Who are the Best Ranked NFL Players of All Time?

Football is the defining sport of what it means to be American! Colossal stadiums packed with outrageously committed fans. The average crowd volume is 80 to 90 decibels, but as the season progresses these die-hard fans can amplify that range to almost double that number. Football fans are so loud in fact that they surpass fan volume in all other sports in existence! The Kansas City Chiefs hold the world record currently with a ground shaking 142.2 (according to Sports Illustrated.) One has to stop and ask why? Why are football fans so pumped, why is this relatively modern sport igniting exuberant excitement in so many Americans? The reason for all the hype is simple, football is an exhilarating sport, full of tactics, full body contact, and each play can mean the difference between winning or losing the game. The Super Bowl is just as important to Americans as Thanksgiving! Fans are handed down the legacy of the game from generation to generation and would rather lose a job than missing a Sunday night game, and the best part is, they get the love back from athletes who work very hard to give them a great game at the end of the weekend. Here is a list of the hardest working, most dedicated football players from last to best. Keep going until you reach the G.O.A.T.

Jack Ham

“I Prefer to Play Consistent, Error-Free Football. If You’re Doing Your Job Well and Defending Your Area, You Might Not Get Tested That Often, or Get a Chance to Make Big Plays.” Jack Ham was a consensus All American at Penn State University and enjoyed a great career in the NFL after being picked up by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1971.

Jack Ham

Photo by Getty Images

He would quickly develop the reputation of one of the best outside linebackers in the history of the game. Ham had the skill of being able to consistently predict what the opponent was going to do and be in front of the ball at every play call. He wants on to lead the franchise defense through four Super Bowls and racked up tackles and made big plays in each one.

Gale Sayers

Gale Sayers was drafted to the NFL out of University of Kansas by the Chicago Bears in 1965. The fast running back had amassed 2,272 combined rushing, receiving, and kick return yards, as well as 22 touchdowns in his rookie year alone!

Gale Sayers

Photo by Getty Images

After a series of severe knee injuries, Sayers was forced to retire at just 27 years old, but would later be the youngest NFL player ever to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Alan Page

Alan Page was drafted out of the coveted University of Notre Dame to the Minnesota Vikings as a defensive tackle. Page was in good hands joining greats like Jim Marshall, Carl Eller, and Gary Larsen and together they formed what was known as the “Purple People Eaters.”

Alan Page

Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Alan Page, (88) ‘surrounds’ Chicago Bears quarterback Bobby Douglass during the Vikings-Bears game at Chicago Gettyimages

Alan Page in his fifteen years in Professional Football with the NFL had never missed one game. The short, small tackle racked up a remarkable stat of record numbers of safeties and blocked kicks in NFL History. In 1998 Page was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame.

MIKE SINGLETARY

Legendary middle linebacker Mike Singletary, also known as “Samurai Mike,” was the son of a minister who was strictly and religiously against football, keeping the young samurai from playing the game until his junior year of high school.

MIKE SINGLETARY

Photo by David Madison/Getty Images

He would prove a great tackler and spy for the defensive line and was admitted to play with a scholarship at Baylor University. After developing the reputation of breaking helmets in college, Singletary was drafted second round by the Bears in 1981, where he would quickly gain prominence among fans, during his time with the Bears defense the team would only allow a max of 12 points per game. In 1998 then linebacker coach was awarded a spot in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

BART STARR

If there is any QB that posts direct competition with the Patriots Tom Brady, it’s 1934, Alabama born Bart Starr.

BART STARR

Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images

Starr started his career in professional football as the Starr quarterback for the University of Alabama form 1952-55, where he threw a completion of 8 out of 12 passes in the 1953 Orange Bowl. He was a 17th round draft pick for QB with the Green Bay Packers where he would lead the team to five league Championships, as well as two Super Bowl victories in 1966, and 1967.

TERRY BRADSHAW

Terry Bradshaw is another famous NFL household name. In the late 60s, Bradshaw broke all the major college passing records. (Ruston.) In the 1970 NFL Draft Bradshaw was picked as the first overall draft pick and quickly went on to become the teams full-time, starting QB.

