Offensive Lineman of All-Time” in 1981. He would play his entire career with the New England Patriots where he was a 10-time First-team All-Pro and a nine-time Pro Bowler. His best card is his 1974 Topps rookie card, investing in a PSA 8 example is a great option because vintage rookies graded 8s and higher are continually trending up in value. There is only 148 known PSA 8 examples of Hannah’s rookie card according to the PSA POP Report as of January 2020 so this is a great long-term investment.

31 – Ken Houston – (1967-1980)

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Houston is regarded as one of the best safeties of all-time. He was known for having great instinct and being intercept passes or scoop up fumbles. Houston was a 12-time Pro Bowler, two-time First-team All-Pro and he would play well on both the Oilers and Redskins. His best card is his 1971 Topps Rookie, graded PSA 8 examples are still very obtainable and feature a low PSA Pop Report of just a little over 200 examples as of January 2020. Houston’s PSA 8 rookie will easily trend up in value within the coming years.

32 – Merlin Olsen – (1962-1976)

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Olsen was a premier defensive tackle who played his entire career with the Los Angeles Rams. He was five-time First-team All-Pro, NFL Rookie of the Year and a 14 time Pro Bowler. Olsen was considered one of the most fearsome defensive players throughout the 1960s. His most sought after card is his 1964 Philadelphia Rookie card. Graded PSA 9 examples are still very obtainable and these will continue to increase in value because they feature a PSA Pop Report of just 75 examples as of January 2020.

33 – Bob Lilly (1961-1974)

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Lilly was one of the best defensive tackles of all-time, he would play his entire career with the Dallas Cowboys and was known as “Mr. Cowboy.” He is famous for having a NFL record 29-yard sack during a Super Bowl which is considered his signature moment in his career. Lilly would win a Super Bowl, be named a seven-time First-team All-Pro and was an 11-time Pro Bowler. His best card is his 1963 Topps Rookie card, investing in at least a PSA 7 example is a great option because there is only 178 examples in that grade on the PSA POP Report as of January 2020. Lilly’s rookie card is considered one of the most popular cards of the 1960s era and these will continue to trend up in value.

34 – Ed Reed – (2002-13)

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Reed is considered one of the best bawl hawk defensive safeties of all-time. He has the NFL record for most interception yards. Reed was a Super Bowl Champion with the Ravens, Defensive Player of the Year in 2004 and a three-time NFL interceptions leader. He was one of the most exciting players to watch play and was electric when he would intercept passes. One of his best cards to invest in his 2002 Bowman Chrome Auto Rookie. The card features an on card auto of Reed, this card is becoming more increasingly difficult to find. Reed will always be regarded as one of the best defensive players of all-time so this is a great long-term investment.

35 – Dick “Night Train” Lane – (1952-1965)

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Lane was a premier cornerback in the NFL who was a great tackler and often intercepted the ball as well. He still holds the NFL record of most of interceptions in a single season with 14; the record has lasted for more than 65 years. Lane played with the Rams, Cardinals and Lions throughout his career who was a seven-time Pro-Bowler, seven time First-team All-Pro and was a two-time NFL interceptions leader. Lane also ranks 4th all-time in career interceptions. His best card is his 1957 Topps rookie card, investing in a PSA 8 example could pay off hugely because vintage rookies from the 1950s in high-grade are highly sought after and many of them feature a Low POP report. There is just 89 examples of Lane’s rookie graded a PSA 8 as of January 2020 and this card will always have great value because it’s Lane’s PSA Rookie Hall of Fame Registry card.

36 – Jim Parker – (1957-1967)

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Parker played both offensive tackle and offensive guard, many football experts considered him to be the greatest offensive lineman ever. He would play his entire career with the Colts where he was a two-time NFL Champion, nine-time First-team All-Pro and an eight-time Pro Bowler. His best card is his 1959 Topps rookie card, investing in a PSA 8 could pay off hugely because there is only 149 graded 8 examples on the PSA Pop Report as of January 2020. Parker’s rookie graded in an 8 still has plenty of upside to grow because vintage rookies from this era 8 and higher are always continually trending up in value.

37 – Gino Marchetti – (1952-1966)

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Marchetti is considered one of the best defensive ends in NFL history. He is famous for making a game saving tackle during the 1958 NFL Championship game which is known as “The Greatest Game Ever Played.” Marchetti is credited by many for being one of the greatest players in NFL history. He was a premier player for the Colts where he won two NFL Championships, was a nine-time First-team All-Pro and an 11-time Pro Bowler. His best card is his 1952 Bowman Rookie card, this card features a large and small version but the large version is a lot more difficult to find. Both versions are great investments because Marchetti will always be regarded as an all-time great. Investing in a high-grade example of the large version could pay off hugely because these are becoming very difficult to find.

38 – Tony Gonzalez – (1997-2013)

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Gonzalez is considered the greatest tight end in football of all-time. He would play 12 seasons with the Chiefs and five seasons with the Falcons. He holds the NFL record for total receiving yards by a tight end with 15,127 and is third all-time in receptions amongst all players. Gonzalez was 14 time Pro Bowler and six time First-team All-Pro. His most popular card is his 1997 SP Authentic rookie card. The card is listed as his PSA Registry rookie card and for that reason alone his card will always have great long term value. Investing in a PSA 10 example is a great option because there is only a few hundred in circulation as of December of 2019 and his card will become tougher to find in 10 examples.

39 – Rod Woodson (1987-2003)

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Woodson was a star cornerback with the Steelers for 10 years, and won a Super Bowl with the Baltimore Ravens. He would also be named to the Pro Bowl 11 times, voted a first team All-Pro four times, and he would win the DPOY of the year award in 1993. Woodson ranks 3rd all-time in most career interceptions with 71. His most sought after rookie card is his 1989 Score Rookie card, investing in PSA 10 graded examples or signed and slabbed authentic examples too. Both options are great investments of Woodson.

40 – Eric Dickerson – (1983-1993)

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Dickerson rushed for 13,259 yards in his career. He is famous for having the single season rushing yards record in a season with 2,105 set in 1984 with the Rams. Dickerson also has two other NFL records, which are most rushing yards in a rookie season with 1,808 and 248 rushing yards in a playoff game. He was a four-time rushing yards leader and five-time First-team All Pro. His most sought after card is his 1984 Topps rookie, this card is a great investment in a PSA 10 example as those will continue to go up in value and are becoming a lot tougher to find. As of December of 2019, there is only a little over hundred PSA 10’s on the PSA Population Report in existence.

41 – Mel Blount – (1970-1983)

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Blount is regarded as one of the best cornerbacks in NFL history. He would play his entire career with the Pittsburgh Steelers, where he would win four Super Bowls. Blount was a physical cornerback who was one of the most feared during the era he played. He was a five-time Pro Bowler, two-time First-team All-Pro, and won a Defensive Player of the Year award. His best card is his 1975 Topps rookie. Graded PSA 9 examples are a great long-term investment because this card has a low POP of just a little over a hundred examples as of December 2019.

42 – O.J. Simpson – (1969-1979)

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Simpson was one of the best running backs of all-time he was one of the first backs in NFL history to put up historic stats. He was the first running back in NFL history to rush for 2,000 rushing yards in a single season and did it with just a 14 game schedule. During the era that he played he was often one of the most popular players in the NFL. Simpson was an NFL MVP in 1973, five-time First-team All-Pro, five-time Pro Bowler and was a four-time NFL rushing yards leader. Putting all controversial topics aside with Simpson, his best card remains his 1970 Topps Rookie card. Investing in at least a PSA 8 is a great investment because this card graded in this example still has plenty of upside to go up in value. There is only 467 examples PSA 8 graded examples according to the PSA Population Report as of January 2020.

43 - Forrest Gregg – (1956-1971)

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Gregg is regarded as one of the best offensive lineman of all-time. He would play for the Packers during the Vince Lombardi era and Lombardi often praised Gregg for his outstanding play. Gregg would win six championships during his career, which included five with the Packers and one with the Cowboys. He is famous for playing in 188 consecutive games during his career. Gregg was a nine-time Pro Bowler and seven-time First-Team All Pro. His most sought after card is his 1960 rookie card, this card in a PSA 8 is a great long-term investment because there is just 174 examples on the PSA 8 Pop Report as of January 2020. Gregg’s rookie features a spelling error on his first name; there is still plenty of upside on this card to go up in value, as this card will always have great long-term value.

44 – Chuck Bednarik – (1949-1962)

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Bednarik was one of the most feared tacklers in football and was one of the last full-time two-way players in football. He would play both linebacker and center for his entire career with the Philadelphia Eagles. Bednarik was a two-time NFL Champion, 10-time First-team All-Pro and was an eight-time Pro Bowler. His best card is his 1948 Leaf Rookie card, this card is becoming increasingly difficult to find. Investing in a centered example is a great option because centering is one of the first things that sticks out with vintage rookie cards. There is only 71 total PSA graded examples higher than this PSA 4.5 example as of January 2020. Bednarik’s Leaf rookie will always have great long-term value because this card is considered his PSA Rookie Hall of Fame Registry card.

45 – Roger Staubach – (1969-1979)

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Staubach played his entire career with the Dallas Cowboys and was one of the best quarterbacks of his era. He would lead the Cowboys to two Super Bowls Championships, one of which he would win the Super Bowl MVP. Staubach was also a six-time Pro Bowler and a four-time NFL passing rating leader. His most popular card remains his 1972 Topps rookie card. Investing in a PSA 8 centered example is a great option because PSA 8 examples and higher are continually trending up in value on vintage rookie cards like Staubach’s.

46 – John Mackey – (1963-1972)

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Mackey was a premier tight-end and one of the best players in the league during the era he played in. He is credited for helping revolutionize the tight-end position in the NFL. He would win a Super Bowl with the Colts and an AFL Champion. Mackey was a three-time All-Pro and a five-time Pro Bowler. His best card is his 1964 Philadelphia Rookie card, investing in at least a PSA 7 is a smart option because high-graded examples are becoming a lot tougher to find and obtain.

47 – Lance Alworth – (1962-1972)

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Alworth was one of the best receivers of all-time and still holds many NFL records today. He would become a star in both the AFL and NFL where he would win both a AFL Championship in Super Bowl during his career. Alworth was a six-time First-team All-AFL, led the AFL in receiving yards, receptions and touchdowns three times. He is considered one of the best receivers of all-time, he still has multiple NFL records and Chargers franchise records. His best card is his 1963 Fleer Rookie card, PSA 8’s are becoming extremely sought after especially since there is only 90 examples in that grade according to the PSA Population Report as of January 2020. Alworth’s rookie card will always have great value because this card is one of the premier cards of the 1960s era and regarded as his PSA Rookie Hall of Fame Registry card.

48 – Gene Upshaw – (1967-1981)

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Upshaw played offensive guard his entire career with the Oakland Raiders. He was a huge part of the dominant offensive line coached by John Madden. Perhaps one of Upshaw’s biggest accomplishments in his career was playing in three Super Bowls during three different decades and winning two of them. Upshaw was also a three-time First-team All-Pro and a six-time Pro Bowler. His best card is his 1972 Topps Rookie card, graded examples in a PSA 8 of this card are still easily obtainable and there is only 161 examples in that grade according to the PSA Pop Report as of January 2020. Upshaw’s rookie graded in a PSA 8 example still has plenty of upside to go up in value.

49 – Earl Campbell – (1978-1985)

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Campbell was known as one of the best powerful running backs in NFL history. He had a powerful running style and a great ability to be able to break tackles. Campbell was an NFL MVP in 1979, a five-time Pro Bowler and a three-time First-team All-Pro. He would also lead the NFL in rushing yards three times. His most sought after card remains his 1979 Topps rookie card. Investing in a PSA 9 centered example is a great investment. This card in this example has just 180 PSA 9’s with no qualifiers as of December of 2019. Campbell’s rookie card in high-grade will continue to go up in value because he will always be regarded as one of the most feared NFL running backs of all-time.

50 – Steve Van Buren – (1944-1951)

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Van Buren was a premier running back during the era that he played. He was the first running back in NFL history to have over 1,000 yards in a season when there was just 12 games a year, and the first to rush for over ten touchdowns in a season; which he accomplished three times. Van Buren played his entire career with the Philadelphia Eagles where he was a two-time NFL Champion, six-time First-team All-Pro and a four-time rushing yards leader and rushing touchdowns leader. His best card is his 1948 Leaf Rookie card, this card has multiple different versions including a green, yellow and blue different colored jersey that Van Buren is wearing in the image. The green version one seems like the most popular since that is the color he most often wore with the Eagles. Van Buren’s rookie will always have great long-term value especially the green version example.

51 – Raymond Berry – (1955-1967)

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Berry was a split-end wide receiver who played his entire career with the Baltimore Colts and was Johnny U’s favorite target. He would win two NFL Championships with Colts, one of which during the 1958 NFL Championship Game, which is known as “The Greatest Game Ever Player,” where Berry caught 12, passes for 178 yards and a touchdown. He was also a four-time First-team All-Pro, three-time NFL receiving yards and reception leader and a six-time Pro Bowler. His best card is his 1957 Topps Rookie card, since high-grade examples are very sought after investing in at least a PSA 5 centered example is the next option because these can easily go up in value within the coming years and are starting to become tougher to find. Berry’s Rookie will always have great long-term value because his card is a part of the PSA Rookie Hall of Fame Registry.

52 – Junior Seau – (1990-2009)

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Seau was one of the most well-rounded linebackers in NFL history. He was one of the most passionate players on the field when he made big plays. He was an eight-time First-team All-Pro, Defensive Player of the Year in 1992 and a 12-time Pro Bowler. His best card is his 1990 Action Packed Rookie, this card is very condition sensitive and has a low POP of PSA 10 examples. There is just 99 PSA 10’s on the PSA Registry as of January 2020. This card is still easily obtainable in a PSA 10 example and will easily trend up in value very soon.

53 - Cal Hubbard – (1927-1936)

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Hubbard was first credited with inventing the linebacker position and eventually became an offensive tackle under Coach Vince Lombardi. Similar players from Hubbard’s often considered him the greatest tackle they had ever seen. Hubbard would win four NFL Championships and was a four-time First-team All-Pro. Since Hubbard played in era when football cards were not even being made yet he does not have any football cards but eventually became an MLB umpire and does have a Bowman baseball card. His most popular card is his 1955 Bowman card, which is very tough to find in a high-grade example. There is just 30 graded PSA 8 examples on the PSA Population Report as of January 2020.

54 – Earl “Dutch” Clark – (1931-1938)

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Clark was the first elite running back in the history of the NFL, he would play his entire career with the Portsmouth Spartans/Detroit Lions. He was a three-time rushing touchdowns leader, six-time First-team All-Pro and won an NFL Championship in 1935. Clark was regarded as the best player in the NFL in 1935 and 1936. His best card is his 1935 National Chicle Rookie card. This card is becoming very difficult to find and the value on this card in all grades will continue to trend up in value. Clark’s rookie will always have great long-term value because he was one of the first premier running backs in the history of the NFL.

55 – Willie Brown - (1963-1978)

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Brown was a premier cornerback who starred playing in both the AFL and NFL. He was one of the leaders on many Oakland Raiders teams. Brown was a three-time Super Bowl Champion, two-time First-team All-Pro, five-time AFL All-Star and a four-time Pro Bowler. Brown is famous for intercepting a pass during Super Bowl XI and retuning it for a touchdown. His best card is his 1965 Topps Rookie, Brown’s rookie is a “Tall Boy” which means this is an oversized card. This card is becoming very tough to find in any condition and high-grade examples are continually becoming more sought after. Investing in his rookie card in at least a PSA 5 is a great option because this card will always have great long-term value because being so that it is on the PSA Football Hall of Fame Registry.

56 – Bobby Bell – (1963-1974)

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Bell is regarded as one of the most athletic linebackers of all-time. He would play his entire career with the Kansas City Chiefs. He would win a Super Bowl and was Defensive Player of the Year Award winner in 1969. His best card is his 1964 Topps Rookie card, this card is very undervalued in a PSA 8 example. There is just 117 total on the PSA Population Report as of January 2020. Bell’s card will always have great value and will continue to trend up in value because he will always be regarded as one of the best linebackers in NFL history.

57 – Jack Ham – (1971-1982)

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Ham is considered one of the greatest outside linebackers in the history of the NFL and was well known for his quickness. He would play his entire career with the Pittsburgh Steelers where he would win four Super Bowl Championships, earn six-time First-team All-Pro honors, Defensive Player of the Year and become an eight-time Pro Bowler. His best card is his 1973 Topps Rookie card, this card is one of the premier rookie cards of the 1970s era. Graded PSA 9 examples are becoming a lot more sought after because there is just 75 examples on the PSA Population Report. Investing in Ham’s rookie card is a great long-term investment because this card still has plenty of upside to go up in value.

58 – Marion Motley - (1946-1955)

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Motley was a star at both fullback and linebacker. He was a powerful back who averaged 5.7 yards per carry, which is a NFL record that still stands. Motley was also one of the first African American players to play in the NFL. He would become an NFL champion with the Cleveland Browns and was the NFL rushing leader in the same year in 1950. His most sought after card is his 1950 Bowman rookie. The card is extremely valuable in high-grade examples and will keep climbing in value. Motley will always be considered one of the best players to ever play in the NFL.

59 – Art Shell – (1968-1982)

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Shell was an elite offensive tackle during the era that he played. He would play his entire career with the Oakland Raiders where he would win two Super Bowl Championships. Shell was a two-time First-Team All-Pro and eight-tight Pro Bowl. His best card is his 1973 Topps Rookie card. Shell rookie graded in a PSA 8 example is still easily obtainable and there is only 253 examples according to the PSA Population Report as of January 2020. He will always be considered one of the greatest tackles in NFL history.

60- Ted Hendricks – (1969-1983)

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Hendricks was a linebacker who would win four Super Bowls throughout his NFL career. He was also a four-time First-team All-Pro and an eight-time Pro Bowler. Hendricks was considered one of the best defensive players of his era. His best card is his 1972 Topps Rookie card, investing in at least a PSA 8 example is a great option because these are still very undervalued. There is just 189 PSA 8 graded examples according to the PSA Population Report as of January 2020. Hendricks rookie will only eventually go up more in value and become tougher to find in a high-grade example.

