A while back we put our heads together and ranked the best players in all major sports. For football we did QB’s on a separate list. Another caveat of this ranking was that they had to play at least five years during our lifetime. Since we were all born in 1989, five years of playing time since 89 to the present. This list is in no way complete and I’ll admit that it may even be flawed, but here is what we came up with. The list is in no particular order.
Deion Sanders – Neon Deion Sanders was the definition of a two way player listed as DB/WR. Drafted by the Falcons in the first round of the 89 draft, Sanders is widely remembered for his time with Dallas. He was an 8-time Pro Bowler & 6-time First-Team All-Pro and was inducted into the Hall Of Fame in 2011.
Ray Lewis – Now an analyst on ESPN, Lewis was the heart and soul of the Ravens D for his entire career. He has two Super Bowl rings to prove it and likely will have his number retired in Baltimore, the only team he ever played for. In 227 career games, Lewis had 41.5 sacks, 31 INT, and 19 forced fumbles. Despite legal issues, Lewis is still one of the greatest NFL players of all time.
Reggie White – Incredible doesn’t even begin to describe Reggie White. As an Eagle, White racked up 124 sacks over 8 years. That includes 1987 when he racked up 21 sacks in a single season, where he sits 5th all time. He was a 13-time Pro Bowler & 8-time First-Team All-Pro and rightfully inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2006.
Michael Strahan – Speaking of sacks, Strahan holds the record for most in a single season with 22.5 in 2001. Strahan was a 7-time Pro Bowler & 4-time First-Team All-Pro and won the Super Bowl in his last season in 2007. I imagine the Giants will retire his number, and he will likely be in the HOF at some point. As for right now he can be seen sitting alongside Kelly Ripa in the mornings.
Tony Gonzalez – Probably the greatest tight end of all time, Gonzalez was a 14-time Pro Bowler & 6-time First-Team All-Pro and is a sure bet for the HOF. He was an iron man, and holds the record for consecutive starts by a tight end at 120. Perhaps the only thing missing from his stellar stat sheet is a Super Bowl ring.
Barry Sanders – Sanders is easily one of the best running backs ever. He was a 10-time Pro Bowler & 6-time First-Team All-Pro and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2004. He sits #3 on the Career Rushing Yards (15,269) list and #5 on the Single Season Rushing yards (2,053) list. He was named the NFL MVP in 1991 and holds the record for most consecutive 100 yard games at 14. Basically, he’s the man.
Emmitt Smith – The only running back better than Sanders was Emmitt Smith, and Smith has three Super Bowl rings to prove it. Emmitt still holds the record for career rushing yards with 18,355 and was an 8-time Pro Bowler & 4-time First-Team All-Pro. Smith was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2010.
Randy Moss – Randy Moss was one of the best deep threats the game has ever seen. He racked up 15,292 receiving yards over his career, which is 3rd all time. Forever a Viking, let’s not forget that Moss was also a part of the Patriots undefeated run in 2007 when he put up a RIDICULOUS 23 TD’s. I had him in fantasy that year, but like the Pats, I did not win the championship :(.
Jerry Rice – Megatron broke Rice’s single season record of 1,848 set in 1995 but that doesn’t discredit possibly the greatest receiver of all time. Rice still holds the record for career yards with 22,895 and it doesn’t look like anyone will come close to that (T.O. is second on that list at 15,934). Rice had 208 TD’s over his 20 year career, he is a 3 time Super Bowl Champ and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2010. he was named the #1 G.O.A.T on NFL’s Top 100 Players of All Time.
Brian Urlacher – We almost put LT here but we wanted to show the love to the defensive guys. Urlacher was a beast upon entering the league. He won rookie of the year in 2000 and never looked back. He holds the Bears record for tackles in a season (153, 2002) and career with 1353. Perhaps a questionable mention this list since his stats are not in the top ten of anything all time and he has no championships, but hey when in Rome, do as the Romans do.