Greatest NFL Players of All Time

The Top Ten

1 Jerry Rice Jerry Rice Jerry Lee Rice is a former American football wide receiver who played 20 seasons in the National Football League, primarily with the San Francisco 49ers.

He owned every major receiving record when he retired, and don't forget that wasn't to long ago. He may be the reason for Joe Montana, Bill Walsh, Steve Young and the 49ers success. You could put Rice up against any cornerback in the history of the NFL and he'd still catch 2 touchdowns in that game.

This man is beyond compare to cris carter, randy moss, Michael irvin and any other receiver great. It doesn't matter even if deion sanders or ronnie lott covered him, unstoppable

At the end of the day, Jerry Rice is the best because of what matters most: having a good work ethic. Jerry Rice always wanted to be great, and he always worked super hard. Best player ever. (I'm a Pats fan, okay? )

Won 1 super bowl and is oviously the best

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2 Tom Brady Tom Brady ...read more.

Think about this for a second... 4 Super Bowl wins, 6 AFC championships, 2 mvp awards, and most playoff wins by any quarterback in NFL history. Plus, he was a very late draft pick that nobody ever thought could make it in the NFL. Joe Montana won super bowls with weapons like Jerry Rice, Jon Taylor, Dwight Clark, Roger Craig, and Brent Jones. Yes Tom Brady did have Randy Moss and Deion Branch, but he's still own a couple of Super Bowls and plenty of games without a lot of good quality receiving targets. Plus, he set a NFL record in 2007 with 50 touchdown passes(which was broken by Peyton Manning who is lower than Brady on this list.) Tom Brady takes the blame for team losses, calls him own plays and audibles, and probably had the best chemistry with an NFL coach with Bill Belichick. All in all, Tom Brady is the best quarterback in NFL history.

If you think about a guy who got barely got any practice all year then this guy drafted 199th overall comes out and backs up a pretty good franchise quarterback and takes his team to the Superbowl. Another point though that has to be considered is that his team can play well without him unlike the colts who were horrible without Peyton Manning the patriots went 11-5 without Brady an important aspect to consider when your ranking Brady. But Brady is obviously the key player on the pats

After mounting the greatest comeback in postseason history against the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI, Brady claimed his 5th Ring and 4th Super Bowl MVP Award, both more than Joe Montana, the loads of records he has set on his way to get where he is now only continue to bring him higher up in the ranks and strengthen his already bold legacy, so many records that I won't even bother to list them all. He has now cemented himself as the greatest quarterback of all time, better than Montana. His stats don't lie, Tom Brady is the GOAT.

The only stat you've decided to back up was the Super Bowls. I'm not here to bash Brady, but I will say this only once: Super Bowls are a team effort, and are not won or lost by a single player. - DH5435

Though I HaTE Tom Brady and the Patriots, I gonna say he is a pretty darn good nfl player. So yeah..keep going I guess...

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3 Joe Montana Joe Montana Joseph Clifford "Joe" Montana, Jr., nicknamed Joe Cool and The Comeback Kid, is a retired American football quarterback.

"The Comeback Kid" -- JOE COOL is the coolest quarterback ever! Just take a look at all of his SUPER BOWL rings; plus all of 'em MVP awards! Yep. All of 'em rings don't lie... agreed? Indeed, Joe was so awesome that throughout his career, he was the most LETHAL quarterback ever, inside of the 4th quarter; especially when his team was down, with only minutes or seconds on the clock... and that's when he would create his "magic"... and score all of 'em legendary game winning touchdown passes, when he was under extreme pressure -- and that's what makes him LEGENDARY... indeed, sometimes it seemed that TIME would stop, just for him... and while everybody was frozen in time, he would take his time and then -- BOOM! Touchdown Baby! "And the Niners win another SuperBowl"... was the typical comment for FOUR of 'em Big Games... just take a look at the highlights of one of his biggest games ever -- Super Bowl 23... it was so memorable... that today, his last play is simply known as... "THE ...more

He is that guy you always saw in movies or in books who would make a comeback in the final seconds of the championship, well they were all fake, except Joe Cool. He was so calm, when anyone else was about to run away. Did you ever think he could do what he did against the Bengals in the Super Bowl?

To the moron that stated that Montana shouldn't even be in the top 100- he's the greatest quarterback ever at the hardest position to play in sports-Brady is a close 2.. So how is he not in you're top 100? Let alone top 5.. You are a moron

He 's a wonderful quaterback never loss in super blow

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4 Barry Sanders Barry Sanders Barry Sanders is a former American football running back who spent his entire professional career with the Detroit Lions of the National Football League.