61 – Randy White – (1975-1988)

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White played defensive tackle for the Dallas Cowboys for his entire career. He would finish his career with 111 total sacks, Super Bowl Champion, Super Bowl Co-MVP, a nine-time First-team All-Pro and a nine-time Pro Bowler. His best card is his 1976 Topps Rookie card, graded PSA 9 examples are still obtainable and could easily trend up in value since PSA 10’s are so rare and sought after. There is only 170 PSA 9 examples according to the PSA Population Report as of January 2020. White’s rookie card is a great long-term investment since he will always be considered one of the greatest defensive tackles in NFL history.

62 - Bruce Matthews – (1983-2001)

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Matthews played multiple different offensive line positions throughout his career but played the most games in the NFL at the left guard position. He would play his entire career with the Houston/Tennessee Oilers/Titans organization. Matthews was a nine-time First-team All-Pro and a 14-time Pro Bowler. He is often considered one of the greatest offensive lineman to ever play in the NFL. His best card is his 1989 Score Rookie card, this card is very under-valued in PSA 10 example and still easily obtainable for many buyers or collectors. There is only 192 PSA 10 examples on the PSA Population Report as of January 2020. Matthews Score rookie card will continue to trend up in value because this card is regarded as his PSA Rookie Hall of Fame registry card.

63– Larry Allen – (1994-2007)

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Allen played guard for the Dallas Cowboys for 12 seasons plus two seasons with the San Francisco 49ers and was regarded as one of the strongest and most athletic offensive lineman to ever play in the NFL. He would win a Super Bowl with the Cowboys during the 1995 season. Allen was a Pro Bowler for 11 seasons and 7-time First-team All-Pro. His most sought card is his 1994 Playoff Rookie graded especially PSA 10 examples, which feature a very low POP. Even investing in Allen is PSA 9 is a smart option because both grades are becoming tough to find. Allen will always have great value because he is a member of the Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor.

64 – Paul Warfield – (1964-1977)

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Warfield was regarded as one of the best big play receivers of all-time. His career average yards per reception of 20.1 is one of the highest in NFL history. Warfield would win two Super Bowls with the Miami Dolphins and win a NFL championship with the Cleveland Browns. He was a six-time First-team All-Pro, two-time receiving touchdowns leader and an eight-time Pro Bowler. His best card is his 1965 Philadelphia Rookie card, graded examples in a PSA 8 are still very obtainable and feature a low POP of just 174 examples as of January 2020. Warfield’s rookie will continue to trend up in value because vintage rookie cards graded in PSA 8 examples are becoming more and more sought after each year.

65 – Elroy Hirsh – (1946-1957)

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Hirsh was one of the best wide receivers in the NFL during the era that he played. He would set many NFL records with the Rams and still ranks third all-time today with an average of 124.6 receiving yards per game. Hirsh would win an NFL Championship with the Rams and was a two-time First-team All-Pro and three-time Pro Bowler. He was known as one of the first true deep threat targets in NFL history. Hirsh also was a part of multiple movie roles including his most famous “Crazylegs” where he stared playing himself in the film. His best card is his 1950 Bowman rookie card, graded PSA 8 examples are becoming highly sought after because there is only 69 examples as of January 2020. Hirsh’s rookie card will always have great value because this card is one of the premier rookie cards of the 1950s era.

66 - Junious “Buck” Buchanan – (1963-1975)

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Buchanan was one of the best defensive players of his era, he would dominant at the defensive tackle position for the Kansas City Chiefs for his entire career, Buchanan would win a Super Bowl and was often mentioned as one of the fastest defensive lineman in NFL history. He was also a two-time Pro Bowl selection and selected as a six-time AFL All-Star. His most popular card is his 1964 Topps Rookie card, this card graded in a PSA 8 example is a great investment because there is just 108 known examples as of January 2020. Buchanan’s rookie is a PSA 8 example is just very obtainable and can easily go up in value in the coming years.

67 – Mike Webster – (1974-1990)

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Webster played center where he helped led the Pittsburg Steelers to four Super Bowl Championships. He was the first former player diagnosed with CTE which led to safer and better playing future conditions in the NFL. Webster was a seven-time First-team All-Pro and a nine-time Pro Bowler. His best card is his 1977 Topps Rookie card, graded PSA 9 examples are still easily obtainable and feature only a PSA Population of just 194. Webster will always be considered an all-time great center and his rookie card in high-grade is very undervalued.

68 – Kellen Winslow – (1979-1987)

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Winslow was considered the best tight end of his era. He would set the single season for receiving yards by a tight end with 1,290 yards during the 1980 season; his record would last for 31 seasons. He would tie an NFL record by catching five touchdown passes during a game in the 1981 season. Winslow was a three-time First-team All-Pro, two-time receptions leader and five-time Pro Bowler. His best card is his 1981 Topps Rookie card, PSA 9s and 10s are still easily affordable and very undervalued considering how dominant of a player Winslow was. His rookie in high-grade examples will only continue to trend up in value, as there are 466 graded PSA 9 examples according to the PSA Population Report and 91 PSA 10 examples as of January 2020.

69 – Willie Lanier – (1967-1977)

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Lanier was a star linebacker who played his entire career for the Kansas City Chiefs. He was a part of a linebacker trio that is recognized as one of the most talented in NFL history. Lanier was a Super Bowl Champion, eight-time All-Pro and a six-time Pro-Bowler. His best card is his 1971 Topps Rookie card, graded PSA 8 examples are still very obtainable and feature a POP report of just 223 examples as of January 2020. Lanier’s rookie has plenty of upside to go up in value because vintage PSA 8 rookie cards are continually trending up in value and this card is on the PSA Rookie Hall of Fame Registry.

70 – Larry Fitzgerald – (2004-present)

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Fitzgerald has been one of the most dominant wide receivers for years in the NFL since he entered the league in 2004. He has played both outside and slot receiver having played his entire career with the Arizona Cardinals. Fitzgerald ranks 2nd all-time in receiving yards and second in career receptions. One of his most popular cards is his 2004 Topps Chrome rookie, especially examples graded in a PSA 10. Fitz will always have great long-term value and is still very affordable and obtainable for many buyers and collectors.

71 – Rob Gronkowski – (2010-2018)

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Gronkowski is regarded as one of the best tight ends of all-time. He would win three Super Bowls with the New England Patriots, and be selected as a four-time First-team All-Pro. Gronk was one of the most popular players of his era, he was a five-time Pro Bowler and put up historic numbers for a tight end in just nine seasons. Look for Gronk’s 2010 Topps Chrome – Running/Cutting Pose rookie card graded in a PSA 10 example. There are only 127 of them on the PSA POP Report as of December of 2019. Gronk’s Chrome rookie card will most likely be regarded as his PSA Hall of Fame Rookie Registry card in the near future and for that reason alone will always have great long-term value.

72 – Marvin Harrison – (1996-2008)

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Harrison played his entire career with the Colts as a wide-receiver. He ranks 5th all-time in receiving touchdowns with 128 and won a Super Bowl with the Colts. Harrison was a three-time First-team All Pro and a two-time single season leader in receiving yards. His most popular card is his 1996 SP rookie. This card is listed as his PSA Registry rookie card, which means it will always have great value. Harrison’s SP rookie in a PSA 10 example is still very obtainable and only has less than 200 graded 10 examples according to the PSA 10 POP report as of December of 2019.

73 – Mike Ditka – (1961-1972)

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Ditka revolutionized the tight end position in the NFL, he would eventually become the first tight end ever to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He was an incredible blocker and pass catcher. Ditka was an NFL Champion and Super Bowl Champion, Rookie of the Year, four-time First-team All-Pro and a five-time Pro Bowler. His best card is his 1962 Topps Rookie card; this card is considered one of the premier and most popular football rookies of all-time. Investing in at least a PSA 6 is a good option because these are becoming tougher to find and this card will always have great value because it is on the PSA Rookie Hall of Fame Registry.

74 – Jim Otto – (1960-1974)

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Otto played center for his entire career with the Oakland Raiders. He would play 10 years in the AFL and five seasons in the NFL. Otto would win an AFL Championship in 1967 and was an AFL All-Star for nine straight seasons. He was also a two-time First-team All Pro and a three-time Pro Bowler in the NFL. Otto will always be regarded as one of the best centers of all-time. His best card is his is 1961 Fleer Rookie card, graded PSA 8 examples are still easily obtainable and feature a low POP of just 96 examples according to the PSA Population Report as of January 2020. This card is regarded as Otto’s PSA Rookie Hall of Fame Registry card and for that reason it will always have great long-term value.

75 – Jonathan Ogden – (1996-2007)

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Ogden played left-tackle for the Baltimore Ravens for his entire career. He was a four-time First-team All-Pro, 11 Pro Bowler and won a Super Bowl with the Ravens. Ogden was one of the most dominant lineman of his era and is a member of the NFL 2000s All-Decade Team. His most sought after rookie card is his 1996 Bowman’s Best Rookie, the card is easily obtainable in a PSA 10 example. Ogden will always be regarded as one of the greatest offensive lineman of all-time and for that reason alone he is a great investment.

76 – Larry Wilson – (1960-1972)

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Wilson played free safety his entire career with the Cardinals. He is often credited with being the first safety to begin blitzing the quarterback. Wilson was a Defensive Player of the Year, six-time First-team All-Pro and an eight-time Pro Bowler. His best card is his 1963 Topps Rookie card, graded PSA 8 examples are still very obtainable and feature just 143 examples according to the PSA Population Report as of January 2020. Wilson’s rookie card will continually trend up in value because vintage rookies graded PSA 8 and higher arebecoming tougher to find and this card is on the PSA Football Rookie Hall of Fame Registry.

77 - John Randle – (1990-2003)

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Randle was a defensive tackle in the NFL who finished his career with 137.5 sacks, which ranks the second highest total by a defensive tackle in NFL history. He was a six-time First-team All-Pro and a seven-time Pro Bowler. Randle was also the NFL sacks leader in 1997 and is a member of the Minnesota Vikings Ring of Honor. His best card is his 1991 Pro Set Rookie card, graded PSA 10 examples are easily obtainable and feature a Population Report of just 270 as of January 2020. This card is very undervalued and will continue to trend up in value because it is regarded as Randle’s PSA Football Rookie Hall of Fame Registry card.

78 – Steve Largent – (1976-1989)

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Largent was known for being a sure-handed receiver meaning he would often catch almost any ball being thrown to him. At one point Largent held multiple NFL receiving records, which included most receptions, most receiving yards in a career and most touchdowns. He was also the first player in NFL history to achieve the 100-touchdown mark in his career. Largent was a two-time receiving yards leader and a seven-time Pro Bowler. He is also a member of the Seattle Seahawks Ring of Honor. His best card is his 1977 Topps Rookie card, graded PSA 9 examples are becoming a lot more sought after especially since PSA 10’s are extremely limited. There is just 257 PSA 9 examples of Largent’s rookie according to the PSA Population Report as of January 2020. Largent’s rookie graded in a PSA 9 still has plenty of upside to go up in value.

79 - Emlen Tunnell – (1948-1961)

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Tunnell played safety in his career and was the first African-American player to play for the New York Giants and be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He was a premier defensive player who was often known for being able to intercept passes. Tunnell was a two-time NFL Champion, six-time First-team All-Pro and a nine-time Pro Bowler. He had 79 career interceptions in his career, which remains the second most in NFL history. His best card is his 1951 Bowman Rookie card, this card is very undervalued and becoming tough to find in high-grade examples that are PSA 7 and higher. There is just 66 PSA 7 examples and only 52 total higher examples according to the PSA Population Report as of January 2020. Tunnell’s 1951 Bowman rookie will always have great long-term value because this card is his PSA Rookie Hall of Fame Registry card.

80 - Dwight Stephenson – (1980-1987)

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Stephenson played center his entire career with the Miami Dolphins. He is often regarded as one of the best offensive lineman in the history of the NFL. He was a five-time First-team All-Pro and a five-time Pro Bowler. Stephenson is a member of the Miami Dolphins Honor Roll. His best card is his 1984 Topps Rookie card, graded PSA 9 examples are still easily affordable. There is just 161 PSA 9 examples according to the PSA Population Report. Stephenson’s rookie card is very undervalued and will continually go up in up in value because it will always be on the PSA Football Hall of Fame Rookie Registry.

81 – Adam Vinatieri – (1996-present)

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Vinatieri is considered the greatest kicker in NFL history. He has kicked many clutch field goals throughout his career including one’s during the Super Bowl. Vinatieri is a four time Super Bowl champion and a three-time First-team All-Pro. He owns many NFL records including 44 straight field goals made, most career field goals made and many more. His most sought after card is his 1997 Pacific Philadelphia Rookie. High-grade examples are continually becoming sought after especially PSA 9 or PSA 10 examples. Investing in this card is a great long-term investment because these are becoming a lot tougher to find.

82 – Darrell Green – (1983-2002)

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Green is considered one of the greatest cornerbacks of all-time. He was known for his speed and great longevity throughout his career. Green played his entire career with the Washington Redskins, where he would win two Super Bowls. He was also a seven-time Pro Bowler and four-time First-team All-Pro. His best card is his 1984 Topps Rookie. This card in a PSA 10 is a great investment because it has a low POP of just a couple of hundred examples and will continually go up in value because Green’s 1984 Topps card is on the PSA Hall of Fame Registry.

83 – Mike Haynes – (1976-1989)

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Haynes was a premier cornerback during the era that he played in. He would play for both the New England Patriots and Los Angeles Raiders. Haynes was known for his quickness and great ability to intercept passes. He was a Super Bowl Champion with the Raiders, Rookie of the Year Award winner, a two-time First-team All-Pro, Defensive Player of the Year and a nine-time Pro Bowler. His best card is his 1977 Topps Rookie card, graded PSA 9 examples are still very obtainable but have recently doubled in value within the last two months. There is only 48 PSA 9 graded examples of Haynes rookie card as of January 2020, so this card is very tough to obtain in a PSA 9 or higher. Haynes rookie card still has plenty of room to go up in value due to its low population report.

84 – Roosevelt Brown – (1953-1965)

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Brown played offensive tackle his entire career with the New York Giants. He was an NFL champion in 1956, six-time First-Team All-Pro and a nine-time Pro Bowler. Brown is also a member of the New York Giants Ring of Honor. His best card is his 1956 Topps Rookie card, investing in at least a PSA 7 is a great option because these are becoming a lot tougher to find and still very obtainable. Brown’s rookie graded in a PSA 7 has just 137 examples according to the PSA Population Report as of January 2020.

85 – Lenny Moore – (1956-1967)

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Moore was one of the premier running backs during the era he played in and was first player to have 20 touchdowns in a single season. He was a two-time NFL Champion, five-time First-team All-Pro and a seven-time Pro Bowler. Moore would play his entire career with the Baltimore Colts where he was also a NFL Rookie of the Year winner and rushing touchdowns leader in 1964. His best card is his 1956 Topps Rookie card, Moore’s rookie card in a high-grade PSA 8 example is highly sought after as there is only 59 PSA 8 examples on the PSA Population Report as of January 2020. Being so that this card is Moore’s PSA Rookie Hall of Fame Registry means it will always have great long-term value.

86 – Walter Jones – (1997-2009)

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Jones played his entire career at the left tackle position for the Seattle Seahawks. He has been well recognized as one of the best offensive lineman of all-time in the history of the NFL. Jones was a four-time First-team All-Pro and a nine-time Pro Bowler. His number 71 jersey is also retired by the Seahawks. His best card is his 1997 SP Authentic Rookie card, PSA 9 examples are limited with just 48 examples according to the PSA Population Report. This card will continually become tougher to find and will trend up more in value. Jones’s SP Authentic rookie will always have great long-term value because it is regarded as his PSA Rookie Hall of Fame Registry card.

87 - Lee Roy Selmon – (1976-1984)

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Selmon played defensive end for his entire career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He was a three-time First-team All-Pro, Defensive Player of the Year in 1979 and was a six-time Pro Bowler. Selmon was often regarded as one of the best defensive lineman in the league during the era that he played in. His best card is his 1977 Topps Rookie card, graded PSA 9 examples are becoming a lot tougher to find and still have plenty of upside to continue to trend up in value. According to the PSA Population Report, there is just 102 PSA 9 examples of Selmon’s Rookie as of January 2020.

88 – Joe Schmidt – (1953-1965)

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Schmidt was often credited with help revolutionizing the middle-linebacker position with his speed, tackling ability, and being able to stop both the pass and the run. He would play his entire career with the Detroit Lions where he was a two-time NFL Champion, two-time Defensive Player of the Year, eight-time First-team All-Pro and a 10-time Pro Bowler. His best card is his 1956 Topps Rookie card, investing in a PSA 8 example of Schmidt could pay off because there 77 examples in this grade on the PSA Population Report as of January 2020. Schmidt’s rookie graded in a PSA 8 still has plenty of upside to continue to trend up in value.

89 - Randall McDaniel – (1988-2001)

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McDaniel played guard primarily with the Minnesota Vikings for the majority of his career. He was a nine-time First-team All-Pro and 12-time Pro Bowler. He would play in every Vikings game from 1990-99. McDaniel is also a member of the Minnesota Vikings Ring of Honor. His best card is his 1989 Pro Set Rookie card, graded 10 examples are easily obtainable and feature a PSA Population Repor of just 181 as of January 2020. McDaniel’s Pro Set rookie will always have great long-term value because this card is on the PSA Football Rookie Hall of Fame Registry.

90 - Ray Guy – (1973-1986)

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Guy punted his entire career for the Raiders. He is widely considered the greatest punter of all-time. He is a three-time Super Bowl Champion, six-time First-team All-Pro and as of 2019 is the only punter in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. His best card is his 1974 Topps Rookie card, graded copies in a PSA 9 have a low POP report and are highly sought after. Guy is a great long-term investment especially in a high-graded PSA example.

91 – Jack Christiansen – (1951-1958)

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Christiansen was a safety and return specialist who played his entire career with the Detroit Lions. He led the NFL in interceptions in 1953 and 1957 and in punt return touchdowns for four seasons. His career punt returns for touchdowns still ranks 4th best all-time in the history of the NFL. Christiansen was a three-time NFL Champion, six-time All-Pro and a five-time Pro Bowler. His best card is his 1952 Bowman rookie, which is available in both a large and small version. The large version is a lot more sought after and more difficult to find especially in high-grade examples.

