The 100 Greatest Players in Professional Football History 30-21

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The previous ten is here.  NFL Network rolls out the next ten of its list tonight - I get the jump, as I do each week, with the next ten of my list.  I'll edit in their choices for comparison.  80 down, after this, top 20 is all that remains

30.Jim Otto OL 60-74 Raiders
-Ten time first team All-Pro, the greatest center of all time. (NFL Net takes Night Train Lane - already appeared on my list.)

29.Otto Graham QB 46-55 Browns
-Only started 114 games in his regular season career – but went to the title game every single season. (Jack Lambert - already appeared.)

28.John Hannah OL 73-85 Patriots
-The top interior linemen of all time appear in this section. (Emmitt Smith - still to come.)

27.Jack Ham LB 71-82 Steelers
-Until last season, I would have said he was the second greatest inside linebacker of all time – but there are still two to come on this list. (Merlin Olsen - already appeared.)

26.Mel Blount DB 70-83 Steelers
-Here come the warrior defensive backs. (Bob Lilly - already appeared.)

25.Ronnie Lott DB 81-94 Niners
-The best safety who ever lived, really by acclamation – the heart of the five time SB winning defense. Also, he both went to USC and then played for the Niners – doubling down on my fandom. Highest ranked player on the list to whom I’ve actually spoken. (Dan Marino - still to come on my list.)

24.Deacon Jones DL 61-74 Rams
-Matching Lott’s intensity is the ferocity of the greatest Ram of all time. (John Hannah - just a couple of spots ago.  Really, read it again - he's right there.)

23.Joe Greene DL 69-81 Steelers
-The best player from the 70s Steeler dynasty. (John Elway.  Still to come.)

22.Ray Lewis LB 96- Ravens
-His top comp – Lawrence Taylor. Lewis returned from what appeared to be a late career slide to retirement to play again at an extraordinarily high level. Should hit 1500 career tackles. (Gale Sayers - not on my list.)

21.Gene Upshaw OL 67-81 Raiders
-Raiders allowed just 12 sacks in ’68. Someone’s got to be the greatest interior offensive lineman of all time. (Tom Brady - already appeared on my list.  My list is flawed; it's reasonable to look at the totality of the NFL list and say it's better - but it's hard to make a good argument that Brady is better than Marino.)

Back in a week.

80 down.  My picks are first - NFL picks next.

100. Larry Allen (Joe Namath)

99. Tom Mack (Michael Strahan)

98. Ozzie Newsome (Lee Roy Selmon)

97. Steve Van Buren (Derrick Brooks)

96. Michael Strahan (Mel Hein)

95. Norm Van Brocklin (Larry Allen)

94. Donovan McNabb (Lenny Moore)

93. Lance Alworth (Sam Huff)

92. OJ Simpson (Michael Irvin)

91. Lou Groza (Fran Tarkenton)

90. Jack Youngblood (Kurt Warner)

89. Sam Huff (Ernie Nevers)

88. Paul Krause (Ed Reed)

87. Cris Carter (Crazylegs Hirsch)

86. Chris Doleman (Willie Davis)

85. Sammy Baugh (Marcus Allen)

84. Alex Karras (Joe Schmidt)

83. Tony Dorsett (Norm Van Brocklin)

82. Don Maynard (Ted Hendricks)

81. John Brodie (Steve Young)

80. Bobby Layne (Troy Aikman)

79. Gene Hickerson (Emlen Tunnell)

78. Chuck Howley (Bruce Matthews)

77. Michael Irvin (Tony Dorsett)

76. Too Tall Jones (Art Shell)

75. Roger Staubach (Darrell Green)

74. Willie Wood (Marion Motley)

73. Will Shields (Ozzie Newsome)

72. Carl Eller (Jonathan Ogden)

71. Ladainian Tomlinson (Paul Warfield)

70. Curtis Martin (Marshall Faulk)

69. Terrell Owens (Bobby Bell)

68. Len Dawson (Mike Webster)

67. Tom Brady (Kellen Winslow)

66. Mike Haynes (Willie Brown)

65. Ken Houston (Randy Moss)

64. Rickey Jackson (Herb Adderly)

63. Darrell Green (Jim Otto)

62. Mike Webster (Randy White)

61. Forrest Gregg (Ladainian Tomlinson)

60. Harold Jackson (Jack Ham)

59. Tim Brown (Mike Ditka)

58. Night Train Lane (Steve Van Buren)

57. Ken Anderson (Mike Singletary)

56. YA Tittle (Gene Upshaw)

55. Alan Page (Earl Campbell)

54. Thurman Thomas (Forrest Gregg)

53. Howie Long (Willie Lanier)

52. Jack Lambert (Eric Dickerson)

51. Randy Moss (Bart Starr)

50. Joe Perry (Terry Bradshaw)

49. Herb Adderly (Mike Haynes)

48. James Lofton (Red Grange)

47. Bruce Matthews (Ray Nitschke)

46. Derrick Brooks (Roger Staubach)

45. Tony Gonzalez (Tony Gonzalez)

44. Marshall Faulk (Mel Blount)

43. Steve Young (Alan Page)

42. Marcus Allen (John Mackey)

41. Marvin Harrison (Rod Woodson)

40. Eric Dickerson (OJ Simpson)

39. Ted Hendricks (Gino Marchetti)

38. Jackie Slater (Lance Alworth)

37. Randall McDaniel (Jim Thorpe)

36. Randy White (Raymond Berry)

35. Bob Lilly (Chuck Bednarik)

34. Merlin Olsen (Deion Sanders)

33. Mike Singletary (Sid Luckman)

32. Willie Brown (Jim Parker)

31. Steve Largent (Bruce Smith)

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