TERRY BRADSHAW

Pittsburgh Steeler quarterback Terry Bradshaw. Photo by © Wally McNamee/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images

He would soon prove himself vital to the franchise and push them to eight consecutive playoff appearances, and after a hard 74 season, he brought himself back to leading the Steelers to their first Super Bowl title the following year.

JUNIOR SEAU

Junior Seau was truly an intense linebacker. The San Diego native had played 20 seasons with both the Miami Dolphins in 2003-05, and then with the New England Patriots, from 2006-09.

JUNIOR SEAU

San Diego Chargers Junior Seau. Photo by Matt A. Brown/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Before his time with the two teams, he had a short career with the San Diego Chargers and an appearance in the 1994 Super Bowl. Seau was selected for 12 Pro Bowl Games and had a career total of 545 tackles and 56.5 sacks.

FRANCO HARRIS

Franco Harris had excelled in all things sports during his time in high school playing baseball, basketball, and football. He was without a doubt given scholarship to play football for Pennsylvania State University, (Penn State,) and was the 13th overall draft pick by the Pittsburgh Steelers into the NFL in 1972.

FRANCO HARRIS

Photo by Getty Images

He would quickly become the NFL’s start running back and take part in four winning Super Bowls with Pittsburgh. He is best known for his game-winning “Shoe Lace” catch in the team’s first round up with the Oakland Raiders to win the game in the 1972 playoffs.

BRUCE SMITH

Bruce Smith was drafted out of Virginia Tech by the Buffalo Bills in the 1985 NFL draft, and in his by his second season recorded 15 sacks, he was a rare defensive end as he was very tall for the position, weighed north of 250 pounds, and was extremely fast.

BRUCE SMITH

Buffalo Bills hall of famer Bruce Smith. Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

By 1991 he was awarded Defensive Player of the Year Award for his extreme performance after recording 101 tackles and 19 sacks that year. It would be the same post-season that he would lead the Bills Defense to an appearance at the Super Bowl.

FRANK GIFFORD

Frank Gifford was signed by the NY Giants 1952 and played a very successful nine seasons with the team playing both defensive-back with the team and as a running back. His work with the Giants helped the team reach a three NFL Championships with the team winning the 1956 championship against the Chicago Bears in a humiliating 47-7 defeat.

FRANK GIFFORD

New York Giants football player Frank Gifford. Photo by Robert Riger/Getty Images

Giffords performance would earn him 9 Pro-Bowl appearances, and had him named the 1960 MVP of the season. After being sacked unconscious in his blindside by Philadelphia Eagle Chuck Bednarik, Frank Gifford was forced to retire.

MICHAEL IRVIN

Michael Irvin is one hard-working human being. He enjoyed a great NFL career that would only end due to injury, just to keep pushing himself both as an actor, sports commentator and even a contestant of the 2009 season 9 of “Dancing with the Stars” being the you guessed it, 9th contestant to be eliminated.

MICHAEL IRVIN

Dallas Cowboy wide receiver Michael Irvin stretches for the goal line during third quarter action against the Atlanta Falcons. Photo credit PAUL K. BUCK/AFP/Getty Images

Irvin was drafted out of the University of Miami in the 1988 NFL Draft and had a fruitful career in the NFL until a spinal injury that would force him to curb his employment status to something else.

MIKE WEBSTER

Mike Webster was an all-conference honors gridiron offensive lineman who won four Super Bowls in the NFL with the Steelers from 1975,1976,1978, and 1980. He is very well known to be the first NFL player to be diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy,

MIKE WEBSTER

Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images

that would later precede his death in 2002. In 1974 he was picked up by the Pittsburgh Steelers out of University of Wisconsin and was a vital piece of the team when they won their first two Super Bowls.

David “DEACON” JONES

David “Deacon,” Jones was a very agile football player with a powerful frame, and quickly earned a reputation of a very feared defensive end in football. Before his time in the NFL, Deacon was actually a little-known player in football. This would quickly change after he was chosen 14th round draft pick by the Los Angeles Rams in 1961 out of Mississippi Vocational College.

