10 Best Football Players Ever
The 10 best football players ever is a list comprised of players past and present and guys who played on both offense and defense. Either already in the Hall of Fame or headed there, these players delighted fans and in some cases changed the league.
- Jim Brown. Brown played at times like there were no defenders on the field, marching through tackles and brushing off would-be stoppers. He retired from the Browns at his peak and likely would have put the rushing record out of reach for all time had he kept playing.
- Jerry Rice. Jerry Rice cemented his place on the list of 10 best football players ever over the course of 20-year career, claiming every major receiving record on the books. He was unstoppable at times, helping the 49ers win three Super Bowls.
- Joe Montana. Rice’s battery-mate, Montana wasn’t a physical specimen, but his uncanny direction of a highly efficient offense lands him on the list of 10 best football players ever. He won four Super Bowls as the leader of the 49ers and had an amazing post-season record.
- Don Hutson. Hutson was a receiver for the Packers in the 30’s and 40’s and while it’s difficult to compare offensive players from different eras, he dominated the position like no one else in his time, leading the league in touchdowns in nine of his eleven seasons (compared to six of 20 for Rice).
- Emmit Smith. Smith is the all-time rushing leader and certainly one of the 10 best football players ever. He was the rock that led the Cowboys to three championships, rarely missing games to injury and churning out yard after yard.
- Lawrence Taylor. Taylor changed the way the game was played, inventing the pass-rushing outside linebacker position for the Giants. Offenses had to be creative in finding ways, usually unsuccessful, at stopping one of the 10 best football players ever.
- Otto Graham. Graham played quarterback at a time when teams mostly ran, but in his 10 seasons (four in the AAFC and six in the NFL) he carried his Browns to the championship game every year. He was named to the NFL’s 75th anniversary team.
- Peyton Manning. Manning is the picture of efficiency in the modern NFL, putting up video game-like passing statistics for the Colts with incredible consistency. One of the game’s true on-field generals, he is certainly one of the 10 best football players ever.
- Joe Greene. Greene was a tackle on the “Steel Curtain” defense of the 70’s Steelers, and was a one-man wrecking crew inside, often lining up between the center and guard and requiring both men to block him, if not more. He earned his nickname, “Mean Joe” on every play.
- Red Grange. “The Galloping Ghost,” Grange was one of pro football’s early superstars. Though his career was not long, those who saw him run would surely tell you he was one of the 10 best football players ever.