Football List of Famous Football Safetys

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List of the most famous (American) football safetys in the history of the sport, listed by popularity with photos of the players when available. There have been many legendary safetys in the NFL and NCAA, and you'll find all of them on this list below. Some of these men are considered to be the best safetys to ever play the game, and if you're looking for a specific football player you can look for them by using the "search" function on this list. These amazing safetys may currently be active while others have been retired for quite sometime. This list of the top safetys in American football includes all the greats from both the NFL and college football.

List items range from Cam Newton to Jackie Robinson.

This list answers the questions, "Who is the greatest safety of all time?" and "Who are the best safetys of all time?"

1
Ronnie Lott is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list List of Famous Football Safetys
Cornerback, Safety, Defensive back Ronald Mandel "Ronnie" Lott is a former American college and professional football player who was a cornerback, free safety, and strong safety in the National Football League for ...more

2
Charles Woodson is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list List of Famous Football Safetys
Cornerback, Return specialist, Safety Charles Woodson is an American football free safety for the Oakland Raiders of the National Football League. He played college football for the University of Michigan, and led the Michigan ...more

3
Ed Reed is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list List of Famous Football Safetys
Free Safety Edward Earl Reed, Jr. is an American football safety who is currently a free agent. He played college football for the University of Miami, where he was a two-time consensus All-American. He was ...more

4
Don Hutson is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list List of Famous Football Safetys
End, Safety, Wide receiver Donald Montgomery Hutson was the first star split end in National Football League history. He is considered by many to have been the first modern receiver. In his senior season at the University ...more

5
Rodney Harrison is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list List of Famous Football Safetys
Safety, Defensive back Rodney Scott Harrison is a retired professional football player of the National Football League. Harrison played safety for the San Diego Chargers and New England Patriots. He was a two-time Pro ...more

6
Steve Atwater is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list List of Famous Football Safetys
Safety, Defensive back Stephen Dennis Atwater nicknamed "Smiling Assassin" is a former American football player who spent most of his career playing free safety for the Denver Broncos. Atwater and Dennis ...more

7
Ken Houston is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list List of Famous Football Safetys
Safety Kenneth Ray Houston is a former American football defensive back in the American Football League and National Football League. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1986. Houston ...more

8
Emlen Tunnell is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list List of Famous Football Safetys
Return specialist, Safety, Defensive back Emlen Lewis Tunnell was an American football player. He was the first African American to play for the New York Giants, and was inducted into the Professional Football Hall of Fame in 1967, the ...more

9
Mel Renfro is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list List of Famous Football Safetys
Cornerback, Safety Melvin Lacy "Mel" Renfro is a former American football cornerback who spent his entire 14-year career in the in the National Football League with the Dallas Cowboys.

10
Steve Van Buren is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list List of Famous Football Safetys
Running back, Safety, Defensive back Stephen "Steve" W. Van Buren was a professional American football halfback who played for the Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League from 1944–1951, and was elected to the ...more

11
Jack Tatum is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list List of Famous Football Safetys
Safety, Defensive back John David "Jack" Tatum was an American football safety who played ten seasons from 1971 through 1980 for the Oakland Raiders and Houston Oilers in the National Football League. He was ...more

12
Eugene Robinson is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list List of Famous Football Safetys
Safety, Defensive back Eugene Keefe Robinson is a former professional American football player who played free safety. He played collegiately at Colgate University. In his 16-year NFL career, Robinson played for the ...more

13
Ty Law is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list List of Famous Football Safetys
Cornerback, Safety, Defensive back Tajuan "Ty" Law is a former American football cornerback who played fifteen seasons in the National Football League. He played college football for the University of Michigan. He was ...more

14
Ronde Barber is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list List of Famous Football Safetys
Cornerback, Safety, Defensive back Jamael Orondé "Rondé" Barber is a retired American Football cornerback who spent his entire 16-year career playing for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the National Football ...more

15
Willie Wood is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list List of Famous Football Safetys
Return specialist, Safety, Quarterback William Vernell Wood Sr. is a former American football safety for the Green Bay Packers in the National Football League.