David “DEACON” JONES

Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Coy Bacon along with Hall of Fame defensive tackle David ‘Deacon’ Jones. Photo by Nate Fine/NFL/Gettyimages

David Jones was the one who coined the iconic term for tackling a QB behind the line of scrimmage, “sack.” He also made the “head slap” famous where he would slap the opposing player so hard in the helmet that it would shock and intimidate them.

ANTHONY MUNOZ

Despite concerns over three different Knee injuries, and after undergoing many surgeries, Munoz was selected as the third overall selection of the 1980 NFL draft out of the University of Southern California (USC,) to the Cincinnati Bengals in 1980.

ANTHONY MUNOZ

Photo by Peter Brouillet/Getty Images

He would prove the left tackle position as integral to modern football, as he came up in a time when throwing passes was just at its beginning, and QB’s would need protection on their blind side of the field. Munoz helped lead the offense into their first ever Super Bowl appearance and earned his Pro-Bowl, All-Pro Honors in that second season of play.

Ed Reed

Edward Earl Reed Jr was drafted to the Baltimore Ravens out of the University of Miami in the 2002 NFL Draft. Reed played eleven seasons with the Ravens and was selected for nine Pro Bowl games. In 2004 he was awarded the honor of “NFL Defensive Player of the Year.”

Ed Reed

Ed Reed of the Baltimore Ravens celebrates with the Vince Lombardi trophy. Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

He holds the record for the two longest interception returns of 106 yards in 2004, and again 107 yards in 2008. His eye for the ball and massive interception numbers earned him the nickname amongst fans of “Ball Hawk.”

Troy Aikman

QB Troy Aikman was drafted out of University of Oklahoma, and UCLA to the Dallas Cowboys in 1989 as the overall number one draft pick. He would need to prove himself though since his first two seasons entailed more interceptions thrown than touchdowns.

Troy Aikman

Photo by Sporting News via Getty Images

That he did, as the Cowboys under his leadership would go on to win two different Superbowl’s against the Buffalo Bills and the Pittsburgh Steelers. After retiring in 2001, Aikman went on to become a television football analyst, and in 2006 was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

LADAINIAN TOMLINSON

Heisman Trophy winner Ladainian Tomlinson was drafted out of Texas Christian University, (TCU) in 2001 by the San Diego Chargers as a fifth overall draft pick. Tomlinson was considered to be a small-sized running back.

LADAINIAN TOMLINSON

Photo by Robert B. Stanton/NFLPhotoLibrary/Getty images

He would make up for his size with insane speed, and hard-nosed running style. He was the first running back in the NFL to ever rush 1,000 yards, and catch 100 passes in one season. Despite being declared the NFL MVP in his 2006 season, Ladainian Tomlinson would never see himself with a Super Bowl to his name. But his stats spoke for themselves, and he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2017.

ROD WOODSON

“Why set a mediocre goal, and if you reach it, you’re nowhere? Some people say, ‘only set a realistic goal.’ But how do you know what’s realistic and what’s not? Until you try to attain it, you’ll never know. If you can’t dream and hope, I don’t know why you’re here.”

ROD WOODSON

Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images

Rod Woodson was known to be a versatile football player both as a cornerback and a kick returner. In his time with the Steelers Woodson accumulated 71 interceptions, with 1,483 yards in interception returns. He went on to be selected for 11 Pro Bowl Appearances.

SAMMY BAUGH

In the 1940s football was a bit different. Some players in the NFL would sometimes play more than one position. Not many would be as successful in the multiple roles as was Sammy Baugh. Baugh was the ultimate multi-tasker.

SAMMY BAUGH

Photo by Getty Images

After playing for Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, he was signed to play both passing roles as well as punting, and playing defensive back for the team. But he didn’t stop there! Baugh also played two years of minor league baseball for the St. Louis Cardinals as a shortstop. Sammy went on to play in four different NFL Championships, and then coach for the NY Titans, and the Houston Oilers.