92 – Derrick Brooks – (1995-2008)

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Brooks played his entire career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as outside linebacker. He was a well-rounded linebacker who could do it all, he would win a Super Bowl with the Bucs and be named Defensive Player of the Year in 2002. Brooks would also make 11 Pro Bowls and be selected as a First-team All-Pro five times. His best card is his 1995 SP rookie, graded PSA 10 examples are still very undervalued. Brooks will always be regarded as an all-time great linebacker and his rookie card featured in a 10 will become tougher to find in years to come.

93 - Dan Fortmann – (1936-1943)

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Fortmann was an offensive guard who played his entire career with the Chicago Bears. He would be named team captain during the 1940 season and soon help lead the Bears to three NFL Championships in 1940, 1941 and 1943. He was also a seven-time First-team All-Pro and three-time Pro Bowler. His best card is a rare 1936 Diamond Matchbooks, this card is very difficult to find and they are extremely limited. This card is so rare that it is not even listed on the PSA Rookie Hall of Fame Registry.

94 – Doug Atkins – (1953-1969)

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Atkins helped revolutionize the defensive end position, he was one of the biggest and most feared defensive players during the era that he played. Atkins was known for having the ability to bat down throws at the line of scrimmage using his great leaping ability. He would play for the Cleveland Browns, Chicago Bears and New Orleans Saints. Atkins was a two-time NFL Champion, four-time First-Team All-Pro and an eight time Pro Bowler. His best card is his 1954 Bowman Rookie, high-grade examples are becoming a lot tougher to find. Investing in a PSA 8 is a great long-term investment because there is only 61 known PSA 8 examples on the PSA Pop report as of January 2020.

95 – Bill Hewitt – (1932-1943)

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Hewitt would play both defensive end and fullback throughout his career. He was known for his quick reaction at the snap while he played on defensive. Hewitt was a two time NFL Champion, six-time First-team All-Pro and an NFL receiving touchdown leader in 1934. His best card is a 1933 Diamond Matchbooks Silver card. This card is very difficult to find and one of rarest cards to find. There is still relatively unknown about these types of cards as this card is not even listed on the PSA Rookie Hall of Fame Registry because of how rare they are.

96 – Jan Stenerud – (1967-1985)

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Stenerud is the only placekicker to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as of January 2020. He would for the Kansas City Chiefs, Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings throughout his career. Stenerud would win a Super Bowl with the Chiefs, a four-time First-team All-Pro and a four-time Pro Bowler. His best card is his 1970 Topps Rookie card, investing in a least a PSA 9 is a great investment because there is just 63 known examples in this grade as of January 2020. Stenerud will always have great value and this card is still very obtainable and will continually become harder to find in high-grade examples.

97 – Mel Hein – (1931-1945)

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Hein played center for the New York Giants for his entire career. He was a two-time NFL Champion and selected as a First-team All-Pro eight times. In 1938, he was named the NFL MVP. Hein helped revolutionize the center position of the importance of it for the future of the league. His most popular card is his 1955 Topps All-American Rookie. The card featured in high-grade is still very obtainable for many collectors or buyers and features a low POP. Hein’s card will always have great value since he is a member of the New York Giants Ring of Honor.

98 – Devin Hester (2006-2016)

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Hester was one of the most dynamic players in the NFL to ever play. He played wide-receiver but made a name for himself returning kick offs and punts, Hester was a threat to return a kickoff or punt return for a touchdown every time he touched the ball. Hester had 20 total special teams touchdowns in his career and was a 3-time Special Teams Player of the Year. One of his best cards to invest in his 2006 Topps Chrome Autograph Rookie card. This card is still very affordable and now is the time to buy it before Hester is inducted into the Hall of Fame someday.

99 – Shane Lechler – (2000-2017)

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Lechler was a punter in the NFL for 18 seasons. He was a 4-time NFL Punting Yards Leader, a seven-time Pro Bowler and six-time first-team All-Pro. Lechler set an NFL record for 47.6 average yards per punt in his career. Lechler only has one rookie card, which is a 2000 Fleer Tradition card featured with him and Sebastian Janikowski on it. The glossy version has a very low PSA Pop report in a PSA 10. Being so that Lechler has the record for average yards per punt in his career makes this card in a low POP a great long-term investment that will become very difficult to find.

100 – Billy “White Shoes” Johnson – (1974-1988)

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Johnson was a wide receiver and return specialist. He made a name for himself with the Houston Oilers, within his first four years with Oilers he would return five punts for touchdowns, along with two kickoffs and 12 more touchdowns as a wide-receiver. Johnson is also known for doing one of the first touchdown celebrations in league history. His most popular card is his 1976 Topps Rookie. Johnson’s card graded in a PSA 9 is becoming increasingly difficult to find and features a very low POP. Great long-term investment of the fan favorite Billy “White Shoes” Johnson.

While ranking the 1-100 NFL 100 All-Time team roster can be very subjective, I based it on multiple different combinations of lists I researched from the past and present. I only used players that were chose from each position and ranked them 1-100. Which rookie card will you be investing in from this list? Who is your all-time favorite football player from the list? Can vintage football cards reach the levels of vintage baseball rookie cards someday?

*This is an opinion piece and future values of cards can not be guaranteed. 

NFL 100: The all-time greatest players for every NFL team

04-09-2019 · (click here for the rest of the greatest Dolphins) NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS. 1. Tom Brady, QB. 2. John Hannah, OG. 3. Andre Tippett, DE (click here …

04-09-2019

There have been a lot of talented players in the 100 years of the NFL. 

And each of the league's 32 squads has its own storied history, rich with names like Montana, Payton, Brown, and Brady.

To commemorate the NFL entering its historic 100th season, the USA TODAY Sports Network has unveiled the best 100 players from every franchise. 

Previously in our celebration of the league's centennial, we've listed out the 100 greatest teams in NFL history, the greatest players to ever wear each jersey number, the 15 ugliest uniforms in league history and much more. 

And in October, we'll unveil our list of the 100 greatest players across the NFL. Until then, these are the ultimate rankings from our network-wide experts on all 32 NFL teams:

NFC NORTH 

The best player from each franchise in the NFL's NFC North division.

CHICAGO BEARS

1. Walter Payton, RB

2. Dick Butkus, LB

3. Brian Urlacher, LB

(click here for the rest of the greatest Bears)

DETROIT LIONS

1. Barry Sanders, RB

2. Joe Schmidt, LB

3. Calvin Johnson, WR

(click here for the rest of the greatest Lions)

GREEN BAY PACKERS

1. Brett Favre, QB

2. Aaron Rodgers, QB

3. Don Hutson, End

(click here for the rest of the greatest Packers)

MINNESOTA VIKINGS 

1. Fran Tarkenton, QB

2. Randy Moss, WR

3. Alan Page, DL

(click here for the rest of the greatest Vikings)

***

NFC EAST 

The best players of all time for the four franchises in the NFC East.

DALLAS COWBOYS 

1. Roger Staubach, QB

2. Emmitt Smith, RB

3. Tony Dorsett, RB

(click here for the rest of the greatest Cowboys)

NEW YORK GIANTS

1. Lawrence Taylor, LB

2. Emlen Tunnell, S

3. Rosey Brown, OT

(click here for the rest of the greatest Giants)

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES

1. Reggie White, DE

2. Chuck Bednarik, C/LB 

3. Brian Dawkins, S

(click here for the rest of the greatest Eagles)

WASHINGTON REDSKINS

1. Darrell Green, CB

2. Chris Hanburger, LB 

3. Charley Taylor, WR

(click here for the rest of the greatest Redskins)

***

***

NFC SOUTH

The best players from each team in the NFL's NFC South division.

ATLANTA FALCONS

1. Matt Ryan, QB

2. Julio Jones, WR

3. Mike Kenn, OT 

(click here for the rest of the greatest Falcons)

CAROLINA PANTHERS

1. Cam Newton, QB

2. Julius Peppers, DE

3. Steve Smith, WR

(click here for the rest of the greatest Panthers)

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS 

1. Drew Brees, QB

2. Rickey Jackson, LB

3. Jahri Evans, OG

(click here for the rest of the greatest Saints)

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS

1. Derrick Brooks, LB

2. Ronde Barber, CB

3. Warren Sapp, DT

(click here for the rest of the greatest Buccaneers) 

***

NFC WEST 

The best players from each team in the NFC West division.

ARIZONA CARDINALS

1. Larry Fitzgerald, WR

2. Larry Wilson, S

3. Dan Dierdorf, OT

(click here for the rest of the greatest Cardinals)

LOS ANGELES RAMS

1. Deacon Jones, DE

2. Merlin Olsen, DT

3. Aaron Donald, DT

(click here for the rest of the greatest Rams)

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS

1. Jerry Rice, WR

2. Joe Montana, QB

3. Steve Young, QB

(click here for the rest of the greatest 49ers)

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS

1. Steve Largent, WR

2. Russell Wilson, QB

3. Walter Jones, OT

(click here for the rest of the greatest Seahawks)

***

***

AFC NORTH    

The best players from every franchise in the AFC North division.

BALTIMORE RAVENS

1. Ray Lewis, LB 

2. Jonathan Ogden, OT

3. Ed Reed, S

(click here for the rest of the greatest Ravens)

CINCINNATI BENGALS

1. Anthony Muñoz, OT

2. Ken Anderson, QB

3. Boomer Esiason, QB

(click here for the rest of the greatest Bengals)

CLEVELAND BROWNS

1. Jim Brown, RB

2. Otto Graham, QB

3. Lou Groza, K/OT

(click here for the rest of the greatest Browns)

PITTSBURGH STEELERS 

1. Joe Greene, DT

2. Jack Lambert, LB

3. Mel Blount, CB

(click here for the rest of the greatest Steelers)

***

AFC SOUTH 

These are the best players by franchise in the AFC South.

HOUSTON TEXANS

1. J.J. Watt, DL

2. Andre Johnson, WR

3. Arian Foster, RB

(click here for the rest of the greatest Texans)

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS

1. Peyton Manning, QB

2. Johnny Unitas, QB

3. Gino Marchetti, DE

(click here for the rest of the greatest Colts)

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS

1. Fred Taylor, RB

2. Jimmy Smith, WR

3. Tony Boselli, OT

(click here for the rest of the greatest Jaguars)

TENNESSEE TITANS

1. Bruce Matthews, OL

2. Earl Campbell, RB

3. Warren Moon, QB

(click here for the rest of the greatest Titans)

***

***

AFC WEST 

The best players for every franchise in the NFL's NFC West division.

DENVER BRONCOS

1. John Elway, QB

2. Terrell Davis, RB

3. Shannon Sharpe, TE

(click here for the rest of the greatest Broncos)

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS

1. Derrick Thomas, DE/LB

2. Len Dawson, QB

3. Tony Gonzalez, TE

(click here for the rest of the greatest Chiefs)

OAKLAND RAIDERS

1. Ken Stabler, QB

2. Gene Upshaw, OL

3. Marcus Allen, RB

(click here for the rest of the greatest Raiders)

LOS ANGELES CHARGERS

1. Junior Seau, LB

2. Philip Rivers, QB

3. LaDainian Tomlinson, RB

(click here for the rest of the greatest Chargers)

***

AFC EAST

The best players from each franchise in the NFL's AFC East division.

BUFFALO BILLS

1. Bruce Smith, DE

2. Jim Kelly, QB

3. O.J. Simpson, RB

(click here for the rest of the greatest Bills)

MIAMI DOLPHINS

1. Dan Marino, QB

2. Larry Csonka, FB

3. Larry Little, OG

(click here for the rest of the greatest Dolphins)

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

1. Tom Brady, QB

2. John Hannah, OG

3. Andre Tippett, DE

(click here for the rest of the greatest Patriots)

NEW YORK JETS    

1. Joe Namath, QB

2. Don Maynard, WR

3. Curtis Martin, RB

(click here for the rest of the greatest Jets)

If you love talking football, we have the perfect spot for you. Join our Facebook Group, The Ruling Off the Field, to engage in friendly debate and conversation with fellow football fans and our NFL insiders.

NFL 100

In celebration of NFL 100, iconic voices from all walks of life counted down the greatest moments, milestones, and people that have shaped this great game over the last hundred years in the NFL ...

NFL 100 Originals
NFL 100 Originals

A blue-ribbon panel has determined the NFL 100 All-Time Team spanning the entirety of the game’s history. Rich Eisen, Cris Collinsworth and Bill Belichick hosted the 6 weekly specials revealing the All-Time 100 player and 10 coach roster by position. See the legends who make up the All-Time Team roster.

NFL 100 Greatest
NFL 100 Greatest
NFL 100 Greatest

In celebration of NFL 100, iconic voices from all walks of life counted down the greatest moments, milestones, and people that have shaped this great game over the last hundred years in the NFL Films original series the "NFL 100 Greatest."

Living legends come together, by position, to share their stories and how they inspired each other. NFL 100 Roundtables features the game’s greatest Quarterbacks, Running Backs, Wide Receivers, Tight Ends, Linebackers, Defensive Backs, Defensive Linemen and Offensive Linemen.

A 30-episode documentary series hosted by legendary quarterback Peyton Manning, is now available on ESPN with a new episode coming every Sunday. Peyton will host the football-themed series, revisiting seminal moments in NFL history through conversations with former players, coaches and other key figures about football history and its cultural impact in celebration of the NFL’s 100th season.

To celebrate the NFL’s past and present, this series pairs one of the league’s current stars with the legend they grew up idolizing, in fun and engaging film sessions, where the two watch each others’ highlights and discuss their love of the game.

Debate NFL's top 100 players of all-time

The NFL Network on Thursday night concluded its persuasive series "The Top 100: NFL's Greatest Players" by revealing the best 10 in league history.As expected, no …

The NFL Network on Thursday night concluded its persuasive series "The Top 100: NFL's Greatest Players" by revealing the best 10 in league history.

As expected, no AFC East players made the top 10 because all of the big names already had been revealed. Some New England Patriots fans probably would argue about their three-time champion quarterback being listed 21st compared to a certain Indianapolis Colts quarterback being eighth.

Here's the rundown of players from the AFC East (with the fan ranking):

  • 20 (6). Brett Favre, Jets quarterback

  • 21 (20). Tom Brady, Patriots quarterback

  • 24 (--). John Hannah, Patriots guard

  • 25 (7). Dan Marino, Dolphins quarterback

  • 31 (33). Bruce Smith, Bills defensive end

  • 40 (44). O.J. Simpson, Bills running back

  • 49 (--). Mike Haynes, Patriots cornerback

  • 61 (31). LaDainian Tomlinson, Jets running back

  • 65 (24). Randy Moss, Patriots receiver

  • 100 (42). Joe Namath, Jets quarterback

What do you think of the list?

Who is missing? Who is overrated? Who isn't high enough?

Reviewing the list made me think back to a phone call I had with Moss two summers ago. In addition to forecasting better offensive numbers in 2009 than the Patriots posted in their record-breaking 2007 season, Moss proclaimed himself the greatest receiver -- and maybe player -- in NFL history.

"I'm the best wide receiver of all-time, hands down," Moss told me.

"I don't really like to judge people or other athletes. I know what I'm able to do on the field, but the things I'm able to do to dictate how a defense plays the game, I don't think there's no other receiver but myself and Jerry Rice to be able to do that."

Moss later added: "To hell with wide receiver. I think I go down as one of the greatest players to ever play this game."

The NFL Network rated Rice as the greatest player of all-time and Don Hutson ninth. Moss was ranked the third-best receiver on the list.

Pro Football 101: The challenge of ranking the 101 best ...

Editor's Note: Throughout the 2021 NFL season, Joe Posnanski will be ranking the 101 best players in pro football history, in collaboration with FOX Sports. Posnanski's list will be updated every ...

By Joe Posnanski
Special to FOX Sports

Editor's Note: Throughout the 2021 NFL season, Joe Posnanski will rank the 101 best players in pro football history, in collaboration with FOX Sports. Posnanski will publish a detailed look at all 101 players on Substack.

OK, I don’t want to offer any spoilers before even beginning, but I’m going to offer one up anyway.

Herschel Walker did not make my countdown of the 101 greatest pro football players ever.

That’s not the spoiler, since you obviously did not expect him to make it.

No, the spoiler is … Herschel Walker almost made it.

Welcome to the Pro Football 101.

It is impossible to count down the 101 greatest NFL players. You know that. I know that. Heck, it’s impossible to count down the 100 greatest baseball players, and I spent a decade or so writing that, rewriting it and rewriting again before finally finishing and having it become a book that weighs, like, 28 pounds and will be out in a couple of weeks.

The Pro Football 101 is exponentially more impossible than the Baseball 100.

Now that I have distracted you by completely misusing the word impossible — yes, Ms. Richmond, my fifth-grade English teacher, I do remember that impossible actually means impossible, and I’m sorry — I will tell you why The Pro Football 101 is more impossible. 

Five reasons:

1. Twenty-two different positions. 

In baseball, you do have to work through the problem of comparing pitchers and hitters and resolve the significantly less thorny issue of comparing players at different positions such as shortstops and left fielders.

But that’s nothing like trying to compare different positions in football. Basically, everybody on the football field has an entirely different job.

A running back and a linebacker and a cornerback and an offensive guard don’t do the same things. This isn’t apples and oranges. This is comparing a claw hammer and a piccolo and a Corvette and your Aunt Cindy’s pecan pie. None of them is really comparable. 

How are you supposed to say this wide receiver catches passes better than this defensive end rushes the passer? How are you supposed to say that this defensive tackle takes up blockers better than this quarterback runs an offense? 

Impossible. Of course it is.

2. Statistical mayhem. 

There are many issues with baseball statistics, but at least there are so many to choose from and so much raw data to work with. The game is particularly well-designed for counting.

Not so with football. It isn’t just that most positions do not have compelling statistics — are we supposed to count pancake blocks for offensive tackles? — it is that even the most common stats can mislead. Take passing yards for quarterbacks, one of the most well-known stats in football. Are passing yards good? Yes, of course. So that means it’s good for a quarterback to throw for 400 yards in a game, right? Sure, it has to be good.

But teams have a losing record when quarterbacks throw for 400 yards.

So, wait, throwing for 400 yards is not good?

No, it’s still good — but it probably means that the team fell way behind and needed to throw a whole lot to try to catch up. But that’s not always what it means. Sometimes, 400 yards passing come in a wild and competitive shootout in which teams keep trading touchdowns until the final whistle.

