NFL The Best Football Players Ever  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
729.5k votes 51.3k voters 839.8k views 1,321 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 NFL players.

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 NFL 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.

list ordered by

1
16,573 8,235
Jerry Rice is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Wide receiver

2
13,470 6,037
Barry Sanders is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Running back

3
13,497 6,908
Walter Payton is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Running back

4
13,512 8,069
Joe Montana is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Quarterback

5
10,148 5,852
Jim Brown is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Running back, Fullback

6
15,808 9,221
Tom Brady is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Quarterback

7
8,060 4,653
Reggie White is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Defensive tackle, Defensive end

8
10,927 4,914
Lawrence Taylor is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Linebacker

9
11,195 7,461
Peyton Manning is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Quarterback

10
5,944 2,626
Joe Greene is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Defensive Tackle

11
7,046 4,228
Dan Marino is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Quarterback

12
6,798 4,088
John Elway is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Quarterback

13
5,658 3,038
Dick Butkus is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Linebacker, Center

14
7,223 3,013
Randy Moss is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Wide receiver

15
5,260 2,617
Ronnie Lott is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Cornerback, Safety, Defensive back

16
4,817 3,022
Johnny Unitas is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Quarterback

17
4,053 2,409
Eric Dickerson is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Running back

18
8,942 3,890
Deion Sanders is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Cornerback, Punt returner, Kickoff returner

19
7,219 3,853
Brett Favre is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Quarterback

20
7,259 3,725
Ray Lewis is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Linebacker

21
7,105 3,377
Emmitt Smith is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Running back

22
3,689 1,964
LaDainian Tomlinson is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Running back

23
5,159 2,845
Steve Young is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Quarterback

24
7,106 2,323
Bo Jackson is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Running back

25
3,143 2,093
Deacon Jones is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Defensive end

26
4,075 2,234
Marshall Faulk is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Running back

27
2,761 2,043
Otto Graham is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Quarterback

28
2,418 1,537
Dick Lane is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Cornerback

29
1,822 1,351
Terrell Owens is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Wide receiver

30
3,283 1,814
Earl Campbell is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Running back

31
2,568 1,722
Bruce Smith is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Defensive end

32
4,326 2,100
Calvin Johnson is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Wide receiver

33
3,267 2,061
Bart Starr is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Quarterback

34
5,373 2,999
J. J. Watt is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Defensive end

35
1,843 1,482
Sammy Baugh is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Punter, Quarterback, Defensive back

36
3,285 1,970
Jack Lambert is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Linebacker

37
4,649 2,340
Aaron Rodgers is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Quarterback

38
2,394 1,743
Mike Singletary is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Linebacker

39
3,797 1,749
Drew Brees is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Quarterback

40
3,465 1,507
Larry Fitzgerald is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Wide receiver

41
4,484 2,651
Adrian Peterson is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Running back

42
998 702
Brian Dawkins is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Safety

43
3,038 1,286
Charles Woodson is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Cornerback, Return specialist, Safety

44
2,736 1,538
Ed Reed is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Free Safety

45
3,602 2,210
Tony Gonzalez is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Tight end

46
1,814 904
Jim Thorpe is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Running back, Punter, Placekicker

47
3,009 1,812
Roger Staubach is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Quarterback

48
1,159 1,153
Don Hutson is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
End, Safety, Wide receiver

49
3,577 2,243
Terry Bradshaw is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Quarterback

50
2,757 1,624
Gale Sayers is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Running back, Return specialist