NFL The Best Football Players Ever  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
766.9k votes 54k voters 857.9k views 1,331 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
17,364 8,784
Jerry Rice is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Wide receiver

2
14,238 7,390
Walter Payton is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Running back

3
14,231 6,494
Barry Sanders is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Running back

4
14,138 8,582
Joe Montana is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Quarterback

5
10,698 6,219
Jim Brown is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Running back, Fullback

6
16,714 9,797
Tom Brady is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Quarterback

7
11,717 5,062
Lawrence Taylor is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Linebacker

8
8,481 4,959
Reggie White is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Defensive tackle, Defensive end

9
11,769 7,770
Peyton Manning is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Quarterback

10
7,411 4,505
Dan Marino is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Quarterback

11
6,300 2,862
Joe Greene is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Defensive Tackle

12
7,694 3,199
Randy Moss is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Wide receiver

13
7,103 4,389
John Elway is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Quarterback

14
5,555 2,777
Ronnie Lott is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Cornerback, Safety, Defensive back

15
5,954 3,260
Dick Butkus is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Linebacker, Center

16
5,081 3,235
Johnny Unitas is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Quarterback

17
9,385 4,014
Deion Sanders is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Cornerback, Punt returner, Kickoff returner

18
4,277 2,602
Eric Dickerson is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Running back

19
7,574 4,065
Brett Favre is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Quarterback

20
7,634 3,903
Ray Lewis is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Linebacker

21
7,431 3,524
Emmitt Smith is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Running back

22
3,959 2,117
LaDainian Tomlinson is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Running back

23
7,524 2,473
Bo Jackson is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Running back

24
5,378 3,023
Steve Young is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Quarterback

25
4,259 2,358
Marshall Faulk is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Running back

26
3,291 2,231
Deacon Jones is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Defensive end

27
3,486 1,913
Earl Campbell is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Running back

28
2,601 1,648
Dick Lane is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Cornerback

29
2,018 1,516
Terrell Owens is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Wide receiver

30
4,229 1,807
Drew Brees is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Quarterback

31
4,571 2,202
Calvin Johnson is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Wide receiver

32
2,897 2,192
Otto Graham is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Quarterback

33
2,706 1,822
Bruce Smith is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Defensive end

34
3,409 2,173
Bart Starr is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Quarterback

35
4,953 2,467
Aaron Rodgers is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Quarterback

36
5,615 3,142
J. J. Watt is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Defensive end

37
2,531 1,824
Mike Singletary is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Linebacker

38
3,685 1,572
Larry Fitzgerald is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Wide receiver

39
3,428 2,043
Jack Lambert is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Linebacker

40
1,939 1,578
Sammy Baugh is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Punter, Quarterback, Defensive back

41
4,671 2,741
Adrian Peterson is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Running back

42
1,127 778
Brian Dawkins is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Safety

43
2,882 1,601
Ed Reed is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Free Safety

44
3,183 1,344
Charles Woodson is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Cornerback, Return specialist, Safety

45
3,753 2,268
Tony Gonzalez is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Tight end

46
1,925 965
Jim Thorpe is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Running back, Punter, Placekicker

47
3,138 1,869
Roger Staubach is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Quarterback

48
3,692 2,312
Terry Bradshaw is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Quarterback

49
1,225 1,217
Don Hutson is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
End, Safety, Wide receiver

50
2,761 1,588
Rod Woodson is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Defensive back, Cornerback