But then again, sometimes it means a quarterback had a great first half and built a huge lead. But then again, sometimes it means garbage-time yards when the game is far out of reach.

In other words: 400 yards passing could mean just about anything.

And passing yards are an easily accessible stat. What about something less straightforward, such as tackles.* It’s hard to count tackles because quite often three or four or more players are involved in a tackle, but even beyond that — is it good for a player to make a lot of tackles? Sure, obviously, of course, it’s good. But what if those tackles are all seven or eight yards downfield? Well, then, it’s not good.

Isn’t this fun?

*It occurs to me now that the word "tackle" is a silly word and is wildly overused in football. You’ve got offensive tackles who are not allowed to tackle, defensive tackles who are usually trying to set up someone else for the tackle and the act of tackling, which is its own thing. I’m now thinking about how many times I’m going to have to write the word "tackle" over the next few months … and I’m already feeling semantic satiation, that feeling when you’ve repeated a word so often that it temporarily loses all meaning. Tackle. TACKLE! Tackle. Damn it!

3. Football is not the same game. 

Baseball fans don’t like to admit that the game changes, though obviously, it does. We like the illusion that baseball is timeless.

Football allows no such illusions. 

Football has no interest in such illusions.

The rules have changed dramatically: Defensive backs can no longer bully receivers, defensive ends can no longer bat offensive lineman in the head, nobody can lead with his helmet, on and on and on and on. 

Also, the players have gotten much bigger, much stronger, much faster. Also, strategies have changed, officiating has changed, the equipment has changed, substitution patterns have changed, training has changed, television coverage has changed, on and on forever.

We might believe that Mike Trout and Henry Aaron and Babe Ruth were all playing roughly the same game. But what about Julio Jones, Paul Warfield and Don Hutson? What about Von Miller, Lawrence Taylor and Chuck Bednarik? Does anyone think they all played the same game? No.

4. How do you separate one football player from another? 

Baseball, it has often been noted, is an individual game inside a team game. Football is not. Football is a team game inside a team game. We might want to look at players as individuals — quarterbacks, for sure, running backs, pass-rushers, receivers — which is certainly good for our fantasy football leagues.

But in football, nobody can do anything without relying on just about everyone around him. A pass must be caught. A hole must be opened. A blocker must be diverted. Yes, there are great individual plays in football all the time, but they happen inside a much larger construct.

How do you separate greatness? Can you? Did Johnny Unitas make Raymond Berry, or did Raymond Berry make Johnny Unitas? Or both? Did Peyton Manning make Marvin Harrison, or did Marvin Harrison make Peyton Manning? Or both? The famous Steel Curtain defense of the 1970s had five Hall of Famers — Mean Joe Greene, Jack Ham, Jack Lambert, Mel Blount and Donnie Shell — and it’s fair to ask if all five were all-time greats, or did one or two of them make the others look a lot better? 

Plus, there's the overall context of football.

In 1970, Terry Bradshaw was the first overall pick by the Pittsburgh Steelers.

In 1971, Archie Manning was the second overall pick by the New Orleans Saints.

What would have happened if that had been switched? Would Manning be in the Hall of Fame and the voice of FOX NFL Sunday? Would Bradshaw have suffered through a million losses and had two Super Bowl-winning quarterback sons?

Did Harrison and Peyton Manning make each other better, or did one make the other better … or none of the above? 

I’ve often thought about what would have happened had the New England Patriots taken West Virginia quarterback Marc Bulger in the fifth round of the 2000 draft rather than defensive tackle Jeff Marriott. If the Pats had done that, they certainly would not have taken a quarterback in the sixth round, a guy named Tom Brady. 

Bulger was about the same size as Brady, had a really strong arm, was a better college quarterback and was good enough as an NFL quarterback to throw for more than 4,000 yards in one year. Under Bill Belichick, would he have led the Patriots to a slew of Super Bowls?

These are impossible questions to answer.*

*I would like to say that in the Bulger scenario — no, I don’t think Marc Bulger leads the Patriots to any Super Bowls, no offense to him. I have a theory about Brady and greatness that … well, I’m getting ahead of myself; the list hasn’t even begun.

5. Is pro football even meant for such lists? 

I have talked to many, many people for this Pro Football 101, and I would say that at least half of them questioned the whole idea and said something like: "Football is a team game. It’s just not about individual players."

Of course, that hasn’t stopped people from doing lists such as this. The folks at my former home, The Athletic, have put together a Top 100 list, as did NFL Films and USA Today and The Sporting News and various other places. 

So with all of that … why in the world would I do a Football 101?

That leads us back to Herschel Walker.

You probably think Herschel Walker was a bust as a pro football player. That’s how the story has been told. 

Walker is always at or near the top of every list of greatest college football players (could that list be coming someday?), but when it comes to pro football, well, Walker played for the Cowboys just as they started getting really terrible, and then the Cowboys traded him to Minnesota for, like, 500 draft picks, and then the Vikings were hugely disappointing with Walker as their back, and then he went to Philadelphia and was sort of a jack of all trades there, and then he had that one utterly forgettable year with the Giants, and then he went back to Dallas just as the Cowboys were again getting really terrible.

Then Herschel became an Olympic bobsledder and an MMA fighter. Then he had some businesses, and now he’s a controversial political figure, so there’s really no particular interest in trying to figure out just how good a pro football player he was.

But here’s the thing: Herschel Walker was a great professional football player. Not a good one. A great one. 

He made some waves a while ago, when he said he should be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame and some people mocked him for it … but he was right. He absolutely should be in the Hall of Fame. I don’t think he’s one of the 101 greatest pro football players ever. But he’s close. Really close.

Here’s why I say that: When Herschel Walker became a pro after his extraordinary college career, he signed with the USFL. Say what you will about the USFL, but Walker’s numbers there were ridiculous: 1,866 rushing yards per season over three years.

Those seasons were 18 games long, but still he ran for almost 5,600 yards in three seasons, scored 61 touchdowns and set the pro football record for most yards in a season (2,411). He was absurdly great. True, it was against inferior USFL competition, but is there any doubt that had he gone straight to the NFL he would have been great? 

There should be no doubt about that because then he went to the Cowboys, and even though he’d taken more than his share of hits in college and the USFL, he was great. 

In his first season, Dallas coach Tom Landry insisted on giving the bulk of the carries to a much-diminished Tony Dorsett, but Walker still averaged 4.9 yards per carry, scored 14 touchdowns — two of them longer than 80 yards — and led the NFL in yards per touch.

In his second NFL season, the strike-shortened season, Walker led the NFL in yards from scrimmage even though, again, the Cowboys wasted a whole bunch of carries on Dorsett.

In his third season, Walker finally got the bulk of the carries, and he rushed for 1,514 yards and gained more than 2,000 yards from scrimmage.

Then the Cowboys traded him to Minnesota for all those draft picks, and the Vikings totally misused him (though they did make him a kick returner — and he immediately became one of the best in the NFL). In 1990, despite the Vikings’ complete failure to understand Walker’s strengths, he led the NFL in all-purpose yards.

Then he went to Philadelphia as a featured back, rushed for 1,000 yards and scored 10 touchdowns at age 30, even though he’d carried the ball roughly 10 million times in his college and pro career. At age 31, he caught 75 passes and still gained 4.3 yards per carry. At age 32, he broke off a 91-yard touchdown run and also had a 94-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. The man was absolutely incredible. But, like Artie Fufkin, he just had bad timing.

What does this have to do with me doing the Pro Football 101? Well, Herschel Walker reminds me that I never do these lists to rank the players. That’s just a bonus.

No, I ranked the 100 greatest baseball players, and I’m now ranking the 101 greatest football players in order to tell their stories, dive into their greatness and, through them, hopefully, tell the story of the sports themselves. 

Sure, the rankings are important because they grab people’s attention, they spark conversations and arguments, and I have spent hundreds and hundreds of hours putting together the Pro Football 101 list.*

*I have had so much help putting together this list, first and foremost from you, the thousands of fans who participated in the pro football countdown game Tom Tango and I created. I have also connected with numerous NFL historians and players and coaches, who I will be revealing as we go, though I must give special mention to my friend Michael MacCambridge, author of the essential "America’s Game" and one of the most thoughtful pro football observers in the world. Michael might not want to be connected to the list once you all see it, but I couldn’t have done it without him.

And I do think it’s different from every other list that has ever been done. There are numerous traps that I think most football lists fall into: too many quarterbacks, too many running backs, not enough emphasis on defense, too many players from the all-time great teams, too much reliance on legend and myth, overrating older players and underrating current players, etc. I can tell you right now that I fall into some of these traps, too, but I try to break away.

But the big point, my big point, is to celebrate this thrilling and troubling, violent and balletic, awe-inspiring and problematic game of pro football that has consumed me since I was a little boy.

I have always loved baseball, but I have obsessed over football. I have always dreamed about baseball and lived and died with football. The sports are so different, and they appeal to such different parts of me as a fan. The Baseball 100 was my effort at telling baseball’s story as I see it.

The Pro Football 101 will be my effort to come to grips with this hold football has always had on me … and maybe, if I do it right, it will make you think about the hold football has had on you, too.

Joe Posnanski is a New York Times bestselling author and has been named the best sportswriter in America by five different organizations. His new book, "The Baseball 100," comes out Sept. 28.

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NFL Top 100 Players of 2021: Cowboys' stars rise, Ja'Marr ...

17-12-2021 · 84. Ezekiel Elliott, running back, Dallas Cowboys (85) Despite a down 2020 season (by his standards), Zeke is still one of the top 100 NFL players heading into the 2021 campaign.

17-12-2021

The two most recent NFL MVPs. Record-breaking contracts and record-setting performances. As we delve into the NFL top 100 for the 2021 season, prepare to be surprised who is within the top five. Also, prepare to disagree with where one future Hall of Fame quarterback is ranked.

Swipe down to see our NFL top 100 picks, or tap here to jump to our top 50.

100. Jonathan Allen, defensive tackle, Washington Football Team

NFL: New York Giants at Washington Football Team
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Football Team has been abysmal this season defensively, but Jonathan Allen isn’t the problem. A 2017 first-round pick, Allen is already responsible for 28 pressures, 16 quarterback hurries and five sacks this season. Those are absurd numbers from a defensive tackle and highlight just how dominant Allen is on the interior.

99. Marcus Maye, safety, New York Jets

Syndication: The Record
New York Jets safety Marcus Maye (20) celebrates after the Jets defeat the Cleveland Browns, 23-16, at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, Dec. 27, 2020, in East Rutherford. Nyj Vs Cle

If the New York Jets aren’t careful with their underwhelming offers to Marcus Maye, they’re going to lose their best player. Maye does it all at safety, shining in pass coverage and making a strong impact against the run. A top free agent in 2022, this may be Maye’s last year with New York.

Related: New York Jets 2021 schedule and predictions

98. Frank Ragnow, center, Detroit Lions (97)

NFL: Detroit Lions at Arizona Cardinals
Sep 27, 2020; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Detroit Lions offensive guard Frank Ragnow (77) against the Arizona Cardinals in the first quarter at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Billy Hardiman-USA TODAY Sports

There’s a reason the Detroit Lions made Frank Ragnow the highest-paid center in NFL history. A phenomenal run blocker and pass protector, the 2018 first-round pick deserves every penny of his contract. Detroit is building its foundation in the trenches and Ragnow is integral to the club’s long-term plan.

Related: Detroit Lions 2021 schedule and predictions

97. Maxx Crosby, edge rusher Las Vegas Raiders

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Las Vegas Raiders
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Las Vegas Raiders defense taking a huge step forward this season is partially a credit to Maxx Crosby. The 6-foot-5 edge rusher is destroying offensive tackles, compiling 19 quarterback hits and five sacks in seven games. Headed for a contract year in 2022, Crosby is moving towards a big payday.

Related: Las Vegas Raiders 2021 schedule and predictions

96. Bryce Callahan, cornerback, Denver Broncos (95)

NFL: Los Angeles Chargers at Denver Broncos
Nov 1, 2020; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Broncos cornerback Bryce Callahan (29) battles for the ball with Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Mike Williams (81) in the third quarter at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Slot corners don’t get a lot of love, even in the age of teams using more three-receiver sets. While Bryce Callahan isn’t the most popular member of the Denver Broncos defense, keep his name in mind. As Pro Football Focus notes, quarterbacks had just a 46.9 passer rating when throwing in Callahan’s direction

95. Leonard Williams, defensive tackle, New York Giants (94)

NFL: Washington Football Team at New York Giants
Oct 18, 2020; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Giants defensive end Leonard Williams (99) celebrates with linebacker Tae Crowder (48) against the Washington Football Team during the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

A change of scenery can do wonders for a player. Leonard Williams, the No. 6 pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, has become a disruptive force since being traded to the New York Giants. The 6-foot-5 defensive tackle racked up 30 stops and 14 sacks this past season. Even if he doesn’t repeat some of those numbers, he can dominate in 2021.

94. Chris Godwin, wide receiver, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

NFL: Super Bowl LV-Kansas City Chiefs vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Feb 7, 2021; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Chris Godwin (14) reaches for the ball during the third quarter against the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

With so many mouths need to feed in Tampa Bay, it’s no surprise Tom Brady and Chris Godwin didn’t connect as often in 2021. But the Buccaneers know his value, it’s why they’re determined to sign a long-term deal next offseason. Once Antonio Brown and Rob Gronkowski are gone, Godwin’s stats will reflect his talent.

93. Randy Gregory, edge rusher, Dallas Cowboys

NFL: Carolina Panthers at Dallas Cowboys
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

With his off-field issues behind him, everything is coming together for Randy Gregory in 2021. The Dallas Cowboys defensive end is responsible for 22 pressures and four sacks already this year. Keep in mind, this is being accomplished on a reduced snap count and with DeMarcus Lawrence sidelined.

92. Keenan Allen, wide receiver, Los Angeles Chargers

NFL: Los Angeles Chargers Minicamp
Jun 15, 2021; Costa Mesa, CA, USA; Los Angeles Chargers receiver Keenan Allen (13) catches the ball during minicamp at the Hoag Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Keenan Allen thrived with Philip Rivers at quarterback and he’s doing the same with Herbert rocketing footballs his way. A four-time Pro Bowl selection, you can guarantee Allen will deliver another 1,000-yard season this year after falling eight yards shy in a 14–game campaign in 2020.

91. Andrew Whitworth, offensive tackle, Los Angeles Rams

NFL: NFC Divisional Round-Los Angeles Rams at Green Bay Packers
Jan 16, 2021; Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA; Los Angeles Rams offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth (77) against Green Bay Packers during the NFC Divisional Round at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Entering his 16th NFL season, this might be the last ride for Andrew Whitworth. If that’s the case, the Los Angeles Rams are going to rely on him to defy Father Time once more. The 39-year-old left tackle allowed just six pressures and didn’t surrender a sack in 600 snaps last year, per PFF. Quite frankly, that’s on par with Brady’s play.

90. Demario Davis, linebacker, New Orleans Saints

NFL: New Orleans Saints at Denver Broncos
Nov 29, 2020; Denver, Colorado, USA; New Orleans Saints outside linebacker Demario Davis (56) celebrates the defeating the Denver Broncos at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Scooped up from the New York Jets after the 2017 season, Demario Davis has been one of the best off-ball linebackers in the NFL ever since landing in New Orleans. Entering his age-32 season, there’s no reason to suspect his play will decline this year.

89. Harrison Smith, safety, Minnesota Vikings

NFL: Atlanta Falcons at Minnesota Vikings
Oct 18, 2020; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings strong safety Harrison Smith (22) in action during the game between the Minnesota Vikings and the Atlanta Falcons at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Will this be the final year Harrison Smith takes the field for the Minnesota Vikings? The best player on Minnesota’s defense since 2015, you can bet head coach Mike Zimmer will do everything in his power to make sure Smith finishes his career in Minnesota.

88. Terron Armstead, offensive tackle, New Orleans Saints

NFL: Arizona Cardinals at New Orleans Saints
Oct 27, 2019; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints running back Latavius Murray (28), right, celebrates his touchdown run with offensive tackle Terron Armstead (72) in the second quarter against the Arizona Cardinals at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

After surrendering four sacks in 2017, New Orleans Saints left tackle Terron Armstead has surrendered that same number across 2,394 pass-block snaps in the past three years (PFF). Let that stat tell you everything you need to know about this 6-foot-5 tackle out of Arkansas-Pine Bluff.

87. A.J. Brown, wide receiver, Tennessee Titans

NFL: AFC Wild Card Round-Baltimore Ravens at Tennessee Titans
Jan 10, 2021; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Tennessee Titans wide receiver A.J. Brown (11) reacts after a catch against the Baltimore Ravens during the first quarter in a AFC Wild Card playoff game at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

It’s fitting that A.J. Brown and Julio Jones are teammates. Brown, who has 2m126 receiving yards and 19 touchdowns in his first two seasons, views Jones as a role model. After admiring his game from afar for years, the 24-year-old now gets to work alongside the future Hall of Fame receiver. The future is obviously very bright for No. 11.

86. Adrian Amos, safety, Green Bay Packers (74)

NFL top 100 players: Adrian Amos
Sep 5, 2019; Chicago, IL, USA; Green Bay Packers strong safety Adrian Amos (31) takes the field prior to the game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Bears didn’t value Adrian Amos enough to keep him in the Windy City, so he went to the NFC North rival Packers. Last season, Amos led all safeties in PFF’s coverage grades and was the No. 2-rated player at the position overall. He and Jaire Alexander make a pretty killer combination in Green Bay’s defensive backfield.

85. Joe Burrow, quarterback, Cincinnati Bengals (94)

NFL: Cincinnati Bengals Training Camp
Jul 29, 2021; Cincinnati, OH, United States; Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) throws a pass during training camp at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

Cincinnati Bengals for Joe Burrow and is starting to show signs of the player we saw before his devastating knee injury. With Ja’Marr Chase at wide, the LSU duo is making us feel like they are back in college. By the time we update our list next time, Burrow might be even higher.

Related: Cincinnati Bengals 2021 schedule and predictions

84. Ezekiel Elliott, running back, Dallas Cowboys (85)

top 100 nfl players: ezekiel elliott
Jason Parkhurst-USA TODAY Sports

Despite a down 2020 season (by his standards), Zeke is still one of the top 100 NFL players heading into the 2021 campaign. The three-time Pro Bowler is averaging 1,668 total yards and 11 touchdowns throughout his five-year career. With the Cowboys’ offensive line healthy, Elliott is excelling and silencing those who suggested Dallas move on from him.