Nick Foles

Nick Foles turned from a shadowed back up QB to being the biggest thing to happen to the city of Philadelphia since the declaration of independence. Foles started out as a backup for the team in the early millennium and would later start as the teams QB after the exit of Donavan McNabb.

Nick Foles

Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

He had brought the team once to the postseason, and then with the departure of longtime coach Andy Reed quickly was replaced and shuffled around other teams for some time. After getting a call regarding Foles from Reed, Eagles head coach Dough Peterson brought Nick back as the second string QB. The Eagles had a spectacular season that looked almost doomed when QB Carson Wentz got injured before the postseason. It was up to Nick to bring the Eagles to the end, and that he did.

DREW BREES

Drew Brees is one of the most feared if not the most feared quarterback in the modern NFL, but his career did not start with that reputation. The Heisman Trophy winner was picked out of Perdue University to play for the San Diego Chargers in 2001. In 2005 after a severe shoulder injury the Chargers decided to sign Brees for a long-term contract.

DREW BREES

Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

In light of that decision, Drew Brees signed as a free agent to the New Orleans Saints, and lead the franchise to multiple Super Bowl appearances and even a Super Bowl win against the Cults in 2009. That season saw the team winning an unheard of 13-0 season.

Bronko Nagurski

Bronko Nagurski was picked out of University of Minnesota to play for the Chicago Bears in 1930. The powerhouse fullback would prove integral in helping the Bears win their NFL Championships both in 1932, and 1933.

Bronko Nagurski

Photo by Getty Images

Bronko’s skill as a rusher, passer, and blocker was undisputed, but a dispute in salary would see him take a break from the NFL and move to wrestling from 1937 to 1942. In 1943 Nagurski moved back to the Bears due to the NFL’s shortage in manpower during WW2. He played a single season with the team that led them to another championship that year, only to move back to wrestling soon after.

AARON RODGERS

Aaron Rodgers was picked up after a grueling wait in the 2005 NFL draft by the Green Bay Packers and would spend the beginning of his Career learning from the best as the backup quarterback for Brett Favre.

AARON RODGERS

Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

In his first two years with the Packers, the USC star had only played seven games! In 2008 Rodgers would become the starting QB for the team, and that year he led the Packers to a conference championship against the Packers, and a Super Bowl wins victory against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

STEVE YOUNG

Steve Young is known to be one of the highest paid football players of all time. Surprisingly his high pay was not wholly due to his great attributes in football. Despite being a first-round draft pick for the Bengals out of Brigham Young University.

STEVE YOUNG

Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

Young took a 40-million-dollar contract with the Los Angeles Express of the short-lived United States Football League. He had spent two seasons in the USFL, and in 1985, moved his commitment to the NFL to play for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and then to the 49ers where he would lead the Franchise to their 1995 Super Bowl XXIX victory against the San Diego Chargers.

John Hannah

In his heyday, John Hannah was a notable multisport athlete. He wasn’t just a high school football star. In 1967 Hannah won the National Heavyweight Prep Wrestling Championship. He then went on to spend three seasons playing linebacker in college football and was drafted fourth out of the University of Alabama in 1973.

John Hannah

Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images

The Patriots knew they had a monster in their hands and without flinching put him on the starting lineup. During his career with the Pats, Hannah spearheaded the defense that led New England to their first Super Bowl Appearance in 1986, and in 1991 was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

JACK LAMBERT

Jack Lambert played as a linebacker for Kent State and won two All-Mid-American Conference linebacker honors during his time with the team.

JACK LAMBERT

Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images

In 1974 he was the Steelers second-round draft pick, this being despite the fact that many scouts and coaches claimed that he was too small for a successful NFL career. He would later be awarded “Rookie of the Year,” and was an integral piece of the defensive gridiron that won the Steelers their first super bowl against the Vikings (Super Bowl IX.)

DAN MARINO

Dan Marino is the human definition of what it means to not judge a book by its cover. His career started great, he was considered to be an All-American quarterback in high school and did very well for most of his career in college football (University of Pittsburgh.)