BARRY SANDERS was unbelievable... he was amazing... he was incredible... and his flawless plays were BREATHTAKING... like a musical piece... every single play was a work of art -- a MASTERPIECE! Indeed, I was NOT a Lions fan... I was NEVER a Lions fan (i'm a lifelong 49ers fan)... but nonetheless, me and my friends would always get together, turn on the T.V. and 'em speakers, fire up the grill, and enjoy a few beers with the BBQ... all of this, while watching the GREAT ONE do his thing! Yep. We would only get together to WATCH Barry Sanders play! NOT the Lions -- Barry Sanders! That's it! And we would NEVER miss a game! It was like watching a Michael Jordan not on the basketball courts, but instead on the green NFL fields... indeed, Barry Sanders was untouchable, unstoppable... just like Michael Jordan... LEGENDARY... and he would create moves that just do NOT exist, because they are NOT humanly possible! He would still make these unforgettable plays... he was so damn fast and so damn ...more

Watching him run almost brought a tear to your eye it was so beautiful - aman28

He has to make the list. He's been on two Madden Covers, and ran like a maniac. Why Sanders retired is beyond me, he hit 2,000 yards in a single season he's done more than respectable things and I just can't let the guy miss this list.

1 word MVP

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5 Walter Payton Walter Payton Walter Jerry Payton was an American football running back who played for the Chicago Bears of the National Football League for thirteen seasons.

Payton gets overlooked because of the Bears great defense. But for those of us that had the privilege of watching Walter Payton in the mid 70's & early 80's -- Trust me - the Bears did not have a great defense until the end of his career. In 1982 the NFL went on strike -- Payton would have rushed for over 1,000 yards 10 consecutive seasons if the strike did not happen -- (Barry Sanders rushed for 1,000 yards 10 consecutive seasons) -- Another fact many do not get is Walter Payton played 3 of his NFL seasons when the NFL only played 14 games -- He rushed for 1,852 yards in 1977 - a 14 game season - imagine if he had 2 more games like today's players have? At the pace he had in 1977 (132 yds per game) he would have had 2,117 yds in a 16 game season -- Yes, Emmitt Smith broke his all time rushing record -- Only because Smith played 15 seasons (Payton Played 13 Seasons) and Smith carried the ball 4,409 times - Payton 3,838 times -- Payton is the best football player/running back I have ...more

This boy is absolutely positively the best. Better than jim brown and brett farve and joe montana and barry sanders and tom brady way, way, way, way better than jerry rice and all these other people. They are good but sweetness is the best.

He was everything you could want in a runningback, he was fast, he could break a tackle, he could catch, he could block. One game when they were facing the Packers the Bear were behind 9-10 with only little time left, they gave the ball to Payton, and Payton did what he did, he hit Brian Noble(which Noble later said was the hardest hit he'd ever felt)got knocked back a few yards and ran it in for the TD.

SWEETNESS best ever

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6 Lawrence Taylor Lawrence Taylor

He just dominated, he gave huge, fierce hits. He was a defender, and was named NFL MVP in 1986. Nobody has done it since, tell me that isn't something! He was a sack machine. The NFL has never seen a defender like him, and probably never will again.

Without a doubt the best Defensive player ever. He was insane! Quarter backs feared him, literally people would get interviewed before the game they were playing against taylor the players would say "he is the scariest player I've played against" - RPD6478

Best defensive player no doubt. Shaped how we run defensive plays now.

Incredible player. Double and triple coverage. He played with a broken leg..television announcers drooled over him. Other teams game plan was LT.

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7 Jim Brown Jim Brown

Jim Brown not only did it in lesser games & put up with the days of the 50s & 60s. Defenses designed to stop only him, he was a speaker for people who had no voice! He also quit in his prime.

Jim Brown is arguably the best running back of all time and I say he is, definitely is the best Browns player of all time and always will but on an unrelated note Tom Brady is good but not that good.

Tom Brady. The guy who won 4 SBs. The guy who was drafted with the 199th pick in the sixth round. The guy who has more playoff wins than most NFL franchises. The guy that had receivers nobody can name. Who is Aaron Dobson? The guy that had over 50,000 passing yards in his career. The guy that Peyton Manning struggled to beat. And he's not a good quarterback? #Really? - Danmarino4

I can't believe anyone other than casual, uneducated fans could vote for anyone else. I've been a fan of the game, a serious fan, since 1968, I didn't get to see him live but its not even close.