Related: Dallas Cowboys 2021 schedule and predictions

83. John Johnson III, safety, Cleveland Browns

Syndication: Akron Beacon Journal
Cleveland Browns safety John Johnson III runs drills during an NFL football practice at the team’s training facility, Wednesday, June 16, 2021, in Berea, Ohio. Browns 13

Recognizing a need at safety, the Cleveland Browns struck quickly to sign John Johnson III. A 2017 third-round pick, the 6-foot-1 defensive back from Northwestern excels in pass coverage and is strong against the run. Looking at the talent on the roster tells you exactly why our Browns’ schedule forecast is so optimistic.

Related: Cleveland Browns 2021 schedule and predictions

82. Brian Burns, edge rusher, Carolina Panthers (86)

NFL: Carolina Panthers at Green Bay Packers
Dec 19, 2020; Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA; Carolina Panthers outside linebacker Brian Burns (53) sacks Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) during the second quarter at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The Carolina Panthers saw a supremely athletic edge rusher in the 2019 NFL Draft and didn’t waste a moment before selecting him. Brian Burns, the No. 16 pick, is headed for a Pro Bowl selection in 2021. After registering 21 quarterback hits and nine sacks in 15 games last year, those numbers will climb even higher this fall.

81. Tristan Wirfs, offensive tackle, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (85)

NFL: Green Bay Packers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Oct 18, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs after defeating the Green Bay Packers in a NFL game at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Rookies, especially along the offensive line, aren’t supposed to be this good so quickly. Tristan Wirfs was legitimately one of the best offensive tackles in the NFL last year, Tampa Bay doesn’t win a Super Bowl without him. By this time in 2022, Wirfs might move into the top 50 on our NFL top 100 players list.

80. Chase Young, edge rusher, Washington Football Team

NFL: NFC Wild Card Round-Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Washington Football Team
Jan 9, 2021; Landover, Maryland, USA; Washington Football Team defensive end Chase Young (99) stands on the field against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Don’t let the stats (12 quarterback hits, 7.5 sacks in 15 games) fool you, Chase Young is quickly becoming one of the best pass rushers in the NFL. Keep in mind, he posted those numbers when he wasn’t completely healthy and without a full NFL offseason because of COVID-19. With experience under his belt, Young will flash some of that NFL Defensive Player of the Year talent.

Related: Washington Football Team 2021 schedule and predictions

79. Kevin Byard, safety, Tennessee Titans

NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at Tennessee Titans
Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports

A third-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, Tennessee Titans safety Kevin Byard is returning to his elite form (2017 All-Pro selection). The 28-year-old is standing out in coverage (89.8 PFF) grade and making plays against the run. He played a big role in the Titans beating the Kansas City Chiefs, too.

Related: Top NFL free agents of 2022 – Davante Adams likely to hit market

78. Lavonte David, linebacker, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

NFL: Super Bowl LV-Kansas City Chiefs vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Feb 4, 2021; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Lavonte David (54) against the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

If we’re being honest, Lavonte David deserved Super Bowl LV MVP honors. He was the most important part of a championship-deciding performance by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense. David is also the reason why the Bucs earn the top spot in Sportsnaut’s 2021 NFL defense rankings.

77. Matt Milano, linebacker, Buffalo Bills

NFL: Washington Football Team at Buffalo Bills
Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Buffalo’s defense is enjoying a huge turnaround in 2021 and Matt Milano is a huge reason why. According to Pro Football Focus, opposing quarterbacks have just a 69.6 passer rating when throwing his way, he boasts a 90.6 PFF grade pressuring the passer and he’s excelling against the run.

76. Ryan Ramczyk, offensive tackle, New Orleans Saints

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at New Orleans Saints
Dec 25, 2020; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Saints offensive tackle Ryan Ramczyk (71) in the second half against the Minnesota Vikings at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Saints weren’t ever going to risk losing Ryan Ramczyk. He’s now the highest-paid right tackle in NFL history and the 27-year-old earned every penny of it. The last pick in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft, teams certainly regretting passing on a player with just three quarterback hits allowed in the past two years.

75. Ryan Tannehill, quarterback, Tennessee Titans (66)

NFL top 100: Ryan Tannehill
Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Tannehill’s career resurgence was one of the best ongoing stories in the NFL. He went from backup quarterback to leading the Titans to the AFC Championship Game in only a few months. He’s now one of the NFL’s highest-paid quarterbacks, and he earned the raise by taking Tennessee back to the postseason and winning the AFC South in 2020.

While Tannehill slides in our latest NFL top 100 player rankings, it’s not entirely his fault. Tennessee’s offensive line is putrid right now and offensive coordinator Todd Downing is taking away the thing (play action) that his quarterback does best.

74. Adam Thielen, wide receiver, Minnesota Vikings – Best undrafted player (69)

NFL top 100: Adam Thielen
Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

After injuries limited Thielen to just 30 catches for 418 yards during 2019, he bounced back with 74 receptions, 925 yards and ranked third in the NFL with 14 touchdown grabs last season. The Minnesota State product was an undrafted free agent back in 2014. Combined, Thielen tallied north of 200 catches for nearly 2,600 yards in 2017 and 2018, too. Thielen and Justin Jefferson form one of the league’s premier receiving duos for quarterback Kirk Cousins.

73. Grady Jarrett, defensive tackle, Atlanta Falcons

Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

There’s a reason the Falcons signed Jarrett to a massive contract extension in July 2019. One of the biggest steals of the 2015 NFL draft, Jarrett has ascended from fifth-round pick to an All-Pro defensive tackle in a few years. With 77 quarterback hits and 51 tackles for loss in 93 games, few interior linemen can match his disruptive abilities.

72. Eric Kendricks, linebacker, Minnesota Vikings

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Minnesota Vikings
Nov 22, 2020; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings linebacker Eric Kendricks (54) celebrates after making an interception against the Dalles Cowboys in the second quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Eric Kendricks is easily one of the best cover linebackers in the NFL. A second-round pick in 2015, he earned first-team All-Pro honors two years ago and might have earned that nod again if not for a five-game absence. With Kendricks healthy, the Minnesota Vikings defense will rebound in 2021.

71. Derwin James, defensive back, Los Angeles Chargers (73)

NFL: Los Angeles Chargers Minicamp
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

When healthy, Derwin James Jr. is legitimately one of the best defensive players in the NFL. He played at an All-Pro level as a rookie and if he stays on the field, we could see him reach another stratosphere under the tutelage of defensive guru Brandon Staley. Week 1 showed the elite talent is still there and that should terrify offensive players across the league.

70. Cameron Jordan, defensive end, New Orleans Saints

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

One of the most underrated defensive linemen in the league, all Jordan has done since New Orleans made him a first-round pick back in 2011 is show a level of consistency few others have reached. He’s put up 7.5 sacks or more in each of the past nine seasons while playing extremely well against the run. At this point, Jordan seems to have Hall of Fame credentials. 

69. Myles Jack, linebacker, Jacksonville Jaguars

NFL top 100: Myles Jack
Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

There haven’t been a lot of bright spots for the Jaguars of late. One of the few, Jack becoming one of the NFL’s best linebackers. He is outstanding against the run, excels in coverage and can rush the passer. Under contract through the 2023 season, Jack is the heart of Jacksonville’s defense, which will hopefully get a morale boost from an offense led by No. 1 overall pick Trevor Lawrence.

Related: Jacksonville Jaguars 2021 schedule and predictions

68. Aaron Jones, running back, Green Bay Packers

NFL top 100: Aaron Jones
Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

It’s still baffling that Jones is not talked about among the game’s elite backs. All the former mid-round pick from UTEP did last season was record 1,459 total yards and 11 touchdowns, even as quarterback Aaron Rodgers was in the midst of his own MVP season. Plus, the team had invested a second-round draft pick in AJ Dillon. None of that fazed Jones. He’s among the most electrifying playmakers and he showed it during that four-touchdown performance against the Lions.

67. Marlon Humphrey, cornerback, Baltimore Ravens

NFL: Baltimore Ravens at Washington Football Team
Oct 4, 2020; Landover, Maryland, USA; Baltimore Ravens cornerback Marlon Humphrey (44) strips the ball from Washington Football Team running back J.D. McKissic (41) in the first quarter at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Baltimore Ravens defense blitzes more than any other unit in the NFL. A defensive coordinator is only comfortable doing that when there’s a cornerback like Marlon Humphrey in the secondary. Once a star for the Alabama Crimson Tide, Humphrey (8 forced fumbles in 2020) displays that same playmaking ability heading into his fifth NFL season.

Related: Baltimore Ravens 2021 schedule and predictions

66. Darren Waller, tight end, Las Vegas Raiders (71)

NFL top 100 players, Darren Waller
Dec 26, 2020; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Las Vegas Raiders tight end Darren Waller (83) reacts against the Miami Dolphins during the second half at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Darren Waller is the NFL’s story of redemption. Drug addiction nearly ended his pro career as the former sixth-round pick spent several years either suspended or at the bottom of the Ravens’ roster. After getting his life in order, the Raiders signed him in 2018 and the rest is history. There’s no doubt he is one of the best tight ends in the NFL.

65. Devin White, inside linebacker, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

We discussed earlier how Lavonte David doesn’t get his due for Tampa Bay, and part of that may be White’s fault. He’s the much more explosive athlete who’s still polishing up his gap discipline and technical work in pass coverage. Nevertheless, White is a supreme athlete and possibly the most freakishly gifted ‘backer in the entire NFL. He shined during the Bucs’ Super Bowl LV run with multiple big plays, and is a lethal interior blitzer who had a whopping nine sacks during the 2020 regular season.

64. Shaq Barrett, outside linebacker, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

NFL top 100: Shaquille Barrett
Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Yet another former undrafted free agent, Barrett flew under the radar during a five-year stint with Denver. That changed big time after signing a free-agent deal in Tampa Bay ahead of the 2019 season. The Colorado State product responded by racking up 37 quarterback hits while leading the NFL with 19.5 sacks, and backed that up with a phenomenal performance when it mattered most as part of a championship defense. Barrett earned a lucrative payday this offseason to stay with the Bucs, and deservedly so.

63. Julio Jones, wide receiver, Tennessee Titans

NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at Tennessee Titans
Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports

It’s hard to imagine that Jones is in his 10th season in the NFL after Atlanta pulled off the blockbuster trade for the Alabama product during the 2011 NFL Draft. Despite some bumps and bruises throughout said career and appearing in only nine games in the latest season, Jones remains among the best receivers in the game when healthy enough to play. As professional and consistent as they come, Jones averaged 104 receptions for 1,565 yards from 2014 through 2019. Now, the Tennessee Titans might have an X-factor to give them legitimate Super Bowl hopes.

62. Trevon Diggs, cornerback, Dallas Cowboys (74)

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Arizona Cardinals
Billy Hardiman-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys might have a new superstar on defense. Trevon Diggs, the second-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, is off to a scorching start this season. Matched up against No. 1 receivers, Diggs has allowed just a 53.5 passer rating when targeted and leads the NFL with seven interceptions. Diggs is the biggest reason for the Cowboys’ defensive turnaround.

61. Justin Simmons, safety, Denver Broncos

NFL top 100 players, Justin Simmons
Jan 3, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Broncos free safety Justin Simmons (31) celebrates his interception in the fourth quarter against the Las Vegas Raiders at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

All-Pro talent is found in every round of the NFL Draft. Justin Simmons, the 98th pick in 2016, was named second-team All-Pro in 2019 and earned a Pro Bowl selection this past season. The 6-foot-2 safety out of Boston College has 37 pass deflections and 16 interceptions across his first five seasons. Yeah, there’s a reason he is the highest-paid safety in the NFL.

Related: Denver Broncos 2021 schedule and predictions

60. Budda Baker, safety, Arizona Cardinals

Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Thanks to his ability to blur the line between linebacker and safety with his unique physicality and skill set, Baker earns a spot pretty high up on this list. Although he’s predominantly a defensive back, there’s no question the Cardinals can get as creative as they are on defense thanks to Baker’s versatility and a knack for playing in coverage and getting physical versus the run.

59. Jack Conklin, offensive tackle, Cleveland Browns

Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Conklin turned out to be a home-run free agency signing by new Cleveland GM Andrew Berry, who was the youngest in his post in NFL history but retooled the Browns roster amid yet another regime change within the organization and helped them finally return to the playoffs for the first time since 2002. Not bad for a first season’s work as the top executive. However, Conklin had to go out and play right tackle at an elite level to justify his acquisition, which is precisely what he did throughout Cleveland’s surprisingly successful 2020 season.

58. D.K. Metcalf, wide receiver, Seattle Seahawks

NFL top 100: DK Metcalf
Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Metcalf proved to be more than just a workout warrior in his rookie season. He posted some gaudy stats (900 receiving yards, seven touchdowns) for a rookie and it turned out we were just seeing glimpses of his potential. The rising star has proven to be a fantasy football monster after an 83-catch, 1,303-yard, 10-touchdown stat line from 2020. Now that the Seahawks are breaking in a new offensive coordinator, Metcalf could wind up ascending even higher.

57. Calvin Ridley, wide receiver, Atlanta Falcons

Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

For all the deserved love Julio Jones got in Atlanta, Ridley has proven more adept at getting it done on the most important downs in the scoring zone. In only three seasons as a pro, Ridley’s 26 receiving touchdowns are almost half of Jones’ career total of 60. Whether that’s thanks in part to the attention Jones attracts in the red zone is unclear, but Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan sure likes to look Ridley’s way when he needs a score. It’ll be interesting to see how Ridley is utilized in new head coach Arthur Smith’s scheme with Jones gone.

56. Marshon Lattimore, cornerback, New Orleans Saints (65)

NFL: New Orleans Saints at New England Patriots
Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Marshon Lattimore is proof that cornerback is one of the most volatile positions in the NFL. While he wasn’t awful in 2020, the Saints’ 6-foot cornerback really didn’t live up to his reputation. He’s a new man in 2021, playing like one of the best cornerbacks in football. Needless to say, Lattimore is earning that extension.

Related: Atlanta Falcons 2021 schedule and predictions

55. Danielle Hunter, defensive end, Minnesota Vikings

Minnesota Vikings defensive end Danielle Hunter in NFL Week 11
Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

When the Vikings invested a third-round pick in Hunter, they hoped he could develop into a productive pass rusher. He blossomed into an unstoppable force off the edge. Just look at Hunter’s career stats (54.5 sacks in 78 games) and appreciate it. Even after neck surgery cost him the 2020 season, Hunter is on a new contract in Minnesota and should be fresh and primed for another monster year.

Related: NFL mock draft 2022 – Quarterbacks once again dominant

54. Stephon Gilmore, cornerback, Carolina Panthers

NFL: Carolina Panthers at Atlanta Falcons
Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

One of the very few big-time free-agent successes around the NFL in recent years, Gilmore earned NFL Defensive Player of the Year honors for the Patriots two seasons ago. It’s a campaign that saw him record league highs in passes defended (20) and interceptions (six). Gilmore also yielded a sub-50 passer rating when targeted. He’s now in Carolina and expectations should be fairly high as long as he stays healthy.

Related: New England Patriots 2021 schedule and predictions

53. Ja’Marr Chase, wide receiver, Cincinnati Bengals (Unranked)

NFL: Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

It’s exceptionally rare for a rookie to crack the NFL top 100 player rankings during the season. But Ja’Marr Chase is already at 754 receiving yards with six touchdowns through seven games, leading the NFL in yards per catch (21.5).He has cooled off since, but there’s no doubt Chase will become one of the best NFL wide receivers before long.

52. Micah Parsons, linebacker, Dallas Cowboys

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Washington Football Team
Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

It’s absurd how good Micah Parsons is in his rookie season. He entered the middle of December with an absurd 46 run stops, 13 sacks and three forced fumbles. He’s already the Defensive Rookie of the Year and there’s a legitimate argument that Parsons deserves to be named Defensive Player of the Year.

51. Nick Chubb, running back, Cleveland Browns

Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Chubb is one of the most difficult players to tackle in the NFL. He rushed for nearly 1,500 yards behind a bad offensive line in 2019, which the Browns addressed in a big way by bringing aboard Jack Conklin, drafting Jedrick Wills and getting incredible play from Wyatt Teller at guard. Injuries didn’t stop Chubb from piling up 1,067 yards rushing (5.6 yards per carry) and 12 scores in just 12 games last season. Don’t be shocked if Chubb helps Baker Mayfield carry Cleveland deep into the playoffs this year.

See where the Cleveland Browns fall in our latest NFL power rankings

Next Up: The NFL Top 50

50. Jessie Bates III, safety, Cincinnati Bengals

Credit: Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

Guess who was PFF’s highest-graded safety last season? Not many would have Bates at the top of the list. Alas, there he was, playing incredible ball for a lost Bengals team whose roster was much worse than previously feared. Just about every area of the team has room to improve in Cincinnati, but the safety position is one exception. That’s largely thanks to Bates, who will soon be up for a massive contract when he hits free agency in 2022 unless the Bengals step in and ink him to a lucrative extension first.

49. Mike Evans, wide receiver, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Mike Evans
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Only two players in NFL history recorded 1,000 receiving yards in each of their first six seasons: Hall of Famer Randy Moss and wide receiver Mike Evans, who developed excellent chemistry with TB12 as a member of the Super Bowl champion Bucs. Evans did Moss one better by eclipsing 1,000 yards once again in 2020, and hauled in a personal-best 13 touchdowns.

48. Cameron Heyward, defensive tackle, Pittsburgh Steelers

NFL top 100: Cameron Heyward
Credit: Mitchell Layton-USA TODAY Sports

One of the unsung heroes of Pittsburgh’s sensational defense, other studs at flashier positions such as T.J. Watt or Minkah Fitzpatrick get more exposure than Heyward. Meanwhile, the 10th-year pro continues to go about his business and trucks along as one of the most consistent players in the entire league. Heyward was a first-team All-Pro in 2017 and 2019. Even at this relatively later phase of his career, the 31-year-old is a critical building block for the Steelers’ D.

