It takes a lot to make it to the NFL, let alone be an all-time great. Think you’ve got what it takes? Take this quiz to see which NFL 100 player is most like you!
by Prithvi Prem
Throughout its 101 years of existence, the NFL has produced some of the greatest ever athletes the world has ever seen. From the all-time receiving yards leader, Jerry Rice, to the only ever player with six super bowl rings, Tom Brady, the NFL has produced some great talent. Today, I will be looking through this talented player pool and picking out the best players of all time from every NFL Position.
Quarterback: Tom Brady
Career: New England Patriots (2000-2020), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2020-present)
Notable Statistics: 220 regular-season wins, 544 touchdown passes
Quarterback is one of the more difficult positions to pick one player. We have seen all-time greats in players like Joe Montana and Peyton Manning. But Brady is a 14-time Pro Bowler and a six-time Super Bowl winner on teams that feature far fewer Hall of Famers than those of many of the other quarterbacks. Brady has won more super bowls, than 30 NFL teams. He threw for 4,355 yards and won a Super Bowl at age 41, and threw for over 4,000 yards in the next season as well.
Running Back: Walter Payton (HOF)
Career: Chicago Bears (1975-1987)
Notable Statistics: Payton rushed for over 1,000 yards for 10 seasons of his NFL career, including a 1,332-yard season when he was 32. He was also a nine-time Pro Bowl selection and a five-time first-team All-Pro. Payton also retired as the NFL’s all-time leading rusher. His 13-year span of elite production is unparalleled at the position.
Wide Receiver: Jerry Rice ( HOF)
Career: San Francisco 49ers (1985-2000), Oakland Raiders (2001-2004), Seattle Seahawks (2004)
Notable Statistics: Rice was a 13-time pro bowl selection, and led the league in receiving yards and touchdowns 6 times. He is also the NFL's all-time leader in receptions, receiving yards, receiving touchdowns, as well as yards from scrimmage. He also won 3 super bowls and caught 8 Super Bowl touchdowns.
Tackle: Anthony Munoz ( HOF)
Career: Cincinnati Bengals (1980-1992)
Notable Statistics: Munoz was an 11-time All-Pro and was named to the NFL's 75th Anniversary Team and the All-Decade team for the 1980s. He was also named to the NFL’s 100th-anniversary team. He was the first Cincinnati Bengal to be selected to the Hall of Fame, which is a rightful honor for someone of his caliber.
Guard: Bruce Matthews
Career: Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans (1983-2001)
Notable Statistics: Arguably one of the most versatile Offensive Linemen in NFL History, Matthews was a rock in the Tennessee Titans o-line. He never missed a game due to injury, and at the time of retirement, had played in more games (296) than any positional player in NFL History. He was a 14-time pro-bowler, as well as a 7-time All-Pro.
Center: Jim Otto
Career: Oakland Raiders (1960-1974)
Notable Statistics: Otto played most of his career in the AFL, before the AFL- NFL Merger. He was a 10-time AFL All-Pro and a 12-time selection in either the AFL All-Star game or the Pro Bowl. He never missed a game in his career, despite having over 70 surgeries throughout his life.
Tight End: Tony Gonzalez
Career: Kansas City Chiefs(1997-2008), Atlanta Falcons (2009-2013)
Notable Statistics: Gonzalez is no. 2 all-time in receptions with 1,325, which is more than Hall of Fame receivers Randy Moss, Terrell Owens, and Marvin Harrison. He was a 14-time Pro Bowl selection and led the NFL in receptions in 2004.
Defensive End: Reggie White
Career: Philadelphia Eagles, (1985-92) Green Bay Packers (1993-1998), Carolina Panthers (2000)
Notable Statistics: White was a 13-time Pro Bowler, eight-time first-team All-Pro, and two-time Defensive Player of the Year. He’s second all-time with 198 career sacks. He’s posted 110 more sacks in 12 NFL seasons, and also took 3 sacks in Super Bowl XXXI
Defensive Tackle: Mean Joe Greene
Career: Pittsburgh Steelers, (1969-1981)
Notable Statistics: Mean Joe Greene was a defensive cornerstone in that 1970s Steelers d- line. He’s a 2-time Defensive Player of the year, as well as a 4-time All-Pro. He has been to the Pro Bowl 10 times, and has won Super Bowls.
Linebacker: Lawrence Taylor
Career: New York Giants, (1981-1993)
Notable Statistics: Taylor is only one of 2 defensive players to win NFL MVP. He won defensive player of the year as a rookie, won the super bowl twice, and was an 8-time All-Pro. Taylor changed what people thought of as edge players, and truly revolutionized that linebacker position.
Safety: Ronnie Lott
Career: San Francisco 49ers,( 1981-90) LA Raiders, (1991-92) New York Jets, (1993-94)
Notable statistics: One of the most hard-hitting players in NFL history, Lott had an illustrious career in the NFL. He was always a step ahead of the offense, and was the gold standard of safeties. He is a 6time All-Pro, and a 10-time Pro bowler, who has led the league in interceptions twice. He has the record for the most playoff interceptions and has over 60 interceptions throughout his career.
Cornerback: Deion Sanders
Career: Atlanta Falcons, (1989-93); San Francisco 49ers, (1994); Dallas Cowboys, (1995-99); Washington Redskins, (2000); Baltimore Ravens, (2004-05)
Notable Statistics: Prime Time was an eight-time Pro Bowler and 6-time All-Pro selection. He scored career touchdowns through interception, fumble returns, kickoff returns, punt returns, and receptions. He finished his career with 53 interceptions, and at times, opposing offenses essentially decided to completely avoid whichever side he was on.
Kicker: Adam Vinatieri
Career: New England Patriots, (1996-2005); Indianapolis Colts, (2006- 2020)
Notable Statistics: One of the most clutch players in NFL History, Vinatieri helped the Patriots win 2 superbowls through last second field goals. He owns NFL records for most career points, and field goals made. He is also the only kicker in NFL history to score over 1,000 points for two different teams.
So there you have it! These are the best players of all time from every NFL Position. There were many players who just missed the cut, but to me, these selected players were just too good.