16
Everson Walls is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list List of Famous Football Safetys
Cornerback, Safety Everson Collins Walls is a former American football defensive back in the NFL, having played for the Dallas Cowboys, the New York Giants, and the Cleveland Browns. During his 14 seasons, he was ...more

17
Paul Krause is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list List of Famous Football Safetys
Safety, Defensive back Paul James Krause is a former American football safety who played in the National Football League. He set the NFL record for interceptions with 81, which he picked off from 45 different ...more

18
Eric Crouch is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list List of Famous Football Safetys
Safety, Quarterback, Wide receiver Eric Eugene Crouch is a former American football quarterback. He also is a TV sports analyst and recreational equipment vendor. Crouch played college football for the University of Nebraska. In ...more

19
Bernard Pollard is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list List of Famous Football Safetys
Outside Linebacker, Safety Bernard Karmell Pollard is an American football safety who is currently a free agent. He was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in the second round of the 2006 NFL Draft. He has also played for ...more

20
Larry Wilson is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list List of Famous Football Safetys
Safety Larry Frank Wilson is a former professional football player, an eight-time All-Pro free safety with the St. Louis Cardinals of the National Football League. He played his entire 13-year career ...more

21
George Atkinson is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list List of Famous Football Safetys
Cornerback, Safety, Defensive back George "Butch" Henry Atkinson Jr. is a former professional American football player. He played football collegiately at Morris Brown, where he was a safety and a kick returner and ...more

22
Antrel Rolle is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list List of Famous Football Safetys
Cornerback, Safety Antrel Rocelious Rolle is an American football safety for the Chicago Bears of the National Football League. He was drafted by the Arizona Cardinals eighth overall in the 2005 NFL Draft. He ...more

23
Darren Woodson is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list List of Famous Football Safetys
Safety, Defensive back Darren Ray Woodson is a former American football safety in the National Football League. He played his entire career for the Dallas Cowboys from 1992 to 2004. He was drafted by the Cowboys in ...more

24
Kenny Easley is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list List of Famous Football Safetys
Safety, Defensive back Kenneth Mason Easley, Jr. is a former American college and professional football player who was a strong safety in the National Football League for seven seasons during the 1980s. He played ...more

25
Merton Hanks is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list List of Famous Football Safetys
Cornerback, Safety Merton Edward Hanks is a former college and professional football player who was a safety in the National Football League for nine seasons during the 1990s. He is currently the NFL Vice ...more

26
Brian Dawkins is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list List of Famous Football Safetys
Safety Brian Patrick Dawkins, nicknamed Weapon X, is a former American football safety who played in the National Football League for sixteen seasons. He played college football for Clemson University. ...more

27
Sean Taylor is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list List of Famous Football Safetys
Safety Sean Michael Maurice Taylor was an American college and professional football player who was a free safety for the Washington Redskins of the National Football League for four seasons. He played ...more

28
Eric Weddle is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list List of Famous Football Safetys
Safety Eric Steven Weddle is an American football safety for the San Diego Chargers of the National Football League. He played college football for the University of Utah and was recognized as a ...more

29
Donnie Shell is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list List of Famous Football Safetys
Safety Donnie Shell is a former American Football strong safety for the Pittsburgh Steelers in the National Football League between 1974 and 1987. Shell was a member of the Steelers famed Steel Curtain ...more

30
Danieal Manning is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list List of Famous Football Safetys
Cornerback, Return specialist, Safety Danieal LaCraig Manning is an American football safety who is currently a free agent. He was drafted by the Chicago Bears in the second round of the 2006 NFL Draft. He played college football at ...more

31
Eric Berry is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list List of Famous Football Safetys
Cornerback, Safety, Defensive back James Eric Berry, nicknamed "The Fifth Dimension, " is an American football safety for the Kansas City Chiefs of the National Football League. He was drafted by the Chiefs fifth ...more

32
Mike Minter is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list List of Famous Football Safetys
Safety, Defensive back Michael Christopher Minter is an American football coach, retired safety, and businessman. Minter is currently the head coach of the Campbell Fighting Camels and played from 1997 to 2006 with ...more