DAN MARINO

Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images

Despite his great gameplay, Marino seemed to have peaked too high, and his senior year of college football to his standards was not too great thus keeping him a first-round draft pick, but to no interest to any NFL team other than the Miami Dolphins. Marino would go on to break passing records in Miami that would only be broken later on by Brett Favre.

MEL BLOUNT

Mel Blount was picked up out of Southern University in 1970 by the Pittsburg Steelers. Blount was known as the prototype cornerback of the era and was a big reason for the Steelers dominance in the NFL’s 1970s seasons.

MEL BLOUNT

Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images

The 3rd round draft pick was proven a vital player who had unique coverage, and even had a rule named after him for harassment of a receiver after his playstyle got him up the ranks to reach unheard of 57 career interceptions! The rule change is called, the Mel Blount Rule.

JOHN ELWAY

After a short stint with the MLB, Elway insisted attending Stanford University on a football scholarship as a QB and was chosen to play for the Baltimore Colts in 1983 as the number one draft pick, but he was not interested in playing for the losing team and insisted being traded to a different one.

JOHN ELWAY

Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images

He was dealt the card of playing for the Denver Broncos where he would spend his entire 16-year career in the NFL. After leading the team in a 98-yard drive to tie the game against the Browns in the 1986 AFC Championship, he became known by fans as “The Drive.”

DON HUTSON

Huston was picked up from University of Alabama by Green Bay in 1935 and played with the team until 1945. He led the league in scoring for five seasons in a row from 1940 to 1944.

DON HUTSON

Photo by Getty Images

He also led the NFL in touchdowns, pass receptions, and in yards gained by pass receptions throughout his career. 1942 would by far be his best season as he broke past NFL records by catching 74 passes for 1,211 yards and scoring 17 touchdowns.

ROGER STAUBACH

Roger Staubach played on a scholarship from the U.S. Naval Academy from 1962-65 and then went on to serve in the US Navy from 1965-69. Staubach began a career in the NFL with the Dallas Cowboys in 1969 and lead the league in passer rating for four years straight.

ROGER STAUBACH

Dallas Cowboys’ Roger Staubach throwing the football during Super Bowl game against the Denver Broncos in New Orleans. Photo by Getty Images

In one of his great seasons, Staubach led the Cowboys to 14 straight comeback wins. The final two minutes of the game, they were either tied or losing, earning him the name, “Captain Comeback.”

ERIC DICKERSON

In 1983 Dickerson was drafted into the NFL out of Southern Methodist University to the Los Angeles Rams as the second overall pick. On his rookie year alone, Eric Dickerson earned the All-Pro and Offensive Rookie of the Year award.

ERIC DICKERSON

Eric Dickerson of the Los Angeles Rams circa 1987 rushes against the Chicago Bears at Anaheim Stadium in Anaheim, California. Photo by Owen C. Shaw/Getty Images

Dickerson led the NFL in rushing from 1986 all the way to 1988 where he was then playing for the Indianapolis Colts after being traded in the mid 87 seasons. In 1999 Dickerson was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

DICK BUTKUS

In 1965, both the Chicago Bears and the Denver Broncos fought to the death to try and get Heisman Trophy winner Dick Butkus on their team as a first-round draft pick from both of them. Being as that Dick grew up in Chicago, he obviously chose to stick with his home team to play the game.

DICK BUTKUS

Photo by Getty Images

In only his first year with the bears, Butkus intercepted 5 passes, just to go on to lead the team in talks for eight consecutive seasons. Butkus’s career was shortened due to injuries, but during his time with the bears, he accumulated a whopping 1,020 tackles, 22 interceptions, and 27 fumble recovery’s!

RAY LEWIS

In the 1996 NFL draft, the Baltimore Ravens picked Ray Lewis as the 26th overall pick for the team. By the following year, he would lead the league in tackles and play his first Pro Bowl after only playing his rookie season.

RAY LEWIS

Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images

In 2001 Lewis was named the NFL Defensive Player of the Year after leading the Ravens to their first Superbowl win in franchise history after beating the NY Giants in blow-out 34 – 7 victory. He was soon after named the game’s Most Valuable Player.

RONNIE LOTT

Ronnie Lott was selected as the eighth overall draft pick out of University of Southern California by the 49ers in 1981.

