My Top 20 NFL Players of all Time
Written by Curt Popejoy on 11/10/2010
Seems all the buzz in the internets is about this Top 100 list that the NFL Network milked into an 18 part mini-series. I didn't watch any of the shows highlighting the top 100 players according to a top secret panel of NFL Network bigshots. I have always thought about who the best players in the league were. But, when I do it I always make sure to include one important caveat about the list that is sure to piss people off. I include no one on my list, I didn't actually watch play in games. Not just highlights. Does that mean those players who came before I started watching football weren't great? No. I am simply being prudent in my parameters.
I could do a list that included guys like Jim Brown and Sammy Baugh, but those picks wouldn't be my opinion, it would be my interpretation of someone else's and that isn't how I roll. So without further ado, the 20 greatest football players I ever watched play.
1. John Elway, QB Denver Broncos
2. Jerry Rice, WR San Francisco 49ers
3. Anthony Munoz, OT Cincinnati Bengals
4. Lawrence Taylor, LB New York Giants
5. Reggie White, DL Philadelphia Eagles
6. Walter Payton, RB Chicago Bears
7. Rod Woodson, CB Pittsburgh Steelers
8. Ray Lewis, LB Baltimore Ravens
9. Peyton Manning, QB Indianapolis Colts
10. Deion Sanders, CB Atlanta Falcons
11. Ronnie Lott, S San Francisco 49ers
12. Barry Sanders, RB Detroit Lions
13. John Hannah, OG New England Patriots
14. Bruce Smith, DE Buffalo Bills
15. Brett Favre, QB Minnesota Vikings
16. Jack Lambert, LB Pittsburgh Steelers
17. Jonathan Ogden, OT Baltimore Ravens
18. Dan Marino, QB Miami Dolphins
19. Randy Moss, WR Tennessee Titans
20. Tony Gonzalez, TE Atlanta Falcons
Guys who could have made the list, if only they'd played longer.
Sterling Sharpe, Terrell Davis, Jerome Brown, and Bo Jackson. All 4 were remarkable players who were taken from the sport far too soon. Bo Jackson is still the most amazing athlete I've ever seen play football, baseball or track. I have always been in agreement with the late Dick Schaap who said He was third behind Jim Brown and Wilt Chamberlin as the greatest athletes of all time. But for this exercise, I exclude him, because of longevity. Same for guys like Sharpe, Davis and Brown, who were dominant, but the sample size is just too small. If you disagree, post your list in the comments section and see how we compare!
Last Edited: 11/09/2010