NFL The Best Football Players Ever  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
692.2k votes 48.6k voters 820.5k views 1,313 items

List Rules Only pro football players. Please vote for the players based on his career accomplishments

One of the hot topics of debate not only among NFL fans but pundits as well is who is the best football player of all time. Fans will also enjoy the best NFL coaches of all time and the best NFL quarterbacks currently in the league. It's a very difficult question to answer and one that can't be answered very easily. Would you rank a quarterback above an offensive lineman, or a defensive end versus a wide receiver? Many of the players on this list have been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, so this is a list of the best of the best.

All time greats like Jim Brown, Jerry Rice, Joe Montana and Lawrence Taylor deserve to be on this list. These players dominated the league when they played, causing chaos on the field, terrorizing opponents, and breaking their fans' hearts. Football fans can agree that regardless of position, the players on this list should be considered among the best football players ever. These players' stats and overall influence on the way the game was played factor into why they're considered the best.

Vote for the football player you consider to be the greatest of all time. It's not an easy choice and you pretty much can't go wrong with any of these superstar players. There's a reason why they're considered the best football players ever and this your chance to choose who is the best of the best.

1
15,808 7,695
Jerry Rice is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Jerry Rice Wide receiver

2
12,873 7,538
Joe Montana is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Joe Montana Quarterback

3
12,813 6,494
Walter Payton is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Walter Payton Running back

4
12,735 5,549
Barry Sanders is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Barry Sanders Running back

5
9,580 5,514
Jim Brown is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Jim Brown Running back, Fullback

6
14,865 8,691
Tom Brady is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Tom Brady Quarterback

7
7,660 4,345
Reggie White is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Reggie White Defensive tackle, Defensive end

8
10,253 4,773
Lawrence Taylor is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Lawrence Taylor Linebacker

9
10,629 7,154
Peyton Manning is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Peyton Manning Quarterback

10
6,708 3,987
Dan Marino is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Dan Marino Quarterback

11
5,615 2,426
Joe Greene is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Joe Greene Defensive Tackle

12
6,499 3,812
John Elway is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
John Elway Quarterback

13
5,369 2,849
Dick Butkus is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Dick Butkus Linebacker, Center

14
4,987 2,446
Ronnie Lott is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Ronnie Lott Cornerback, Safety, Defensive back

Child Actors Who Tragically Died Young

15
6,788 2,851
Randy Moss is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Randy Moss Wide receiver

16
4,586 2,853
Johnny Unitas is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Johnny Unitas Quarterback

17
3,863 2,231
Eric Dickerson is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Eric Dickerson Running back

18
8,559 3,754
Deion Sanders is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Deion Sanders Cornerback, Punt returner, Kickoff returner

19
6,891 3,679
Brett Favre is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Brett Favre Quarterback

20
6,920 3,574
Ray Lewis is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Ray Lewis Linebacker

21
6,828 3,236
Emmitt Smith is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Emmitt Smith Running back

The Best Wide Receivers of All Time

22
4,948 2,687
Steve Young is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Steve Young Quarterback

23
3,448 1,828
LaDainian Tomlinson is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
LaDainian Tomlinson Running back

24
6,752 2,189
Bo Jackson is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Bo Jackson Running back

25
2,992 1,980
Deacon Jones is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Deacon Jones Defensive end

26
2,646 1,894
Otto Graham is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Otto Graham Quarterback

27
3,900 2,112
Marshall Faulk is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Marshall Faulk Running back

28
2,267 1,445
Dick Lane is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Dick Lane Cornerback

The Greatest Defensive Tackles of All Time

29
3,122 1,943
Bart Starr is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Bart Starr Quarterback

30
1,650 1,182
Terrell Owens is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Terrell Owens Wide receiver

31
5,150 2,844
J. J. Watt is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
J. J. Watt Defensive end

32
4,096 1,999
Calvin Johnson is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Calvin Johnson Wide receiver

33
3,085 1,736
Earl Campbell is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Earl Campbell Running back

34
1,749 1,374
Sammy Baugh is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Sammy Baugh Punter, Quarterback, Defensive back

35
3,144 1,903
Jack Lambert is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Jack Lambert Linebacker

The Best Cruise Lines

36
2,432 1,633
Bruce Smith is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Bruce Smith Defensive end

37
2,251 1,651
Mike Singletary is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Mike Singletary Linebacker

38
4,323 2,213
Aaron Rodgers is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Aaron Rodgers Quarterback

39
3,233 1,439
Larry Fitzgerald is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Larry Fitzgerald Wide receiver

40
4,288 2,566
Adrian Peterson is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Adrian Peterson Running back

41
3,493 1,686
Drew Brees is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Drew Brees Quarterback

42
2,885 1,209
Charles Woodson is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Charles Woodson Cornerback, Return specialist, Safety

The Best Movies for Athletes to Watch

43
2,580 1,480
Ed Reed is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Ed Reed Free Safety

44
872 601
Brian Dawkins is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Brian Dawkins Safety

45
3,452 2,145
Tony Gonzalez is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Tony Gonzalez Tight end

46
2,896 1,737
Roger Staubach is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Roger Staubach Quarterback

47
1,696 848
Jim Thorpe is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Jim Thorpe Running back, Punter, Placekicker

48
3,462 2,162
Terry Bradshaw is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Terry Bradshaw Quarterback

49
1,085 1,086
Don Hutson is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Don Hutson End, Safety, Wide receiver

50
1,889 1,977
O. J. Simpson is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
O. J. Simpson Running back