RONNIE LOTT

Photo by Rob Brown/Getty Images

At San Francisco he shifted from safety to cornerback, he helped spearhead the 49ers in their first Superbowl win, and then again joining the team for another Championship win in 1985 after a 15-1 season. During the 1985 season Lott mad history after breaking his finger after a tackle, choosing to have it amputated as not to miss a game of the season.

RANDY MOSS

Randy Moss was drafted only 21st overall out of Marshall University in the 1998 NFL Draft, being picked up by the Minnesota Vikings, out of concerns of his character after failing a college substance abuse test in his early college football career.

RANDY MOSS

Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images

Moss set an NFL rookie record of 17 receiving touchdowns and was named NFL Offensive Rookie of the year. He would begin that first season as part of the Minnesota team to set the record for most points scored in NFL history accompanied by a 15-1 record.

BRETT FAVRE

Another clear top of the list pick is the household name, QB Brett Favre. In 1991 he would be drafted out of University of Southern Mississippi by the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons would later rue the decision of trading him to the Green Bay Packers shortly after.

BRETT FAVRE

Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

He started out as the secondary QB and in 1992 replaced his injured starting QB and proved himself perfect for the starting position. In the 1996 season, Favre led the Packers to Superbowl victory against the New England Patriots.

EMMITT SMITH

Emmitt Smith was selected as a first-round draft pick out of University of Florida in 1990 by the Dallas Cowboys. He would quickly establish himself as one of the league’s premier running backs being named Offensive Rookie of the Year the same year.

EMMITT SMITH

Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images

Smith played with greats like Troy Aikman and Michael Irvin helping lead the Dallas offense win two consecutive Super Bowls against the Buffalo Bills in 1993 and 1994. He was then named NFL’s most valuable player at the time and even went on to earn another Superbowl ring in 1996.

OTTO GRAHAM

Otto Graham began his career in professional football, in 1946 playing for the Cleveland Browns as their starting QB. He led the league in passing yards for six consecutive seasons, and 7 touchdowns all together in the 1950 NFL Championship game and the 1954 Championship game.

OTTO GRAHAM

Photo by Vic Stein/Getty Image

At the time his yardage per pass of more than 8.6 passing yards was still an NFL record, as well as his 10.55 yards per pass in 1955 ultimately locking him in place at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1965.

REGGIE WHITE

Reggie White was one of the few NFL players to sue the league for violating antitrust laws helping institute the first year of full free agency in NFL history. That year White was the most sought-after player on the market.

REGGIE WHITE

Photo by John Biever/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

He ultimately settled down with the Green Bay Packers leading them to their first Superbowl in 29 years in 1997. He went on after retirement to be an ordained Baptist minister, and earned the nickname “Minister of Defense.” In 2006 Reggie was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

BARRY SANDERS

In 1989 Barry Sanders’s University OSU was put on probation, forcing Sanders to declare himself eligible for the professional draft. He would be selected by the Detroit Lions as the third overall draft pick.

BARRY SANDERS

Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images

Sanders had begun his career as a juggernaut running back with more than 1,000 rushing yards for ten seasons in a row! That’s not the only record he held the record in four consecutive seasons for being the only player to reach 1500 yards, and in 1997, he was the single third back to rush more than 2,000 yards in one season.

LAWRENCE TAYLOR

Taylor entered the NFL draft in 1981 and was the second draft pick selected by the NY Giants. By the end of his first season, Taylor had already accumulated 9.5 QB sacks and had earned a reputation of being a vicious hitter when he tackled.

LAWRENCE TAYLOR

Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images

In 1986 he led the league with 20.5 sacks, and lead the Giants to Superbowl victory over the Denver Broncos. He would then go on to win a second Championship against the Bills in Super Bowl XXV 1991.

JOHNNY UNITAS

Jonny Unitas jumped through quite the hurdles before being able to shine in the NFL finally. Despite excelling in the sport back in St. Justin’s High School in Pittsburgh, he was denied a scholarship to play for the University of Notre Dame due to his small size.