47. Corey Linsley, center, Los Angeles Chargers

NFL: Los Angeles Chargers at Washington Football Team
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PFF ranked Linsley as 2020’s top-graded center, as he snapped the ball to MVP winner Aaron Rodgers and made sure the superstar signal-caller was checked into all the right protections and blocking schemes upfront. On the first day of NFL free agency for the 2021 season, the Los Angeles Chargers rewarded Linsley with a huge contract and he is earning every dollar of it.

46. Bobby Wagner, linebacker, Seattle Seahawks

Sunday Night Football drew great ratings for the NFL in Week 7
Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

An unheralded second-round pick out of Utah State in 2012, Wagner became one of the best linebackers of the decade. A seven-time Pro Bowl selection and six-time All-Pro, Wagner is living the dream and will one day be a Hall of Famer.

45. Minkah Fitzpatrick, safety, Pittsburgh Steelers

Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The Minkah Fitzpatrick trade might go down as one of the best moves in the Steelers’ recent history. He made the same impact for Pittsburgh’s defense that he did for Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide. Frankly, he is one of the NFL’s best playmakers and is showing no signs of slowing down with a long career ahead of him.

Related: Pittsburgh Steelers 2021 schedule and predictions

44. Dalvin Cook, running back, Minnesota Vikings

NFL top 100 players: Dalvin Cook
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A monster in fantasy football and a dangerous all-purpose threat on the field, Cook is the engine that drives the Vikings’ offense. If Minnesota can upgrade at quarterback from Kirk Cousins someday, perhaps Cook can be even more dangerous in the prime of his career now that his future with the franchise is secure with a long-term contract.

Related: Minnesota Vikings 2021 schedule and predictions

43. Zack Martin, guard, Dallas Cowboys

Credit: USA Today

Martin could retire today and probably be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The decision to draft him over Johnny Manziel pays off to this day and he could well be considered one of the best guards ever when he’s finished playing. Before going down with a calf injury last season, Martin further proved his value and versatility by excelling at right tackle for an injury-depleted offensive line.

42. Jamal Adams, safety, Seattle Seahawks (26)

NFL holdouts
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After paying Jamal Adams, it feels like the Seattle Seahawks forgot how to use him. He is a liability in coverage, the player opposing quarterbacks always want to go after. Instead of putting him near the box, using him like an edge rusher, Seattle is playing Adams deep. If this keeps up, he won’t be in our NFL top 100 player rankings by December.

41. Chandler Jones, outside linebacker, Arizona Cardinals (41

Chandler Jones celebrates

Looking back to ahead of the 2016 season, it seemed to be a fantasy to believe Jones would turn into one of this generation’s top-100 players. He had performed well with New England in 2015, recording 12.5 sacks. Since then, the former first-round pick has been on an upward trajectory. This includes Jones tallying 98 quarterback hits and 60 sacks in four prior seasons with the Cardinals. Unfortunately, his 2020 campaign got cut short to a right biceps injury, and he might not be in Arizona much longer.

He’s healthy again and we’re already seeing what he looks like at his best. Jones erupted for five sacks in Week 1, reaching the 100-career sack mark in his career. With JJ Watt on the line with him, Jones is headed for a 20-sack season.

Next Up: The NFL Top 40

40. Justin Jefferson, wide receiver, Minnesota Vikings (49)

NFL top 100: Justin Jefferson
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It takes a lot for a rookie to jump onto the NFL top 100 players list during the season. However, Jefferson is quickly proving he deserves the recognition. Despite dealing with some middling quarterback play especially early on, he recorded an even 1,400 receiving yards in his first year. We knew the 2020 draft class was loaded at receiver, but Jefferson is already proving to be one of the best wide receivers in the NFL.

39. Chris Jones, defensive tackle, Kansas City Chiefs

NFL Defense rankings: Kansas City Chiefs
Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Patrick Mahomes might have won Super Bowl LIV MVP, but the Chiefs don’t complete that fourth-quarter comeback without Jones. He earned every dollar of that million contract and will be essential for this team to become the next NFL dynasty. He responded to his lucrative long-term deal with a 7.5-sack 2020 campaign and graded as PFF’s No. 2 interior defender behind only Aaron Donald.

Jones is playing a new position in 2021, making the transition to defensive end. There are some rough moments, as we saw against the Baltimore Ravens, but he remains an elite player.

Related: Kansas City Chiefs 2021 schedule and predictions

38. Tre’Davious White, cornerback, Buffalo Bills

Buffalo Bills helmet
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It would have been devastating for the Bills if Tre’Davious White opted out of the 2020 NFL season. Fortunately, he decided to play and helped boost Buffalo to the AFC Championship Game. The All-Pro cornerback deserves to see his previous Madden rating (90) go up. As strong as the Bills’ secondary is across the board, White is definitely the best player in their defensive backfield. We’ll see him again in 2022, fully recovered from that torn ACL.

37. Tyrann Mathieu, safety, Kansas City Chiefs

NFL defensive rankings: Kansas City Chiefs
Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Honey Badger’s story is of consequence. Here’s a dude that was kicked off the LSU football team due to off-field issues. Mathieu then entered the NFL as a major question mark after Arizona made him a third-round pick back in 2013. Since then, he’s morphed into an elite-level cover safety. Mathieu led the Chiefs to a second consecutive Super Bowl appearance this past season, earning first-team, All-Pro honors for the third time in his career and second year in a row.

36. Darius Leonard, linebacker, Indianapolis Colts

NFL: Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans

From second-round pick in 2018 to instant star. Leonard didn’t just win Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2018, he was also named first-team All-Pro as a rookie. From FCS star to one of the game’s best linebackers, Leonard proves NFL teams can find talent anywhere.

35. Khalil Mack, defensive end, Chicago Bears

Top NFL defenses: Chicago Bears
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A former NFL Defensive Player of the Year with the then-Oakland Raiders, Mack has not lost a step since the Bears acquired him in a blockbuster trade ahead of the 2018 season. Mack has put up 129 quarterback hits and 70.5 sacks in seven NFL seasons. That sustained success has led to six consecutive Pro Bowl trips. 

Related: Chicago Bears 2021 schedule and predictions

34. George Kittle, tight end, San Francisco 49ers

San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle
Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

San Francisco made him the highest-paid tight end in NFL history for a reason. George Kittle’s stats are certainly gaudy with 2,430 yards over the prior two seasons and 634 yards receiving in only eight 2020 games, but ruthless pancake blocks like this make him a force on the ground. Sadly, injuries are starting to get in the way.

Related: San Francisco 49ers 2021 schedule and predictions

33. Nick Bosa, defensive end, San Francisco 49ers

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Not only did Bosa earn Defensive Rookie of the Year honors last season, he put up one of the greatest initial seasons in NFL history. The Ohio State product recorded 25 quarterback hits, nine sacks and one crazy interception last season. He also put up an absurd 102 pressures. One. Hundred. Two. The only question: how will he look in 2021 coming off a torn ACL?

32. Joey Bosa, defensive end, Los Angeles Chargers

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Signed to the richest contract for a defender in NFL history at the time he put pen to paper, Bosa has more than lived up to that billing. The former No. 3 overall pick from Ohio State has recorded 109 quarterback hits and 47.5 sacks in five NFL seasons. Bear in mind that he missed four games as a rookie, nine in 2018 and four this past season. Provided he stays healthy in his prime, Bosa has the production and elite skill set to ascend much further up the NFL top 100 list.

Related: Los Angeles Chargers 2021 schedule and predictions

31. Fred Warner, linebacker, San Francisco 49ers

2022 NFL free agents: Fred Warner
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San Francisco found a gem in the third round of the 2018 NFL Draft. Warner is emerging as one of the NFL’s best young defenders with a track record of causing problems for the likes of Patrick Mahomes and Aaron Rodgers.

30. Brandon Scherff, guard, Washington Football Team

NFL top 100: Brandon Scherff
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A fixture on Washington’s front ever since being chosen fifth overall in the 2015 draft, Scherff is slated to hit free agency this offseason, and the Football Team would do well to re-sign one of football’s premier interior offensive linemen. Scherff is a four-time Pro Bowler who will be a key building block for whichever offense he’s playing for in 2021 and beyond, and is truly capable of playing anywhere in the trenches if need be. His dependability and versatility warrant a high NFL top 100 bid.

29. Christian McCaffrey, running back, Carolina Panthers

NFL injury report
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Historic. Any attempt to explain what McCaffrey did in his first three seasons would fall short. In 2019 alone, McCaffrey led the NFL in touches (403), total yards (2,392) and total touchdowns (19). He also averaged north of 100 receptions per season leading into 2020. Then, he dealt with injuries and appeared in just three games. Just as things started going right for him, injuries end another season.

Related: Carolina Panthers 2021 schedule and predictions

28. Dak Prescott, quarterback, Dallas Cowboys (58)

nfl 100: dak prescott
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Something tells us Jerry Jones and the Cowboys will regret not signing Prescott to a long-term extension sooner. After losing Prescott to that gruesome, season-ending injury, the Cowboys wound up falling short of the playoffs despite the NFC East being won by Washington with a losing 7-9 record. With each passing loss, Prescott’s asking price went up, and Dallas wisely secured him on a multi-year contract this offseason.

27. Alvin Kamara, running back, New Orleans Saints

Nov 28, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara (41) celebrates after he ran for a first down in the second half against the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Kamara fought through a variety of injuries during the 2019 season, which limited his explosiveness and hurt his production. Now that he’s healthy, Kamara is back to doing jaw-dropping things on the football field. He finsihed with 932 yards rushing and 756 receiving last season, as he continues to rank alongside Christian McCaffrey as the best all-around offensive weapons out of the backfield in all of football.

Related: New Orleans Saints 2021 schedule and predictions

26. DeAndre Hopkins, wide receiver, Arizona Cardinals

NFL top 100 players: DeAndre Hopkins
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Here ends the run of wide receivers. Shockingly acquired from the Houston Texans, Hopkins has been a dominant force throughout his career. We’re talking about a young man who is producing at a rate unmatched by anyone in the NFL right now. In his first year with Arizona catching passes from Kyler Murray, the Cardinals’ newest playmaker to take up the mantle from future Hall of Famer Larry Fitzgerald put up 115 receptions, 1,407 yards and six touchdowns.

Next Up: The NFL Top 25

25. Jalen Ramsey, cornerback, Los Angeles Rams

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Some fans may think he is one of the most overrated players in the NFL, but that feeling isn’t shared around the league. Ramsey is a shutdown corner and an incredible trash talker, who deserves the record contract he received in the form of five years and 5 million.

24. DeForest Buckner, defensive tackle, Indianapolis Colts

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The Colts could have taken their chances on a rookie with the No. 13 overall pick. Instead, they traded it for Buckner. After making him one of the highest-paid defensive players in NFL history, we expected the All-Pro defensive tackle to push this team into the playoffs, and he did just that with an exemplary 2020 in which he 58 combined tackles and 9.5 sacks as PFF’s fifth-ranked interior defender.

23. Wyatt Teller, guard, Cleveland Browns

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Cleveland dominates with its running game and Teller is pivotal to that success. A fifth-round pick in 2018, turned out to be an absolute steal for the Browns in a seemingly trivial trade carried out by departed GM John Dorsey. Teller absolutely dominates as a run blocker, and now that he’s thriving with a full-fledged starting opportunity, Teller can prove he is the best guard in the NFL in 2021.

22. Xavien Howard, cornerback, Miami Dolphins

NFL top 100: Xavien Howard
Credit: ALLEN EYESTONE/The Palm Beach Post

Is it buying into coach Brian Flores’ system, the presence of Byron Jones, or both that has led to a renaissance for Howard in 2020? The issue is, Howard has flashed this type of brilliance before, only to see his production and player grades fall off a cliff the next year. When he’s locked in, Howard has the tools to be as good as any player at his position. Until he strings together multiple top-shelf seasons, though, it’s hard to push him higher in the NFL top 100 list. No less, he’s here after a mind-boggling 10 interceptions last season.

Related: Miami Dolphins 2021 schedule and predictions

21. Kyler Murray, quarterback, Arizona Cardinals – NFL breakout player

NFL top 100 players
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The Grand Canyon-sized leap we saw from Lamar Jackson from 2018 to 2019? Something similar happened this past year with Murray, who became a more decisive, devastating ball-carrier and improved as a passer. He fits perfectly into Kliff Kingsbury’s scheme, and the addition of DeAndre Hopkins is paying off big time. Murray was on pace to become the first quarterback in NFL history with 4,000-plus passing yards and 1,000-plus rushing yards in a season, but got banged up down the stretch. We’re already seeing him flash MVP talent in 2021 and he could pull it off if he stays healthy

Related: Arizona Cardinals 2021 schedule and predictions

Next Up: The NFL Top 20

20. Jaire Alexander, cornerback, Green Bay Packers

NFL top 100 players: Jaire Alexander
Green Bay Packers cornerback Jaire Alexander (23) is shown Monday, August 24, 2020 during the team’s training camp at Ray Nitschke Field in Ashwaubenon. Packers25 19 Hoffman

Meet the NFL’s new shutdown corner. Alexander is proving to be the top cover player in the NFL, shadowing No. 1 wide receivers and routinely taking them off the map. Keep in mind, he’s doing this with a defense that doesn’t have much in the way of cornerback depth. Alexander seemed like almost a certain lock to earn first-team All-Pro honors, but he made the second team in 2020 — despite being PFF’s top-graded corner. When he comes off injured reserve, he’ll make a big impact once more for Green Bay.

19. Cooper Kupp, wide receiver, Los Angeles Rams

NFL: Los Angeles Rams at Arizona Cardinals
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Cooper Kupp is on pace to shatter NFL single-season records in 2021. The arrival of Matthew Stafford changed everything for the Rams’ No. 1 receiver. A special quarterback-receiver chemistry has turned Kupp into one of the most unstoppable players in the NFL. A fantasy football monster, we’ll see if Kupp tops the record books.

18. Trent Williams, offensive tackle, San Francisco 49ers

Trent Williams, San Francisco 49ers agree to historic contract
Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

San Francisco lost left tackle Joe Staley and replaced him with another top pass protector. Even after a year away from football, Williams has shown everyone why his new teammates were so elated to land him, earning PFF’s No. 1 overall grade for offensive tackles.

17. David Bakhtiari, offensive tackle, Green Bay Packers

Packers news: David Bakhtiari
Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

It’s fitting that a team with a rich history in the NFL thrives at finding offensive linemen late in the draft. Bakhtiari, a fourth-round pick in 2013, has become an outstanding pass protector and a pillar on the left side protecting Aaron Rodgers. Now the highest-paid tackle in NFL history, Bakhtiari will be anchoring left tackle in Green Bay for years to come. Unfortunately, he’s recovering from a season-ending knee injury suffered just before the Packers’ playoff run in practices leading up to Week 17.

16. Tyreek Hill, wide receiver, Kansas City Chiefs

Jan 17, 2021; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill (10) runs the ball during the AFC Divisional Round playoff game against the Cleveland Browns at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Electric. That’s been the name of the game for this two-time All-Pro since the Chiefs made him a fifth-round pick back in 2016. Hill is only continuing to evolve as a receiver. Despite some injury and off-field issues, he remains one of the game’s top playmakers. That’s not going to change moving forward. 

15. Justin Herbert, quarterback, Los Angeles Chargers (59)

NFL: Cleveland Browns at Los Angeles Chargers
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

We saw Josh Allen make the dramatic leap into the elite quarterback tier in 2020. Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert is doing the very same thing this season. While he doesn’t have pin-point accuracy, the ability to make every throw with eye-popping velocity and the ease with which he throws on the move can make him an MVP one day.

14. Quenton Nelson, guard, Indianapolis Colts

Quenton Nelson
Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

It was somewhat of a surprise that Indy exhausted a top-six pick on a guard back in 2018. At the very least, it was a surprise to those who didn’t see Nelson dominate at Notre Dame. He’s a generational talent, and has proven that in three seasons. Still so young, Nelson already seems to be on the trajectory that will land him in Canton as a first-ballot Hall of Famer. 

Related: Indianapolis Colts 2021 schedule and predictions

13. Stefon Diggs, wide receiver, Buffalo Bills

Fantasy football rankings: Wide receivers
Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

There were some concerns about how Diggs would fare in Buffalo with Josh Allen, a shared belief that a quarterback with ball placement issues would be a major problem. It turns out, this is the perfect pairing. Diggs wound up leading the NFL with 127 receptions and 1,535 yards receiving in 2020. It’s scary to think what the Bills could accomplish offensively in 2021 with Allen’s improvement and Diggs having an entire offseason to gain more chemistry with his cannon-armed QB.

Will Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs lead the Bills to a Super Bowl? Read our NFL playoff predictions now

12. Lamar Jackson quarterback, Baltimore Ravens (19)

Baltimore Ravens will extend Lamar Jackson, but must get MVP more weapons
Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Lamar Jackson already has an NFL MVP, but we’re seeing the evolution of his game in 2021. Already the most dangerous athlete in the NFL as a runner, Jackson’s growth as a passer is making him even more unstoppable. The Ravens’ offense is getting key pieces (Ronnie Stanley, Rashod Bateman) back as the season rolls on, meaning Jackson can do even more.

11. Russell Wilson, quarterback, Seattle Seahawks (5)

NFL rumors: Russell Wilson trade
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The drama between the Seattle Seahawks and Russell Wilson is settled…for now. Sadly, after putting himself in the NFL MVP conversation, a finger injury sent Wilson to injured reserve. He’ll play at an MVP-caliber level when healthy, but this is almost certainly his last year in Seattle.

Next Up: The NFL Top 10

10. Derrick Henry, running back, Tennessee Titans – Best NFL running back

Predicting Madden ratings for the top player at each position
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Derrick Henry averaged 126.7 rushing yards per game this past season, cracking the 2,000-yard mark. Keep in mind, he did a majority of that damage against stacked boxes. Henry remains the center of the Titans’ offense in 2021 and if not for the broken foot, he would have broken through single-season rushing records. If you question why he’s this high among our NFL top 100 players, look what happened to Tennessee after his injury.

Related: Tennessee Titans 2021 schedule and predictions

9. Josh Allen, quarterback, Buffalo Bills (14)

NFL: Buffalo Bills at Kansas City Chiefs
Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

After a rough 2021 opener, Buffalo Bills star Josh Allen is back in the MVP discussion. He isn’t even locking onto Stefon Diggs as much these days, spreading the football around and beating defenses in a variety of ways. If he just cleans up a few of the mental mistakes, Allen can move into the top-5 of our NFL top 100 player rankings.