33
Lester Hayes is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list List of Famous Football Safetys
Cornerback, Safety Lester Craig Hayes is a former professional American football player for the Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders of the National Football League. Hayes was commonly referred to as "the Judge" ...more

34
Jake Scott is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list List of Famous Football Safetys
Safety, Defensive back Jacob E. Scott, III is a former American football free safety and punt returner who played from 1970 to 1978 for the Miami Dolphins and Washington Redskins of the National Football League. Scott ...more

35
LeRoy Butler is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list List of Famous Football Safetys
Cornerback, Safety LeRoy Butler, III is a former American football strong safety who played his entire career with the Green Bay Packers. He spent his childhood in Jacksonville, Florida, challenged by physical ...more

36
Dick Anderson is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list List of Famous Football Safetys
Safety, Defensive back Richard Paul Anderson is a former American college and professional football player who was a safety for the Miami Dolphins of the American Football League and National Football League for nine ...more

37
Mike Brown is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list List of Famous Football Safetys
Safety, Defensive back Mike Brown is a former American football safety who played ten seasons in the National Football League. He was selected with the eighth pick of the second round of the 2000 NFL Draft out of the ...more

38
Dashon Goldson is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list List of Famous Football Safetys
Safety Dashon Hugh Goldson is an American football safety for the Washington Redskins of the National Football League. He played college football for the University of Washington. He was drafted by the ...more

39
Bob Sanders is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list List of Famous Football Safetys
Strong Safety, Safety Demond "Bob" Sanders is a former American professional football player who was a safety in the National Football League for eight seasons. He played college football for the University ...more

40
Yale Lary is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list List of Famous Football Safetys
Safety, Punter, Defensive back Robert Yale Lary is a former American football player. After graduating from North Side High School in 1949, he attended Texas A&M University, where he was a standout in football and ...more

41
Aeneas Williams is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list List of Famous Football Safetys
Cornerback, Safety, Defensive back Aeneas Demetrius Williams . He played college football for Southern University and was drafted in the third round (59th overall) of the 1991 NFL Draft. Williams was inducted into the Pro ...more

42
Carnell Lake is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list List of Famous Football Safetys
Cornerback, Safety, Defensive back Carnell Augustino Lake is a former professional American football player who was a member of the NFL 1990s All-Decade Team. He was the Cornerbacks Coach for the UCLA Bruins under head coach Rick ...more

43
Andre Waters is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list List of Famous Football Safetys
Safety, Defensive back Andre Waters was an NFL safety who played for the Philadelphia Eagles and Arizona Cardinals from 1984 to 1995. Waters was regarded as one of the NFL's hardest-hitting defenders, serving as an ...more

44
Cliff Harris is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list List of Famous Football Safetys
Safety, Defensive back Clifford Allen Harris is a former professional American football safety who played for the Dallas Cowboys of the National Football League for ten seasons. He appeared in five Super Bowls and was ...more

45
Rashean Mathis is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list List of Famous Football Safetys
Cornerback, Safety Rashean Jamil Mathis is an American football cornerback for the Detroit Lions of the National Football League. He played college football at Bethune-Cookman University, and was drafted by the ...more

46
Aaron Glenn is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list List of Famous Football Safetys
Cornerback, Safety Aaron Devone Glenn is a former American college and professional football player who was a cornerback in the National Football League for fifteen seasons. He played college football for Texas ...more

47
Antoine Bethea is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list List of Famous Football Safetys
Safety Antoine Akeem Bethea is an American football safety for the San Francisco 49ers of the National Football League. He played college football for Howard and was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts ...more

48
Roy Williams is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list List of Famous Football Safetys
Safety Roy Lee Williams is a former American college and professional football player who was a safety in the National Football League for nine seasons. He played college football for the University of ...more

49
Kam Chancellor is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list List of Famous Football Safetys
Strong Safety, Safety Kameron Darnel Chancellor is an American football strong safety for the Seattle Seahawks of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Virginia Tech, and was drafted by ...more

50
Kenny Phillips is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list List of Famous Football Safetys
Safety Kenneth Phillips is an American football safety for the New Orleans Saints of the National Football League. He was drafted by the New York Giants 31st overall in the 2008 NFL Draft. He played ...more