The 100 Greatest Players In NFL History, 2014 Edition: Numbers 80-71

The 100 Greatest Players In NFL History, 2014 Edition: Numbers 80-71

Franco Harris Steelers
Getty Images

The Top 100: NFL's Greatest Players was a 10-part television series presented by the NFL Network in 2010. But a lot has happened since 2010, especially with current players like Adrian Peterson and Drew Brees making their own mark on the history books. Here are my updated rankings of the 100 greatest NFL players of all time, continuing with numbers 80-71.

80. Joe Schmidt, LB, Detroit Lions (1953-65)

Detroit Lions
Getty Images

80. Joe Schmidt, LB, Detroit Lions (1953-65)

Detroit Lions
Getty Images

A seventh-round pick in 1953, linebacker Joe Schmidt went from bring a starter on a championship team as a rookie to perhaps the Detroit Lions' greatest defensive player in franchise history. Schmidt spent his entire 13-year career in Detroit and made 10 Pro Bowl appearances. He is credited with being one of the first true middle linebackers in the game, and his helped Detroit win NFL titles in 1953 and 1957.

79. Marion Motley, FB, Cleveland Browns (1946-53), Pittsburgh Steelers (1955)

Cleveland Browns
Getty Images

79. Marion Motley, FB, Cleveland Browns (1946-53), Pittsburgh Steelers (1955)

Cleveland Browns
Getty Images

In 1946, one year before Jackie Robinson famously integrated MLB, Marion Motley became one of the original trailblazers for African Americans in football. In his nine professional seasons, he amassed 4,720 yards on 828 carries for an amazing 5.7 yards per carry average, and his teams won four AAFC Championships from 1946-49 and one NFL Championship in 1950.

78. Darrell Green, CB, Washington Redskins (1983-2002)

Darrell Green Redskins
Getty Images

78. Darrell Green, CB, Washington Redskins (1983-2002)

Darrell Green Redskins
Getty Images

The final pick of the famed first round in 1983, Washington Redskins corner Darrell Green exceled for the Redskins for parts of three decades. The corner from Texas A&I played his entire 20-year career with the Redskins, and helped the team make three Super Bowls, winning Super Bowls 22 and 26. In all, Green totaled a club record 54 interceptions, which included recording an interception in his first 19 seasons.

77. Bruce Matthews, C-G-T, Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans (1983-2001)

Bruce Matthews Titans
Getty Images

77. Bruce Matthews, C-G-T, Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans (1983-2001)

Bruce Matthews Titans
Getty Images

As one of the best offensive players in Oilers/Titans history, Bruce Matthews played every position along the Oilers/Titans offensive line during his 19-year career. When Matthews retired following the 2001 season, no full-time positional player in NFL history had competed in more games (296) than Matthews. He made 14 consecutive Pro Bowls from 1988-2001 and helped guide the Oilers/Titans to the postseason nine times.

76. Art Shell, OT, Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders (1968-82)

Art Shell Raiders
Getty Images

76. Art Shell, OT, Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders (1968-82)

Art Shell Raiders
Getty Images

Before becoming the first African American coach in the modern era, Art Shell was a Hall of Fame left tackle for parts of three decades with the Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders. Through much of his career, Shell teamed with Hall of Fame left guard Gene Upshaw and Hall of Fame center Jim Otto to create perhaps the best left offensive side in NFL history. He won two Super Bowls with Oakland, and shut out Minnesota's Jim Marshall in Super Bowl XI.

75. Emlen Tunnell, S, New York Giants (1948-58), Green Bay Packers (1959-61)

New York Giants
Getty Images

75. Emlen Tunnell, S, New York Giants (1948-58), Green Bay Packers (1959-61)

New York Giants
Getty Images

Emlen Tunnell became the first African American to play for the New York Giants and was the first African American to be named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but he also helped two different teams win NFL titles. Emlen intercepted a then-record 79 passes with the Giants and the Green Bay Packers, now eclipsed by Paul Krause. Tunnell won a title in 1956 with New York and one in his final NFL season with Green Bay in 1961.

74. Marshall Faulk, RB, Indianapolis Colts (1994-98), St. Louis Rams (1998-2005)

Marshall Faulk Rams
Getty Images

74. Marshall Faulk, RB, Indianapolis Colts (1994-98), St. Louis Rams (1998-2005)

Marshall Faulk Rams
Getty Images

Marshall Faulk was not the first all-purpose back in NFL history, but he definitely was the greatest. Drafted by the Colts No. 2 overall in 1994, Faulk had four 1,000-yard rushing seasons in five years, but Faulk was more famous as a member of "The Greatest Show On Turf" in St. Louis. Faulk and the Rams make two Super Bowl appearances from 1999-2001, winning Super Bowl 34. Faulk retired as the 10th leading rusher and 16th in receptions all-time.

73. Drew Brees, QB, San Diego Chargers (2001-05), New Orleans Saints (2006-Present)

Drew Brees Saints
Getty Images

73. Drew Brees, QB, San Diego Chargers (2001-05), New Orleans Saints (2006-Present)

Drew Brees Saints
Getty Images

A second-round pick in 2001 by San Diego, Drew Brees led the Chargers to the playoffs in 2004, the first time the team made the postseason since 1995. When a shoulder injury ended his Chargers run, Brees signed with New Orleans and led the Saints to their first NFC Championship game in 2006. Since then, Brees has been one of the top QBs in the NFL, breaking numerous passing records, and guiding the Saints to a victory in Super Bowl XLIV.

72. Jonathan Ogden, OT, Baltimore Ravens (1996-2007)

Jonathan Ogden Ravens
Getty Images

72. Jonathan Ogden, OT, Baltimore Ravens (1996-2007)

Jonathan Ogden Ravens
Getty Images

The Baltimore Ravens used their first-ever draft pick on offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden and for the next 12 seasons, Ogden was the main cog of the Ravens’ offensive line. Outside of his rookie season, Ogden made the Pro Bowl in 11 consecutive seasons and was regarded as one of the top offensive linemen in the NFL. In 2000, Ogden and the Ravens won their first Super Bowl and in 2003, Ogden blocked for Jamal Lewis, who rushed for 2,066 yards.

71. Franco Harris, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers (1972-83), Seattle Seahawks (1984)

Franco Harris Steelers
Getty Images

71. Franco Harris, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers (1972-83), Seattle Seahawks (1984)

Franco Harris Steelers
Getty Images

Before Franco Harris arrived in Pittsburgh in 1972, the Steelers were a notorious loser. When he arrived, the Steelers became the team of the 1970s. The former Penn State product, whose famous "Immaculate Reception", led the Steelers to their first playoff win in franchise history. Harris was the MVP in Super Bowl IX (Pittsburgh's first championship), and is the all-time leading rusher in Super Bowl history with 354 yards in four games.


Around the Web