NFL The Best Football Players Ever  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
790.5k votes 55.5k voters 867.3k views 1,357 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
17,840 9,028
Jerry Rice is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Wide receiver

2
14,648 7,626
Walter Payton is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Running back

3
14,639 6,714
Barry Sanders is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Running back

4
14,508 8,815
Joe Montana is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Quarterback

5
10,999 6,399
Jim Brown is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Running back, Fullback

6
17,215 10,086
Tom Brady is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Quarterback

7
12,091 5,134
Lawrence Taylor is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Linebacker

8
8,712 5,077
Reggie White is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Defensive tackle, Defensive end

9
12,076 7,915
Peyton Manning is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Quarterback

10
7,621 4,658
Dan Marino is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Quarterback

11
6,502 2,969
Joe Greene is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Defensive Tackle

12
7,951 3,326
Randy Moss is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Wide receiver

13
7,276 4,510
John Elway is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Quarterback

14
5,750 2,860
Ronnie Lott is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Cornerback, Safety, Defensive back

15
6,160 3,342
Dick Butkus is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Linebacker, Center

16
5,244 3,328
Johnny Unitas is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Quarterback

17
9,631 4,085
Deion Sanders is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Cornerback, Punt returner, Kickoff returner

18
4,395 2,719
Eric Dickerson is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Running back

19
7,860 3,977
Ray Lewis is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Linebacker

20
7,740 4,171
Brett Favre is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Quarterback

21
7,597 3,594
Emmitt Smith is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Running back

22
4,095 2,195
LaDainian Tomlinson is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Running back

23
7,733 2,561
Bo Jackson is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Running back

24
5,517 3,105
Steve Young is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Quarterback

25
4,399 2,412
Marshall Faulk is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Running back

26
3,410 2,295
Deacon Jones is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Defensive end

27
4,471 1,849
Drew Brees is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Quarterback

28
3,627 1,969
Earl Campbell is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Running back

29
2,706 1,696
Dick Lane is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Cornerback

30
2,133 1,607
Terrell Owens is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Wide receiver

31
4,714 2,267
Calvin Johnson is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Wide receiver

32
2,982 2,251
Otto Graham is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Quarterback

33
2,796 1,869
Bruce Smith is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Defensive end

34
5,745 3,220
J. J. Watt is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Defensive end

35
5,093 2,556
Aaron Rodgers is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Quarterback

36
3,491 2,231
Bart Starr is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Quarterback

37
3,814 1,611
Larry Fitzgerald is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Wide receiver

38
2,612 1,877
Mike Singletary is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Linebacker

39
3,513 2,086
Jack Lambert is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Linebacker

40
1,999 1,634
Sammy Baugh is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Punter, Quarterback, Defensive back

41
4,791 2,794
Adrian Peterson is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Running back

42
1,205 828
Brian Dawkins is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Safety

43
2,998 1,638
Ed Reed is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Free Safety

44
3,274 1,386
Charles Woodson is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Cornerback, Return specialist, Safety

45
3,853 2,300
Tony Gonzalez is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Tight end

46
2,008 998
Jim Thorpe is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Running back, Punter, Placekicker

47
3,226 1,909
Roger Staubach is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Quarterback

48
3,770 2,359
Terry Bradshaw is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Quarterback

49
1,278 1,269
Don Hutson is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
End, Safety, Wide receiver

50
2,831 1,622
Rod Woodson is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Football Players Ever
Defensive back, Cornerback