NFL The Best Football Players Ever  

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Originally by Ranker Community
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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
15,826 7,709
Jerry Rice is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Jerry Rice Wide receiver

2
12,830 6,505
Walter Payton is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Walter Payton Running back

3
12,884 7,553
Joe Montana is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Joe Montana Quarterback

4
12,748 5,558
Barry Sanders is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Barry Sanders Running back

5
9,591 5,521
Jim Brown is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Jim Brown Running back, Fullback

6
14,889 8,705
Tom Brady is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Tom Brady Quarterback

7
7,672 4,354
Reggie White is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Reggie White Defensive tackle, Defensive end

8
10,274 4,776
Lawrence Taylor is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Lawrence Taylor Linebacker

9
10,642 7,161
Peyton Manning is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Peyton Manning Quarterback

10
5,623 2,430
Joe Greene is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Joe Greene Defensive Tackle

11
6,716 3,995
Dan Marino is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Dan Marino Quarterback

12
6,509 3,818
John Elway is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
John Elway Quarterback

13
5,375 2,854
Dick Butkus is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Dick Butkus Linebacker, Center

14
4,994 2,450
Ronnie Lott is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Ronnie Lott Cornerback, Safety, Defensive back

The Dirtiest NFL Players of All Time

15
6,801 2,855
Randy Moss is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Randy Moss Wide receiver

16
4,594 2,855
Johnny Unitas is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Johnny Unitas Quarterback

17
3,870 2,235
Eric Dickerson is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Eric Dickerson Running back

18
8,573 3,757
Deion Sanders is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Deion Sanders Cornerback, Punt returner, Kickoff returner

19
6,899 3,682
Brett Favre is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Brett Favre Quarterback

20
6,935 3,578
Ray Lewis is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Ray Lewis Linebacker

21
6,837 3,239
Emmitt Smith is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Emmitt Smith Running back

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22
4,954 2,690
Steve Young is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Steve Young Quarterback

23
3,457 1,831
LaDainian Tomlinson is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
LaDainian Tomlinson Running back

24
6,765 2,192
Bo Jackson is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Bo Jackson Running back

25
2,998 1,983
Deacon Jones is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Deacon Jones Defensive end

26
2,652 1,896
Otto Graham is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Otto Graham Quarterback

27
3,905 2,115
Marshall Faulk is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Marshall Faulk Running back

28
2,274 1,447
Dick Lane is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Dick Lane Cornerback

The Best NFL Running Backs of All Time

29
3,128 1,944
Bart Starr is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Bart Starr Quarterback

30
1,654 1,186
Terrell Owens is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Terrell Owens Wide receiver

31
5,156 2,847
J. J. Watt is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
J. J. Watt Defensive end

32
4,103 2,001
Calvin Johnson is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Calvin Johnson Wide receiver

33
3,089 1,739
Earl Campbell is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Earl Campbell Running back

34
1,752 1,377
Sammy Baugh is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Sammy Baugh Punter, Quarterback, Defensive back

35
3,148 1,905
Jack Lambert is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Jack Lambert Linebacker

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36
2,437 1,636
Bruce Smith is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Bruce Smith Defensive end

37
2,256 1,653
Mike Singletary is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Mike Singletary Linebacker

38
4,333 2,215
Aaron Rodgers is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Aaron Rodgers Quarterback

39
3,243 1,440
Larry Fitzgerald is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Larry Fitzgerald Wide receiver

40
4,292 2,570
Adrian Peterson is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Adrian Peterson Running back

41
3,502 1,687
Drew Brees is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Drew Brees Quarterback

42
2,890 1,214
Charles Woodson is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Charles Woodson Cornerback, Return specialist, Safety

The Greatest Defenders in NFL History

43
878 602
Brian Dawkins is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Brian Dawkins Safety

44
2,584 1,483
Ed Reed is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Ed Reed Free Safety

45
3,456 2,148
Tony Gonzalez is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Tony Gonzalez Tight end

46
2,901 1,741
Roger Staubach is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Roger Staubach Quarterback

47
1,700 849
Jim Thorpe is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Jim Thorpe Running back, Punter, Placekicker

48
3,466 2,165
Terry Bradshaw is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Terry Bradshaw Quarterback

49
1,087 1,090
Don Hutson is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Don Hutson End, Safety, Wide receiver

50
1,890 1,984
O. J. Simpson is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
O. J. Simpson Running back