So dominant that he would be the greatest regardless of era.

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8 Peyton Manning Peyton Manning Peyton Williams Manning is a former American football quarterback who played 18 seasons in the National Football League.

Why is Peyton Manning only number 9 on this list. A better leader then Randy Moss, Brett Farve, Jim Brown, Walter Payton, and Barry Sanders.Peyton is a better leader then Brady, but if that's not enough to pass up him on this list then here are some more Manning has a better passer rating then Brady Manning has 65.2% Brady has 63.7%; Manning 1 Brady 0.has 2nd most completions with 450 and the most Brady had in a season was 401;Manning 2 Brady 0.Has 2nd most completions in a single-season playoff with 97 behind his brother 106.Brady Does have more completions in a playoff career with 553, but Manning is the 3rd highest with 481.Manning 3 Brady 1.Manning has more completions in a single game with 33 Brady 32;Manning 4 Brady 1.Brady has just one more touchdowns with 50;Manning 4 Brady 2.Manning has more passing touchdown in a career with 436 Brady has 334;Manning 5 Brady 3.Manning more single-season playoff season with 9 Brady has 8.Manning 6 Brady 2. Brady has more career playoffs ...more

So, Peyton does only have 1 "ring". But that is a team accomplishment, if we are talking about individual, then I have another R word... RECORDS. Peyton has more records than any other player, more MVP's, took two different teams to the Super Bowl. Tom Brady is good, no doubt, but he is also the recipient of great play from teammates and unbelievable coaching. New England has a system that's second to none. Indianapolis went 2-14 without Manning, New England went 11-5 without Brady. Nothing against Brady, but Manning has done way more from an individual stand point. Also, with the ring talk, that is a dumb argument. Peyton only has one, so does Bernie Kosar. He was Troy Aikman's backup in Dallas when they won it. If rings are all that determine a player's greatness, then Peyton is no better than Bernie Kosar, right? Sorry Bernie, and I'm a Browns fan (WOOF WOOF), but I would take Peyton any day over Kosar. Rings are great, but it determines the greatness of a team, not players. - FONZIEjacket61

He is better than Tom Brady and here is why. Tom Brady may have 3 super bowl rings but that's only because he has played for a great team. Peyton Manning has played for a decent team his whole carrier. It's actually amazing that Peyton even has 1 super bowl ring. - letdot52

He's just good! - ChurroKidd_YT

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9 Brett Favre Brett Favre Brett Lorenzo Favre is a former American football quarterback who spent the majority of his career with the Green Bay Packers of the National Football League.

he's the greatest... look at all the records and super bowl ring - jwileson

Let's see his records... Longest pass in super bowl history (99 yards) Super Bowl MVP. Oldest quarterback ever in his 40s and was running until 2014

Brett should be number one. Too bad he might retire.

#number1

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10 Reggie White Reggie White

He was a machine, he was just unstoppable, he could probably get around anybody, Anthony Munoz, John Hannah anybody. It would be mortifying to see Reggie White looking at you across the line of scrimmage. There would be no use in trying to block the destructive, Reggie White.

Reggie White should be number 7. He should at least make the top Ten. Also, where are Ray Lewis and Tony Gonzalez? For me Lewis is 2 and Gonzalez is 5.

He was number one in the national football league

Best defensive player ever

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The Contenders

11 Johnny Unitas Johnny Unitas John Constantine Unitas, nicknamed "Johnny U", or "The Golden Arm", was an American professional football player from the 1950s through the 1970s.

Johnny U. Was amazing. If you look at his stats you'd never guess he was though. Pass-interference wasn't invented(my proof, it's called the Mel Blount rule)and very few penalties against the defense was. There were no doubters that Unitas would make the Hall of Fame.

John Mackey got his records with Johnny U as his qb

12 Randy Moss Randy Moss Randy Gene Moss is a former American football wide receiver who played 14 seasons in the National Football League.

Moss carried the Vikings, and they should have won multiple championships. - CDShark

Only shadowing Jerry Rice in the receiver category, Rice himself said that Moss had the most talent out of any receiver to ever play the game.

