Top 10 NFL Players Ever: What Makes Them Great?

Top 10 NFL Players Ever: What Makes Them Great?

The NFL is very exciting this season, with lots of close matchups. We look back at some of the greatest players of all time.

Judging by the current betting trends, there seems to be no end to the electricity coming from the NFL this season. It's the season that just keeps on giving. Even in terms of the minor leagues, things have been going absolutely wild with the college football scene, with new potential talent gearing up to be the current legends, sending our current legends to the Hall of Fame. 

NFL Madness

Speaking of the Hall of Fame, it's about time you revisited the Hall of Famers that made it all possible! Here are the top 10 NFL players of all time, but in no particular order, as that ranking is definitely subject to personal opinion.

Image – Pixabay

Reggie White

Known as the Minister of Defence, he was one of the most dangerous linemen in NFL history. Playing on the defensive end is where he shined, winning the defensive player of the year award two times consecutively. He was part of the NFL for 15 years and in those years he absolutely terrorized rosters of players. His speed and strength truly are something special to witness, especially when chasing down a player trying to score a touchdown. He has had the honour of being part of the Green Bay Packers, who won the Super Bowl, and after hundreds of games in the NFL, he has solidified his place as one of the greatest to grace the pitch.

Dick Butkus

Another NFL legend with two defensive player of the year awards under his belt, Dick Butkus, is always included in the lists and debates on who is the greatest in NFL history. He was one of the most ferocious and calculated linebackers of all time. The "Monster of the Midway" was definitely a beast that instilled fear into everyone he came across in his nine years playing in the NFL. His career, being full of worthy accolades, his most noteworthy is the award for the best linebacker that is now named after him – called the Dick Butkus Award.

Image – Pixabay

Jerry Rice

He is the greatest wide receiver of all time and, after over 20 seasons, consistently performing in 303 games, he became an absolute legend. A three-time Super Bowl champion, ten first-team all-pro selections, and so many other honours, only a god of football could equally match the records this legend set. He was playing and scoring touchdowns into his 40s and can basically only be compared to Brady.

Walter Payton

One of the smallest to make the list, he was a mere 200 pounds with not much stature to go with it, standing at five feet ten inches tall. Despite not being built for it, he was a powerful and speedy runner and was an invaluable part of the Chicago Bears roster, in which he served all his time in the NFL. He broke and has held so many records for his runs, carries, and yards travelled – some of which lasted over two decades. He was the definition of a powerhouse, and as a stallion, he just kept ongoing. Unfortunately, unlike Rice, who played well into his 40s, Walter died of liver disease, his life and career being cut short, however, his contribution to the NFL world will not be forgotten.

Image – Pixabay

Lawrence Taylor

Taylor, sometimes known as "L.T.," was a member of the New York Giants from 1981 to 1993. He is widely regarded as one of the finest players in NFL history. Taylor won several trophies during his debut season and has amassed an amazing résumé throughout his career. He has been in ten Pro Bowls and has two Super Bowl victories to his name. He revolutionized the way defensive backs, linebackers, and pass rushers are deployed.

Jim Brown

Brown was a fullback with the Cleveland Browns from 1957 through 1969, and he was a real icon of the game. Brown was passed to the Pro Bowl every season he participated in the league and was named the Associated Press' NFL Most Valuable Player three times. He was a real champion, leading the NFL in running yards in eight of his nine seasons. He then retired his number 32 jersey, and after his football career, he went into acting, obtaining numerous prominent parts during the 1970s.

Johnny Unitas

Unitas, also known as "The Golden Arm", was a game legend. He spent the majority of his career with the Baltimore Colts. He set records as a quarterback in 1957, 1959, and 1964, and was named NFL MVP in each of those years. Since 1987, the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award has been presented to college football's best senior quarterback for the current season, further proving his immortality in the NFL world.

Barry Sanders

Many people think Barry Sanders is the best running back in NFL history. Sanders resigned from football at the age of 30 after rushing for nearly 1,500 yards in one season. When Sanders executed the unheard-of manoeuvre, he was fewer than 1,500 yards away from breaking the all-time rushing yardage record, which startled the sporting world because he really showed no sign of stopping. He left the league as the only player to rush for 1,000 yards in each of his first ten seasons. In addition, Sanders is the only player in NFL history to carry for 1,500 yards in four consecutive seasons.

Aaron Donald

Although not quite in the Hall of Fame yet, Donald has a shot to go down in NFL history as the finest defensive player ever. Despite playing on the inside line and facing double and triple teams every season, he constantly leads the league in sacks. Donald led the NFL in sacks with 20.5 from the defensive lineman position in 2018. His skill, strength, and finesse are all well-rounded attributes in his game, allowing him to bowl over offensive linemen, thin down to split defenders, and outwork his opponents.

Tom Brady

A greatest of all time list consisting of NFL players is not complete until Brady is part of it. Tom Brady is regarded as one of the most ruthless opponents in NFL history. Year after year, even in his mid-40s, he's maintained a top-five level of play. In his 20 years in the NFL, he has appeared in ten Super Bowls, winning seven of them. He is now the second all-time in passing yards and touchdowns, but if he returns for his 21st season, he will surely become number one. That is as long as there are no catastrophic injuries or an unexpected retirement (which he is not planning).

Never Forget

With all the current excitement and new talent, it can become easy to forget about all the incredible moments that have turned the NFL into what it is today. These players are only a fraction of the players to thank for the feats the NFL has achieved, and only time will tell who is going to join the ranks of the greatest NFL players of all time next!

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