The Hall of Fame is filled with some of the greatest names that have ever played in the National Football League. Many of us got to see these players in person or hear stories of them from our parents.
With a new crop of potential all-star players coming in the next decade, with names like Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers leading the way, now is the time to look back at the greatest of all time.
#1. Jim Brown
He might’ve retired at the peak of his career, but that doesn’t change the influence that he had on the game. When Jim Brown played, the NFL only played a 12-game schedule. He played for nine seasons. He’s still in the Top 10 all-time rushing list. Enough said.
#2. Jerry Rice
Some might say that the numbers are what make Jerry Rice a great player. Others might say that it is his work ethic. He always made the great catches, even if the game seemed meaningless, because he had a passion for the game.
#3. Joe Montana
This fellow has plenty of critics who say that he wouldn’t have been successful if it weren’t for the offensive system in San Francisco. You must still execute a system to be successful. Count the championship rings on Joe Montana’s fingers, and then try to argue that he isn’t one of the greatest of all time.
#4. Walter Payton
Most of the teams that this running back played on during the Chicago Bears era were terrible. He only missed one start during his entire career. He could rip through the line, make a deft cut, or power up-and-over for difficult yards. He finished every run he was given, which is arguably more memorable than the 1985 Super Bowl run he got to enjoy.
#5. Dick Butkus
The Chicago Bears get another player on this list because Butkus was the epitome of what the NFL stood for during his era. He hustled. He was never afraid of making contact with the ball carrier. Seeing him on the other side of the line created an intimidation factor like none other. This man taught multiple generations the right way to play this sport.
#6. Reggie White
White was a relentless rusher who dominated offensive lines during the late 1980s and early 1990s. His statistics would be even higher if he didn’t spend the first part of his career in the USFL with Memphis. He was also dominant against the run, plugging holes faster than running backs could slip through them. It’s no wonder that his style is copied so often today.
#7. Johnny Unitas
Unitas was the “everyday” guy who was playing professional football. He didn’t have the strongest arm in the league. His scrambling ability was sometimes questionable. Yet he could manage the final two minutes of a game better than anyone else. His ability to read a defense was also second-to-none.
Which players in NFL history do you believe should make the list of being the greatest of all time?