By Brian Kalchik @BrianKalchik on May 14, 2014
After watching Texas A&M offensive tackle Jake Matthews get selected No. 6 overall by the Falcons, it got me thinking; what other families out there have produced great football players?
Now instead of protecting Johnny Manziel, Matthews will now be assigned to protect Matt Ryan -- no small feat considering there are three great defenses in the NFC South. Without further ado, here are my top 10 football families, narrowed to just the players.
Before Darren Sharper became a suspected rapist, both he and his brother Jamie Sharper went on to have successful NFL careers marked with Super Bowl championships. Jamie Sharper was a Super Bowl champion with the Baltimore Ravens in Super Bowl 35. Darren would play in two Super Bowls, one with both Green Bay and New Orleans, the latter being a victory in Super bowl 44. Darren has made five Pro Bowls and ranks among the best in interceptions.
One of the best quarterback families in history not named Manning, the Grieses' each have had success in the NFL. Father Bob was the winning quarterback of Miami's back to back Super Bowl victories in the early 1970's and became a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Son Brian went on to have a solid career in the NFL, making the postseason twice, once with Denver and again with Tampa Bay.
One of the most versatile families in NFL history, both father Terry and son Eric Metcalf became x-factors on each of their respective teams. Terry was the main running back in Don Coryell's offense with the St. Louis Cardinals. Metcalf racked up 38 combined touchdowns rushing, receiving, returning and passing. Son Eric recorded 12 kick return touchdowns, one of the best totals in NFL history, and was a three-time Pro Bowler.
The Jones family produced two great players that during their time were among the best at their respective positions. Father Dub was a star halfback for Paul Brown's Cleveland Browns. Dub scored over 40 touchdowns during his career and won four championships. Son Bert quarterbacked the Baltimore Colts after Johnny Unitas was let go and led the Colts to the playoffs from 1975-77.
Both Kellen Winslow Sr. and Jr. were drafted in the first round of their respected draft classes and were solid tight ends in the NFL. Kellen Sr. was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame after catching 541 passes and being selected to five Pro Bowls in nine seasons for the San Diego Chargers. Kellen Jr. had a promising start in Cleveland, but a motorcycle derailed his career. Kellen Jr. would become a solid, but not a great tight end.
Father Howie Long played 13 seasons in the NFL and was selected to eight Pro Bowls and helped the Raiders win Super Bowl 18. Howie was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2000. Howie's first son Chris is now a solid pass rusher for the St. Louis Rams and has recorded multiple 10+ sack seasons. Howie's other son, Kyle, is a second-year guard in Chicago and was a Pro Bowl selection as a rookie.
The most famous twins in NFL history, Ronde & Tiki Barber went on to each have solid careers in the NFL. Running back Tiki is the New York Giants' all-time leading rusher and helped the Giants reach Super Bowl 35. Defensive back Ronde is Tampa Bay's all-time leading interceptor and helped the Buccaneers win Super Bowl 37.
The most prolific receiving family in NFL history, the Sharper brothers (Shannon and Sterling) were elite players when they played. Sterling was one of Green Bay's greatest receivers in franchise history before a neck injury prematurely ended his career. Shannon went on to become a Hall of Fame tight end for the Denver Broncos and won back to back Super Bowl in the 1997 and 1998 seasons.
The Matthews' boasts the likes of Hall of Famer Bruce, linebacker Clay Jr. and Clay III as well as rookie lineman Jake. Bruce was a Hall of Fame offensive lineman for the Houston Oilers/ Tennessee Titans. Clay Jr. was a great pass rusher in Cleveland while Clay III is a great pass rusher and helped the Packers win Super Bowl 45. Jake just was drafted by the Atlanta Falcons this past weekend and will now protect Matt Ryan.
Without a doubt the most famous football family in NFL history is the Manning family. Father Archie was the first face of the franchise for a mostly terrible New Orleans Saint team while sons Peyton and Eli each have won Super Bowls. Peyton won Super Bowl 41 with Indianapolis and has appeared in two others while Eli was won two Super Bowl for the New York Giants, defeating Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in both games.
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