With the NFL draft on the horizon, and the 2020 NFL season just around the corner, I figured we should take a look back at some of the greatest NFL athletes of all-time that have graced us with spectacular football.
In the number five spot we have Walter Payton. He was a running back for the Chicago Bears from 1975-1987. Payton was a man of sweetness, which was the nickname he was given by his teammates. Payton was a gentle soul off the field who did right in the community and helped out with different charities.
There is an NFL award named after him today called the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award. Each team’s higher-ups elect one player from the team that has done a lot for charity and their community to be nominated for this prestigious award. Then, one of the 32 finalists is elected by the NFL Honors committee to win the award. Some of the most recent winners have included Eli Manning of the Giants, Texans’ JJ Watt, Chris Long of the Eagles, and the most recent winner, Calais Campbell of the Jaguars. Payton is well deserved of this positioning on the top 5 list of all-time players.
In the number four spot is Jim Brown. He was a halfback for the Cleveland Browns from 1957-1965. Brown had a career total of 12,312 rushing yards and 106 rushing touchdowns. He also had 2499 receiving yards and 20 receiving touchdowns. A halfback, for those who don’t know, is an interchangeable position. They can run the ball (like a running back) or catch the ball (like a wide receiver). Brown had an impeccable career and definitely deserves to be in this position in the top 5 all-time players.
In the number three position is Lawrence Taylor. He was a linebacker for the New York Giants from 1981-1993. Taylor was selected to the Pro Bowl in 1981-1990, and selected for the first team All-Pro in 1981-1986, and 1988-1989. Taylor recorded a career total of 132.5 sacks and nine interceptions for 134 yards and 2 defensive career touchdowns. He is a well-respected football player and is very deserving to be in the top 10 list.
In the number two position we have the infamous Tom Brady. Tom Brady is a quarterback who spent 20 years with the New England Patriots from 2000-2019. He now plays for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He is one of four players to have played professional football for the NFL into their 40s. Most people consider Brady the greatest of all time because of the fact that he has won six Super Bowl rings, but according to the NFL, he is number two. Even though Brady is still playing, he is considered one of the best, which is why he respectfully earned his spot as number two on this top five list of all-time players.
Finally, in the number one spot is Jerry Rice. Rice was a wide receiver for the San Francisco 49ers from 1985-2000, then for the Oakland Raiders from 2001-2004. He then traded to the Seattle Seahawks for the 2004 season and finished his career with the Denver Broncos in 2005. He is known as the best player of all-time because he has had the longest career of anybody in NFL history. With a career that lasted 26 years, Rice is officially the greatest NFL player of all time, according to the NFL statistics of every player over the past 100 years.
The NFL just celebrated their 100th season in 2019 and they ranked the top 100 players of all-time. You can check out who made the list of top 100 players of all time at https://www.usatoday.com/picture-gallery/sports/nfl-100/2019/10/08/nfl-100-100-greatest-nfl-players-all-time/3860716002/.