8. Travis Kelce, tight end, Kansas City Chiefs – Best NFL tight end

Super Bowl LV: Super Bowl 2021
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Travis Kelce already holds NFL records for most 1,000-yard seasons by a tight end (five), single-season receiving yards by a tight end (1,416) and most 100-receptions seasons by a tight end (two). In the prime of his career, Kelce just keeps adding to his legendary resume that will land him in Canton, Ohio.

7. Davante Adams, wide receiver, Green Bay Packers – Best NFL wide receiver

2022 NFL free agents, Davante Adams
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Davante Adams wants to be the highest-paid wide receiver in the NFL and for good reason. Coming off a 14-game season with 1,374 yards and 18 touchdowns, this All-Pro wideout is poised to cash in as the top NFL free agent in 2022, whether it’s the Packers or another team paying him.

6. Myles Garrett, defensive end, Cleveland Browns

NFL defense rankings
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Myles Garrett will forever be known for striking Mason Rudolph in the head with his helmet. But, there’s also no denying he is one of the best defensive players in the NFL. We told you he could’ve won Defensive Player of the Year before this last season and with 12 sacks, he is well on his way to achieving that accolade soon enough.

Next Up: The NFL Top 5

5. T.J. Watt, outside linebacker, Pittsburgh Steelers – Best NFL edge rusher

NFL defense rankings: Pittsburgh Steelers
Credit: Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

A look at T.J. Watt’s stats tell you everything about how good this All-Pro edge rusher is. With 98 quarterback hits and 42.5 sacks in his last 47 games, the Pittsburgh Steelers were willing to break their own archaic rules to make Watt the highest-paid player in NFL history. That should tell you everything about how good he is.

4. Patrick Mahomes, quarterback Kansas City Chiefs – Highest-paid player in NFL

Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes during NFL game against the Broncos
Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been a rough 2021 season for All-Pro quarterback Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs. After a rough stretch in the middle of season, Mahomes’ performance over the Chargers on Thursday Night Football showed everyone that he is still the most physically-talented quarterback in football.

WATCH: Sportsnaut’s Carolyn Manno on the latest NFL rumors

3. Aaron Donald, defensive tackle, Los Angeles Rams – Best defensive player

NFL defense rankings
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Aaron Donald is the reason why, despite key losses, the Los Angeles Rams are high on Sportsnaut’s NFL defense rankings. When you see 93 quarterback hits, 59 tackles for loss and 46.5 sacks across games, then remember how he sets up teammates, there’s no question Donald is the best defensive player in the NFL.

Related: Los Angeles Rams 2021 schedule and predictions

2. Aaron Rodgers, quarterback, Green Bay Packers

5 key questions ahead of NFL training camps
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The Green Bay Packers are dominating after that rough season opener, but reigning NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers isn’t playing at that same absurd level. Once Green Bay’s offensive line is healthy and this offense is really clicking, we should see the elite version of Rodgers again.

1. Tom Brady, quarterback, Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Best quarterback of all-time

NFL power rankings: Tom Brady: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
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Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady is at it again, defying Father Time by playing like the best player in the NFL. He’s on pace for another NFL MVP award, which seems unthinkable for a 44-year-old quarterback. But Brady’s historic pace keeps demonstrating why he’s the best player in football history.

Is Tom Brady the greatest of all time or a cheater?

the100greatest.com

10-02-2021 · By the time Favre won his first MVP in 1995, the NFL and AFL had long since consolidated, and the shameful quotas on black players had been lifted, resulting in 100% of the best professional football players making their home in the NFL. While both Unitas and Favre each won three MVPs, a deeper look reveals that Favre’s were considerably more difficult to achieve. Unitas isn’t the only ...

10-02-2021

Let’s start this off with a radical statement: being one of the top-100 football players of all-time is not an easy accomplishment. Shocking, I know. That declaration, however, is not meant to be limited to the literal sense. Considering just .08% of high school football players make it to the NFL, it’s pretty evident how hard it is just to get to the NFL, let alone excel. What might not be as evident is how hard it is to perform at a top-100 level in the relative sense. The NBA/ABA has had just under 5,000 players in its history. Putting together the top-100 players in professional basketball history requires selecting the top 2% of all the players who ever played. The NFL, on the other hand, has had just under 27,000 players in its history. The top 2% of players in NFL history would result in 540 players. In other words, being one of the top-540 players in NFL history is equivalent to being one of the top-100 players in NBA history. Think about how unlikely it is that a player entering the NBA will end up being one of the top-100 basketball players of all-time. Well, it’s 5.4 times more difficult than that for an NFL player to achieve the same status in football. Since nobody (including me) sets out to identify the top-540 players in any sport, it just means that a massive list of deserving players needs to be whittled down to 100. Given the relative unfairness of the football top-100 list compared to other sports, it is imperative that it is put together as judiciously as possible while fully acknowledging the many superlative football players among the omissions. Below are some of the factors and parameters that I leaned on to get to the fairest list possible.

Position Distribution

It would be pretty easy to toss 40 QBs into the top-100, pull 60 from other positions, and call it a wrap. QBs get the most accolades and deservedly so. They have a disproportionate impact on the outcome of games and should have a disproportionate presence in the top-100. However, there are at least 13 different positions in non-special teams play. It’s important to the integrity of the list that it not be skewed too heavily towards offense or defense, and that the distribution of positions is commensurate to the relative value of each position. Specific quotas were not used, but I did make it a point to start with a similarly-sized pool of players from each position group to guarantee certain position groups weren’t handicapped before the process even started. I also made it a point to specifically scrutinize the quarterback and skill positions to avoid too heavy and too light an emphasis due to the tendency for those positions to receive the most publicity.  Although I won’t be adhering to a positional quota as the list evolves, here is the very first iteration of the top 100 (released in January, 2021) just to give an example of what a positional breakdown might look like:

Offense (51)       Defense (49)

QB 14                    DE 10    

RB 10                    OLB 9

WR 8                      CB 9

OT 8                       MLB 8

G 7                         DT 8                      

TE 3                        S 5

C 1

Five-year Requirement

In order to qualify for the top-100, a player needs five years of service. There have been too many great players in NFL history for a player to reach the top-100 in just four years. The five-year mark is pushing it too, but I think there are rare exceptions who have accomplished enough by the five-year mark. This is especially true at running back given the average shelf life of the position. Earl Campbell was awarded the AP Offensive Player of the Year his first three years in the league (tied with Marshall Faulk for most all-time) and the 1979 MVP while leading the league in rushing three times and touchdowns twice. By his fourth season, Campbell had amassed 6,457 career yards and 55 touchdowns. Considering his hardware and the number of times leading the league in yards and touchdowns, it doesn’t take much of an effort to justify Campbell’s inclusion in the top-100 after just five seasons. The five-year requirement will also act as an artificial check on overreacting to the next big thing.

Special Teams

Kickers, punters, and returners are pivotal to team success and they have provided some of the most exciting moments in NFL history. However, while the units themselves are important, special teams players participate in a disproportionately small number of plays in a given game. For example, Ray Guy—one of the great punters in NFL history—played roughly 1,049 snaps over his 14-year career. Randall McDaniel—one of the great guards in NFL history—played approximately 14,300 snaps over his 14-year career.  Over the same career length, McDaniel played roughly 15 times the number of snaps as Guy. There’s simply too much of a discrepancy in playing time for any special teams player to break the top-100 over an every-down player. If I had 540 spots to fill (see intro paragraph above), then Devin Hester, Adam Vinatieri, and Ray Guy would undoubtedly have a home.

Regular Season vs. Playoffs

As we established above, the top-100 players in the NBA are equivalent to the top-540 players in the NFL when adjusted for player population. Trying to squeeze 540 players into 100 spots creates a traffic jam every bit as gridlocked as the Dan Ryan Expressway with a horse galloping in the right lane. Differentiating between nearly identical resumes quickly devolves into a game of picking the most dapper Oompa-Loompa. So, it is important to identify distinguishing characteristics to help establish a hierarchy among equally deserving players. To fairly compare two elite players to each other, we first need to consider the entire resume.  While regular-season success gives the best apples-to-apples comparison, it’s often necessary to lean on playoff success to provide the differentiator. The two most prominent examples of this are comparisons of Tom Brady to Peyton Manning and Emmitt Smith to Barry Sanders. The four engaged in epic regular-season duels, Brady and Manning battling back and forth for league MVP for 15 years, and Emmitt and Barry engaging in a 9-year war for the regular season rushing crown. All four are safely among the top-25 players in NFL history on regular-season accolades alone. In both instances, however, one player has a massive advantage over the other in playoff performance. There is no doubt that access to the playoffs is largely dependent on what franchise a player has had the (mis)fortune of playing for which is why “playoff success” needs to be narrowly defined. For the purposes of player comparisons, “playoff success” references individual performance, not simply just playing on a good team. Tom Brady has been to nine Super Bowls and won six of them. He wasn’t just along for the ride; he was the ride. His four Super Bowl MVPs are the most in NFL history—only four others have won it more than once—and he’s the all-time playoff and Super Bowl leader in passing yards and passing touchdowns. It’s true that he played for a great organization, but Brady played the quarterback position in the playoffs against the most difficult competition in the league better than any quarterback in history. It’s a similar story for Emmitt Smith. He was the workhorse who powered the Dallas Cowboys dynasty to three Super Bowl championships. He is the all-time playoff leader in rushing yards and rushing touchdowns. E. Smith didn’t just get the opportunity to play in the playoffs, he performed better at his position than any player in playoff history. It’s true that Brady and E. Smith played for better teams but it’s not the opportunities that get them rated so highly; rather, it’s what they did with those opportunities on the biggest stage against the most difficult competition.     

League Size

Jim Brown and Don Hutson are universally considered two of the greatest players in NFL history. Brown led the NFL in rushing yards eight times and rushing touchdowns five times. Hutson led the NFL in receiving yards seven times and receiving touchdowns nine times. Those are eye-popping accomplishments to be sure, but there’s a reason we’ve never seen anything like that since and probably won’t see anything like that ever again. Hutson and Brown entered the NFL when there were just 10 and 12 teams, respectively. There are currently 32 teams in the NFL. Using “number of times leading the league” as a metric to rate Brown and Hutson against modern players is not helpful unless it is put into the proper context. For instance, Emmitt Smith led the NFL in rushing yards four times and rushing touchdowns three times in a league that had anywhere from 28-30 teams depending on the year. Since the NFL/AFL merger in 1970, no player has led the league in rushing yards or rushing touchdowns more often than E. Smith. Is that more impressive than what Jim Brown did in a 12-team league? Statistically speaking, it might be. E. Smith’s league-leading marks actually outpace Brown’s when adjusted for league size. Randy Moss led the NFL in receiving touchdowns five times. Since the NFL/AFL merger, Jerry Rice is the only other player to lead the league more than three times. Are Moss’s accomplishments more impressive than what Hutson did in a 10-team league? The math certainly seems to indicate that it is. Moss played in a league that had three times the number of players making it three times harder to lead the league in touchdowns. Adjusted for league size, Moss’s league-leading touchdown count far exceeds Hutson’s.     

A similar dance plays out when comparing Johnny Unitas to Brett Favre. Unitas won the NFL MVP three times. The number of teams in the league when he won each MVP, respectively, was 12, 14, and 16. Favre also won the NFL MVP three times. There were 30 teams in the NFL when Favre won his MVPs. Being voted the best in a league with 1,380 active players is a much more impressive feat than being voted the best in a league with 640 active players. Similarly, both players led the NFL in passing touchdowns four times. Favre had to throw more touchdown passes than 29 other starting quarterbacks each season to accomplish this feat. Unitas had to beat out anywhere from 11-15 depending on the year. In a comparison between Favre and Unitas where both have similar career accomplishments, it would be a disservice to Favre not to factor in the heightened degree-of-difficulty under which he carved out his resume.

Composition of the League

Let’s stick with the Unitas/Favre comparison. In 1964, when Unitas won his first NFL MVP, there were two major professional football leagues: the NFL and the AFL. The NFL had 560 active players in 1964. The AFL—a league that would prove its mettle by winning four of the first eight Super Bowls—had 272 active players. Of the 832 active-roster professional football players in 1964, Unitas played in a league with 67% of them. Additionally, NFL teams had quotas on the number of black players that could be on their rosters, significantly reducing the talent level leaguewide. Brett Favre had no such luxury. By the time Favre won his first MVP in 1995, the NFL and AFL had long since consolidated, and the shameful quotas on black players had been lifted, resulting in 100% of the best professional football players making their home in the NFL. While both Unitas and Favre each won three MVPs, a deeper look reveals that Favre’s were considerably more difficult to achieve. Unitas isn’t the only Hall-of-Fame player who benefited from a watered-down league prior to the merger. Other great players from the 60s who played in the NFL when it had only 67% of the available talent pool and restrictive quotas on black players include Jim Brown, Gino Marchetti, Bob Lilly, Deacon Jones, Ray Nitschke, Bart Starr, Forrest Gregg, and Merlin Olsen.   

Versatility

Mastering one position in the NFL is hard enough; doing it at 3+ positions is indicative of a truly special football player. The rare player who excels at multiple positions is incredibly valuable and that value is reflected in the top-100. Rod Woodson was selected as a 1st-team All-Pro at an NFL record three different positions (CB, S, KR). He was also an above-average punt-returner making him a four-position contributor. Deion Sanders was selected as a 1st-team All-Pro at two different positions (CB, KR) while also being one of the best punt-returners in the game. Sanders was so versatile that he scored 22 career touchdowns in six different ways (rushing, receiving, punt return, kick return, fumble return, and interception return) which is unheard of for a defensive player. Bruce Matthews played at least 16 games at all five positions on the offensive line making him the most versatile—and perhaps greatest—offensive lineman of all-time. Like R. Woodson, he was selected as a 1st-team All-Pro at three different positions (LG, RG, C).  R. Woodson, D. Sanders, and B. Matthews are universally considered all-time greats at their primary positions but it’s their versatility that gets them into the top-25. Other players whose versatility bolstered their resumes include Ronnie Lott, Charles Woodson, Antonio Brown, Sammy Baugh, and Chuck Bednarik.

Hardware

In the NFL, hardware isn’t just bling; it’s your ticket to the Hall of Fame and status as one of the greatest players to ever play. There are certain achievements that pretty much guarantee a player’s place among the top-100. Since the AP MVP Award was first given out in 1958, there have been nine players who have won multiple AP NFL MVP Awards; eight are in the top-100. Of that group, only Kurt Warner misses out. The AP Defensive Player of the Year Award has been given out 49 times since its inception in 1971; 33 of the 49 recipients are in the top-100. There have been eight players who have won multiple AP Defensive Player of the Year Awards; not only are all eight in the top 100 but they’re all in the top-30. Ten players have won an AP NFL MVP and a Super Bowl MVP; eight are in the top-100 and a ninth—Patrick Mahomes—is all but assured a spot in the future. Again, only Kurt Warner misses out on the top-100 which brings us to…

Kurt Warner

Kurt Warner is the most difficult omission for me which is counterintuitive considering there are other players who didn’t make the list who would be added before Warner. What makes Warner’s omission uneasy is the elite company he keeps. As I mentioned above, there have been nine players who have won multiple AP MVP Awards and Warner is the only one who didn’t make the top-100. Similarly, there have been ten players who won an AP NFL MVP and a Super Bowl MVP and Warner is the only player of that group who won’t end up on the list. Perhaps most difficult to overlook is the fact that Warner is one of only seven players in history to have multiple AP NFL MVPs and a Super Bowl MVP. The other six to accomplish that feat aren’t just in the top-100, they’re in the top 50. So, why isn’t Warner in the top 100? First, there’s no doubt that Warner would make a list of, say, the top-200, which is no small feat in a league that has played home to 27,000 players. The factor that keeps Warner out of the top-100 is simply longevity. Warner only started 116 games in his career while winning just 58% of them (no modern quarterback in the top-100 has a winning percentage below 60%). Warner not becoming a starter until he was 28 played a role in limiting his career but he was also plagued by injuries as evidenced by the fact that he started 12+ games in a season just four times. In fact, he only put together four seasons that can even be considered above-average. There are simply too many great players who performed at an elite level over a much longer period of time to include Warner in the top-100. Steve Young only started 143 games and—like Warner—doesn’t have the career counting stats to measure up against the other great quarterbacks on the list. However, what gets Young on the list is what he did with his relatively short time in the league. Young led the league in QB rating six times, completion percentage five times, yards per attempt five times and touchdown passes four times. He is 2nd all-time in rushing touchdowns by a QB and won 66% of his games as a starter while also duplicating Warner’s two MVPs and a Super Bowl MVP.

Terry Bradshaw

It might be becoming cliché to keep Bradshaw off top-100 lists—so cliché, in fact, that I considered the possibility before ultimately deciding at the 2-minute warning that his hardware collection is still top-100 worthy. Although there were contemporary quarterbacks who statistically outperformed Bradshaw in the regular season who aren’t in the top-100, including Dave Anderson, Bradshaw was pretty successful in the regular season in his own right, winning an AP MVP and leading the league in touchdown passes twice. While that certainly doesn’t hurt Bradshaw’s profile, it’s what he did in the post-season that still stands the test of time. Bradshaw won four Super Bowls (behind only Tom Brady in NFL history) and is one of only five players to win multiple Super Bowl MVPs. Only Bradshaw, Brady, and Joe Montana won at least four Super Bowls, at least two Super Bowl MVPs, and at least one AP NFL MVP. Additionally, Bradshaw has the highest winning percentage in postseason history among quarterbacks who have played at least 10 playoff games. Although Bradshaw’s residency in the top-100 will come to an end sooner than later, he still has a few years before his lease is up.

Steve Van Buren vs. Terrell Davis

Walking through this player comparison will help illuminate how using sound logic and reasoning help avoid making the same mistakes that led to the NFL’s 100th Anniversary All-Time Team being so overrepresented by players who debuted prior to NFL/AFL merger in 1970. To reiterate, only 33% of all the players in NFL history played before the merger. This era featured small leagues, rival leagues, and a ban/quota on black players, making this the easiest era to succeed in that the NFL has seen. We need to make sure to factor this in. Now, let’s get started with the comp…

First, it’s important to establish that Terrell Davis is not a top-100 player. He was an absolute beast of a running back who may have had the highest three-year peak of all-time, but he simply did not stay healthy for long enough to sneak into the top-100. Although T. Davis is not a top-100 player, he can be very useful as a gatekeeper of sorts for running backs looking to break into the top-100. In the simplest terms, if a running back can’t beat T. Davis, then the top-100 is out of reach. Steve Van Buren has universally been included on top-100 lists for the last 60 years. He was undoubtedly one of the NFL’s biggest stars before the merger. He was named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s 1940s All-Decade Team and enshrined in Canton in 1965. However, when we adjust his career for league size and demographic factors, it becomes obvious that his resume falls short of T. Davis’s, let alone the top-100.