JOHNNY UNITAS

Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images

He would eventually be picked up by University of Louisville (Kentucky) becoming their starting QB in his freshman season, he was not really on the NFL radar until being selected and then released before season by the Steelers in 1955, he worked a full time $6 an hour job until he was picked up by then Baltimore Colts in 1956 and was thrust into the position of starting QB in his rookie season. Two years later he would lead the team to their first championship game against the NY Giants. A real rag’s to riches story!

WALTER PAYTON

Walter Payton began his NFL career in 1975 after being drafted by the Chicago Bears. The productive and durable Payton held an unbroken record for leading rusher in the NFL all the way until 2002 being surpassed by Emmitt Smith.

WALTER PAYTON

Photo by Focus On Sport/Getty Images

Payton had played football all the way back in high school and held a successful career at Jackson State University in Mississippi. During his college years, his gentle personality, and graceful, athletic stature earned him the nickname “Sweetness.” He was the tip of the spear in bringing the Bears franchise their first Superbowl ring in their 15-1 season in 1985.

JOE MONTANA

Joe Montana was often referred to as “the Comeback Kid,” led the 1982-1990 San Francisco 49ers to four Superbowl victories. He had the reputation of being able to stay calm in what would look like a sure defeat, and end up coming out on top by the end of the game, earning him his second nicknames, “Comeback Kid,” and “Joe Cool.”

JOE MONTANA

Photo by Gin Ellis/Getty Images

He ranks amongst football’s all-time best quarterbacks with 40,551 passing yards, and 273 touchdown passes. There is no wonder why he was named the Superbowl MVP three times in a row.

PEYTON MANNING

Peyton Manning is for sure an all-American household name! He currently holds two super bowl rings, one from beating the Indianapolis Colts in 2007, and the other with the Denver Broncos in 2016. Before retiring Manning was considered to be one of the most feared quarterbacks to go against in the NFL.

PEYTON MANNING

Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

His prestigious record is not surprising considering his father Archie Manning starred as the quarterback for the Saints, and his younger brother Eli runs the same super bowl count in the same position for the NY Giants.

JOE GREENE

Charles Edward Greene or as you know him as Joe Greene, or “Mean Joe Greene,” was born September 24th, 1946 in Temple, Texas. He was known to be an all-American defensive tackle at North State University back in 1968. One year later he would find himself as the fourth-round draft pick for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

JOE GREENE

Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images

Despite skepticism about his gentle demeanor off-field affecting his performance in the NFL, Greene would soon become crowned as Pittsburgh’s “Steel Curtain,” as he was a pivotal player to the Steelers 1975,1976,1979 and 1980 Superbowl victories.

JIM BROWN

James Nathaniel Brown, born February 17, 1936, St. Simons, Georgia, US was known to have all-around athletic ability across the board. During his time as a student both in high school, and at Syracuse University,

JIM BROWN

Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images

he was said to have excelled both in basketball, baseball, track, and lacrosse. But judging by the fact that he rushed more than 1,000 yards in just seven seasons, and held the record for rushing yards from 1958, all the way to 1973, it’s fair to say he was best at football.

JERRY RICE

Jerry Rice is easily one of the all-time best wide receivers in football history! Rice was the son of a brick mason, and as a child (as legend has it,) his brothers would throw him bricks to catch when they worked for their dad.

JERRY RICE

Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Thus, giving him the most durable, and reliable hands in football. He attended Valley State University on a sports scholarship and earned the All-America honors and set 18 records in division 1-AA College football. He would go on to play for the 49ers joining stars on the team such as Joe Montana, and defensive back Ronnie Lott.

TOM BRADY

Tom Brady is the classic American football story gone right. Brady has had football stitched into his DNA since he was a child. He often talks about attending San Francisco 48ers games and watching the legendary quarterback Joe Montana.

TOM BRADY

Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

Little did he know that there would come a day where he could say he led the people of New England to six Super Bowl Victories from 2002,2004,2005,2015,2017, and again in2019! Brady is tenacious, agile, and the all-time best decision maker in the game, there is a reason they call him the G.O.A.T.