Randy Moss is not even top 50. My top 10: 10. Darrell Greene. 9. Deacon Jones. 8. Ronnie Lott. 7. Reggie White. 6. Barry Sanders. 5. Tony Gonzalez. 4. Walter Payton. 3 Joe Montana. 2 Ray Lewis. 1 Jerry Rice. Jerry Rice is a no brainier. I barely chose Ray Lewis in front of Montana.

hell yeah

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13 Adrian Peterson Adrian Peterson Adrian Lewis Peterson is an American football running back for the Minnesota Vikings of the National Football League.

After tearing his ACL he has one of the most historic seasons of all time and wins MVP that is something that will never happen

Guys, he used child abuse. It's just stupid. - funnysoccerdude11

He is the largest of them all

He is great

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14 Ray Lewis Ray Lewis Raymond Anthony Lewis Jr. is a former American football linebacker who played his entire 17-year career for the Baltimore Ravens of the National Football League.

Best heart of all time. Greatest leader of all-time. Best defensive player of all time. Ray Lewis. 2 time champion.

Not only do I think that he is the best LB of all time but I think he is the 2nd best player EVER behind Jerry Rice. He was awesome. Huge impact on the game.

Greatest defensive end of all time, an absolute monster all around.

This man is unstoppable

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15 Deion Sanders Deion Sanders Deion Luywnn Sanders, Sr. is a former American football and former American baseball player, who works as an analyst for CBS Sports and the NFL Network.

He's a very good corner back no doubt but I think Richard Sherman should be above him not only did he play the NFC championship with excruciating pain in his hand he actually played well. He made an unbelievable clutch interception against san fran he has that really cool swag and athleticism that just can't be taught. Richard Sherman is better look at the numbers even he said that

Best cornerback ever (even though I live in Arlington Texas

Greatest corner ever best athlete

I was watching a football life on this guy a my mom said deion sanders primetime and she said she went to collage with him

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16 Dick Butkus

Roses are red, violets are blue, you better keep Butkus away from you. If you've seen him, you've seen players laying on the ground dead. He was the hardest hitter in the history of the game, period. More players would be in the Medical facility after facing the Bears with Butkus on their team than anywhere else.

He is awesome, he should be higher in the ranks and he schooled everybody on defense.

For me he is around number 36.

cool name

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17 Calvin Johnson Calvin Johnson Calvin Johnson Jr. is a retired American football wide receiver who played his entire career for the Detroit Lions of the National Football League. He is often called the nickname ''Megatron'' for his rare combination of size, speed, and leaping ability on the field.

Speed, size, strength, catching, and jumping. Not only is this receiver good, he is amazing! Not only is he the best player at wide receiver today, but he is also one of the best players today and ever.

He's got the works. Quickness agility everything. Let's go MEGATRON

Hell no what Lott Rodger Craig Calvin all you young kids

So Good!

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18 Michael Irvin Michael Irvin

Just because he was on your favorite team doesn't mean that team is the greatest team of all time and the player is also the greatest. Jim Brown was arguably the greatest running back of all time and he played on a crappy team. - RPD6478

He is one of the best player of all time because he was on the Dallas Cowboys and the Dallas Cowboys are the best team of all time

Totally overrated. Way to high. Should not be top 50.

your wrong

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19 Larry Fitzgerald Larry Fitzgerald Larry Darnell Fitzgerald Jr. is an American football wide receiver for the Arizona Cardinals of the National Football League. Fitzgerald was drafted 3rd overall to the Arizona Cardinals in 2004, he is considered to be one of the best players of his position to never win a Super Bowl.

Most consistent hands ever, tall, extremely athletic, was blazing fast in his prime, and played the game like no other. When Larry Fitzgerald changed positions into more of an inside receiver instead of a wing player because of his age and the decrease of speed, he still remained as on of the best receivers in the league. The only thing that he lacks (as well as the Cardinals) is a super bowl ring.

Best Wide Receiver for the Arizona Cardinals, and was very good in their Super Bowl match against PittsBurgh. He is definitely one of the greatest players of today, deserves a spot in the top 10.

Definitely should be in the top 10, he always catches the ball and he is an amazing Wide Receiver, he got Arizona through to the Super Bowl!

Larry is way better than Megatron.

V 17 Comments
20 Steve Young

Steve Young started his NFL career too late otherwise he might have been the greatest player of all time. his 7 year span from 1992-1998 was incredible. Such a fun player to watch. He was basically as accurate as any quarterback there had even been and then you add in that he was one of the best running quarterbacks as well. Amazing!

One of the best QBs of all time.

Great QB

Heez a preetty cool mormon maybe I should be a mormon so I can be great and have a better chance of making the nfl

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