Van Buren led the NFL in rushing yards four times, touchdowns four times, and total yards from scrimmage twice. He did this in a 10-team league. T. Davis led the league in touchdowns twice, yards from scrimmage twice, and rushing yards once. He also finished second in rushing yards twice. He did this in a 30-team league. In a league with three times the players, it is three times as difficult to lead the league in statistical categories making each of Davis’s second-place finishes in rushing yardage more impressive than Van Buren’s 1st place finishes. Adjusted for league size, Davis was statistically more impressive in the regular season including what is arguably the greatest season by a running back in NFL history when he became the first and only running back to rush for 2,000 yards and 20 touchdowns in the same season. He was named the NFL MVP in 1998 and the NFL Offensive Player of the Year in 1996 and 1998. Van Buren did not win an MVP award and would’ve needed to win three MVPs and six Offensive Player of the Year awards just to keep pace. Davis even played more regular-season games than Van Buren which is ironic considering Van Buren’s longevity doesn’t seem to be questioned while everyone agrees that Davis’s candidacy for the top-100 is torpedoed by career length. Then there’s the postseason…

T. Davis has arguably the most impressive per-game postseason statistics of any player in NFL history. In eight career playoff games, Davis ran for 12 touchdowns and averaged 142.5 yards-per-game at a 5.59 yards-per-carry clip. The Broncos rode Davis to seven consecutive playoff wins, resulting in back-to-back Super Bowl victories. He took home one Super Bowl MVP and would’ve won a second behind a 162-yard effort in Super Bowl XXXIII had Howard Griffith not “vultured” two 1-yard touchdowns. Van Buren, for his part, rushed for two touchdowns and averaged 91.3 yards-per-game at a 3.92 yards-per-carry clip in four playoff games including back-to-back NFL Championship Game victories.

While Van Buren is almost universally considered a top-100 player in NFL history, Terrell Davis is not. Although there isn’t a justification for those opinions to exist in tandem, it is conventional wisdom nonetheless. This is just one example that reveals how badly the methods we have historically used to compile the all-time greats are in need of recalibration.

O-Line

If we were to put together a list of the top-100 offensive linemen in NFL history, the 100th player on that list would be a really good player. Frustratingly, there’s only room for a fraction of that number. Making matters more difficult is that a metric to judge the historical significance of offensive linemen has been the “white rabbit” of NFL statistics for as long as the league has existed. While the technical ability that is required to excel on the offensive line in the NFL is arguably the most difficult to master in football, it is also the least statistically quantifiable making the three spots on the line the most difficult to rank of all NFL positions. With the addition of Pro Football Focus to the landscape, there is hope that differentiating between two great offensive linemen will be easier in the future. In the meantime, ranking offensive linemen pretty much boils down to the inexact science of finding the players who have the greatest combination of honors and longevity, while also accounting for playoff success, sacks allowed, and historic production in the running game. The average profile of the offensive linemen in the top-100 who debuted after the merger in 1970 is 202 games started, 10 Pro Bowls, and seven 1st team All-Pro selections. Future players who manage to achieve a similar profile will likely find a path into the top-100.  

Playoff Format

Prior to Super Bowl I in 1967, winning the NFL Championship required winning one playoff game. Otto Graham won seven championships and it took him just seven games to do it (not counting tiebreakers). Tom Brady won six Super Bowls and it took him 18 games to do it. Quarterbacks pre-1970 had a considerably easier route to winning a championship than the quarterbacks who followed. As a result, you will find quarterbacks pre-merger rated lower than might be expected based on their championships—or in some cases—not rated at all.

NFL's Top 100 Players of All-Time: Debate

According to the NFL, Jerry Rice is the greatest player ever; Joe Namath ranks 100th. Apparently, when it comes to the greatest NFL players of all time, the only thing people agree on is that ...

By Stephen Smith

/ CBS News

According to the NFL, Jerry Rice is the greatest player ever; Joe Namath ranks 100th.

Apparently, when it comes to the greatest NFL players of all time, the only thing people agree on is that Jerry Rice heads the list. After that, the debate goes on.

The NFL Network just concluded its weekly series The Top 100: NFL's Greatest Players and has now unveiled the top 10 - one list compiled by an NFL "blue-ribbon panel" and one list generated by fans' votes.

Who got it right?

According to the NFL, the Top 10 goes like this:

1. Jerry Rice 2. Jim Brown 3. Lawrence Taylor 4. Joe Montana 5. Walter Payton 6. Johnny Unitas 7. Reggie White 8. Peyton Manning 9. Don Hutson 10. Dick Butkus.

With the exception of Jerry Rice (who was inducted into the Hall of Fame three months ago), the fans saw it differently. Their list:

1. Jerry Rice 2. Joe Montana 3. Walter Payton 4. Barry Sanders 5. Peyton Manning 6. Brett Favre 7. Dan Marino 8. John Elway 9. Jim Brown 10. Emmitt Smith.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the fans were keen on big-name passers, placing five quarterbacks in the top 10. In fact, Steve Young was ranked the 13th greatest player of all time by the fans; the NFL has him 81st. While Joe Namath was deemed the 42nd greatest player by the fans, the NFL put him at the bottom: #100.

The NFL list gives more props to defense, putting Lawrence Taylor at #3 and Dick Butkus at #10 (Not one defender made the fans' top 10).

The fans also apparently did not appreciate history as much as the NFL. Thirty-three of the NFL's top 100 players were nowhere to be found on the fans' list: None of them debuted after the 1970s.

Other interesting tidbits about the top 100:

= Peyton Manning was the only active player to crack the top 10 in both lists.

= Bengals' great Anthony Munoz was the highest ranked offensive lineman, coming in at #12 in the NFL list; the fans put him at #80

= Packers wide receiver Don Hutson, whose 99 career TD catches stood 44 years as a league record, was the ninth greatest player of all time according to the NFL. The player who starred in the 30s and 40s did not make the fans' list.

= Quarterbacks led position players with 19 making both lists; no punters or kickers made the cut.

= The Bears and Cowboys each had 8 players make the lists; the Saints, Texans, Seahawks, Panthers, Jaguars had no representatives.

Stephen Smith

Stephen Smith is a senior editor for CBSNews.com

First published on November 5, 2010 / 11:52 AM

© 2010 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Full NFL Top 100 list: Here's who players voted as the ...

The NFL has revealed the names of the players ranked 1-100 on the 2021 list. The top 10 players on the list were announced during a two-hour special Saturday, Aug. 28. Of last year's top 10 ...

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There's nothing that sports fans love to do more than debate which players are better than others. And the NFL has an annual event that allows football fans the perfect opportunity to do just that.

Every year, the NFL asks a group of its players to vote on which players are the league's best. And every year, the list that results from these votes — the NFL's Top 100 — causes a stir. There are always some surprises, some snubs and some downright head-scratchers.

But because the NFL Top 100 is voted on by players, it's hard to get too angry about it. After all, the guys voting are the same guys going up against the ranked players on a weekly basis.

Still, the list draws big reactions from NFL fans and players alike. Fans have fun (or get angry) debating the list while players generally express gratitude when they're named to it. Of course, not all are happy. Some feel disrespected by their ranking if it's too low while others get upset if they don't make the list at all.

The league has released the names of the players in the Top 100. Here's a look at the players ranked Nos. 1-100.

SN NFL RANKINGS: QBs | RBs | WRs | GMs | Head coaches

NFL Top 100 list

The NFL has revealed the names of the players ranked 1-100 on the 2021 list. The top 10 players on the list were announced during a two-hour special Saturday, Aug. 28.

Of last year's top 10 players, six fell out of the group in 2021. Lamar Jackson finished 24th after finishing No. 1 overall in 2020. Russell Wilson dropped 10 spots from No. 2 to No. 12. Michael Thomas, Christian McCaffrey, George Kittle and Stephon Gilmore all fell out of the top 40. Thomas' fall from No. 5 overall to No. 72 was the largest of the group.

Their replacements: Packers QB Aaron Rodgers, Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, Packers wide receiver Davante Adams, Buccaneers QB Tom Brady, Steelers linebacker T.J. Watt and Bills quarterback Josh Allen.

The repeaters in the top 10: Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes (ranked No. 1 in 2021 after finishing fourth in 2020), Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald, Titans running back Derrick Henry and Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins.

  1. Patrick Mahomes, QB, Chiefs
  2. Aaron Donald, DT, Rams
  3. Aaron Rodgers, QB, Packers
  4. Derrick Henry, RB, Titans
  5. Travis Kelce, TE, Chiefs
  6. Davante Adams, WR, Packers
  7. Tom Brady, QB, Buccaneers
  8. DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Cardinals
  9. T.J. Watt, LB, Steelers
  10. Josh Allen, QB, Bills
  11. Stefon Diggs, WR, Bills
  12. Russell Wilson, QB, Seahawks
  13. Jalen Ramsey, CB, Rams
  14. Alvin Kamara, RB, Saints
  15. Tyreek Hill, WR, Chiefs
  16. Myles Garrett, DE, Browns
  17. Xavien Howard, CB, Dolphins
  18. Deshaun Watson, QB, Texans
  19. Budda Baker, S, Cardinals
  20. Dalvin Cook, RB, Vikings
  21. Fred Warner, LB, 49ers
  22. DK Metcalf, WR, Seahawks
  23. Khalil Mack, OLB, Bears
  24. Lamar Jackson, QB, Ravens
  25. Bobby Wagner, LB, Seahawks
  26. Nick Chubb, RB, Browns
  27. DeForest Buckner, DT, Colts
  28. Devin White, LB, Buccaneers
  29. Julio Jones, WR, Titans
  30. Aaron Jones, RB, Packers
  31. Jamal Adams, S, Seahawks
  32. Joey Bosa, DE, Chargers
  33. Quenton Nelson, G, Colts
  34. Chris Jones, DT, Chiefs
  35. Darren Waller, TE, Raiders
  36. David Bakhtiari, OT, Packers
  37. Darius Leonard, LB, Colts
  38. Marlon Humphrey, CB, Ravens
  39. Kyler Murray, QB, Cardinals
  40. Bradley Chubb, OLB, Broncos
  41. Jaire Alexander, CB, Packers
  42. Trent Williams, OT, 49ers
  43. Lavonte David, OLB, Buccaneers
  44. Christian McCaffrey, RB, Panthers
  45. Justin Simmons, S, Broncos
  46. Cameron Jordan, DE, Saints
  47. Stephon Gilmore, CB, Patriots
  48. Mike Evans, WR, Buccaneers
  49. J.C. Jackson, CB, Patriots
  50. George Kittle, TE, 49ers
  51. Za'Darius Smith, OLB, Packers
  52. Minkah Fitzpatrick, S, Steelers
  53. Justin Jefferson, WR, Vikings
  54. Grady Jarrett, DT, Falcons
  55. Keenan Allen, WR, Chargers
  56. Justin Herbert, QB, Chargers
  57. Cameron Heyward, DT, Steelers
  58. Tyrann Mathieu, S, Chiefs
  59. Jason Pierre-Paul, OLB, Buccaneers
  60. Corey Linsley, C, Chargers
  61. Chase Young, DE, Washington
  62. A.J. Brown, WR, Titans
  63. Fletcher Cox, DT, Eagles
  64. Demario Davis, OLB, Saints
  65. Calvin Ridley, WR, Falcons
  66. J.J. Watt, DE, Cardinals
  67. K.J. Wright, OLB, Free agent
  68. Josh Jacobs, RB, Raiders
  69. Ryan Kelly, C, Colts
  70. Eric Kendricks, LB, Vikings
  71. Baker Mayfield, QB, Browns
  72. Michael Thomas, WR, Saints
  73. Trey Hendrickson, DE, Bengals
  74. James Bradberry, CB, Giants
  75. Laremy Tunsil, OT, Texans
  76. Tyler Lockett, WR, Seahawks
  77. Quandre Diggs, S, Seahawks
  78. Jeffrey Simmons, DT, Titans
  79. Terron Armstead, OT, Saints
  80. Adam Thielen, WR, Vikings
  81. Chris Godwin, WR, Buccaneers
  82. Garett Bolles, OT, Broncos
  83. Ryan Tannehill, QB, Titans
  84. Leonard Williams, DE, Giants
  85. Zack Martin, G, Cowboys
  86. Marshon Lattimore, CB, Saints
  87. Allen Robinson, WR, Bears
  88. Shaquil Barrett, OLB, Buccaneers
  89. Tristan Wirfs, OT, Buccaneers
  90. Jesse Bates, S, Bengals
  91. Corey Davis, WR, Jets
  92. Jason Kelce, C, Eagles
  93. T.J. Hockenson, TE, Lions
  94. Jarvis Landry, WR, Browns
  95. Tre'Davious White, CB, Bills
  96. Cole Beasley, WR, Bills
  97. Kyle Juszczyk, FB, 49ers
  98. Brandon Scherff, G, Washington
  99. Brandon Graham, DE, Eagles
  100. James Robinson, RB, Jaguars

The Buccaneers have the most players on the list with eight. The Jaguars came close to having no players on the list. James Robinson barely made the cut at No. 100 overall.

Deshaun Watson's inclusion on the list created an uncomfortable moment for the NFL. Watson has been accused of sexual misconduct and sexual assault in 22 civil lawsuits and 10 criminal complaints. The league released an awkward video honoring his placement on the list.

Only one current free agent is included in the Top 100: linebacker K.J. Wright, who spent the first 10 seasons of his career with the Seahawks. Wright, 32, had 86 tackles, two sacks and 10 pass defenses last year for Seattle.

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100 Greatest Players in NFL History

Actually, this is the official NFL Top 100 list made by the NFL itself. Sorry that you don't know any players from before the 2000s but most of these players deserve to be on here. I agree that some should've been on here over others, but they aren't gonna have the same opinion as everyone.

Enter player's name here:

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Offense

Pos

Team

Player

QB

Redskins

Sammy Baugh

QB

Patriots

Tom Brady

QB

Broncos

John Elway

QB

Packers

Brett Favre

QB

Browns

Otto Graham

QB

Colts

Peyton Manning

QB

Dolphins

Dan Marino

QB

49ers

Joe Montana

QB

Cowboys

Roger Staubach

QB

Colts

Johnny Unitas

RB

Browns

Jim Brown

RB

Oilers

Earl Campbell

RB

Lions

Dutch Clark

RB

Rams

Eric Dickerson

RB

Colts

Lenny Moore

RB

Browns

Marion Motley

RB

Bears

Walter Payton

RB

Lions

Barry Sanders

RB

Bears

Gale Sayers

RB

Bills

O.J. Simpson

RB

Cowboys

Emmitt Smith

RB

Eagles

Steve Van Buren

WR

Chargers

Lance Alworth

WR

Colts

Raymond Berry

WR

Cardinals

Larry Fitzgerald

WR

Rams

Elroy Hirsch

WR

Colts

Marvin Harrison

WR

Packers

Don Hutson

WR

Seahawks

Steve Largent

WR

Vikings

Randy Moss

WR

49ers

Jerry Rice

WR

Dolphins

Paul Warfield

TE

Bears

Mike Ditka

TE

Chiefs

Tony Gonzalez

TE

Patriots

Rob Gronkowski

TE

Colts

John Mackey

TE

Chargers

Kellen Winslow

OT

Giants

Rosey Brown

OT

Packers

Forrest Gregg

OT

Packers

Cal Hubbard

OT

Seahawks

Walter Jones

OT

Bengals

Anthony Munoz

OT

Ravens

Jonathan Ogden

OT

Raiders

Art Shell

OG

Cowboys

Larry Allen

OG

Bears

Dan Fortmann

OG

Patriots

John Hannah

OG

Titans

Bruce Matthews

OG

Vikings

Randall McDaniel

OG

Colts

Jim Parker

OG

Raiders

Gene Upshaw

C

Giants

Mel Hein

C

Raiders

Jim Otto

C

Dolphins

Dwight Stephenson

C

Steelers

Mike Webster

Defense

Pos

Team

Player

DE

Bears

Doug Atkins

DE

Bears

Bill Hewitt

DE

Rams

Deacon Jones

DE

Colts

Gino Marchetti

DE

Buccaneers

Lee Roy Selmon

DE

Bills

Bruce Smith

DE

Eagles

Reggie White

DT

Chiefs

Buck Buchanan

DT

Steelers

Joe Greene

DT

Cowboys

Bob Lilly

DT

Rams

Merlin Olsen

DT

Vikings

Alan Page

DT

Vikings

John Randle

DT

Cowboys

Randy White

OLB

Eagles

Chuck Bednarik

OLB

Chiefs

Bobby Bell

OLB

Buccaneers

Derrick Brooks

OLB

Steelers

Jack Ham

OLB

Raiders

Ted Hendricks

OLB

Giants

Lawrence Taylor

ILB

Bears

Dick Butkus

ILB

Chiefs

Willie Lanier

ILB

Steelers

Jack Lambert

ILB

Ravens

Ray Lewis

ILB

Lions

Joe Schmidt

ILB

Chargers

Junior Seau

CB

Steelers

Mel Blount

CB

Raiders

Willie Brown

CB

Redskins

Darrell Green

CB

Patriots

Mike Haynes

CB

Cardinals

Night Train Lane

CB

Cowboys

Deion Sanders

CB

Steelers

Rod Woodson

S

Lions

Jack Christiansen

S

Redskins

Ken Houston

S

49ers

Ronnie Lott

S

Giants

Emlen Tunnell

S

Ravens

Ed Reed

S

Cardinals

Larry Wilson

Special Teams

Pos

Team

Player

K

Chiefs

Jan Stenerud

K

Patriots

Adam Vinatieri

P

Raiders

Ray Guy

P

Raiders

Shane Lechler

KR

Bears

Devin Hester

PR

Oilers

Billy Johnson