Analysis. History. Perspective.

Sports Then and Now



NFL at 100: Top 100 Players of All-Time – 75-51 2

Posted on January 01, 2020 by Dean Hybl

One of the cool parts of the NFL celebrating 100 years in 2019 is remembering the great moments and players that have helped shape the history of the game.

The NFL Network and others have developed their own All-Time teams or top 100 player lists.

Not to be out-done, we have also chosen Sports Then and Now’s top 100 players in NFL history.

We are breaking the selections into four groups of 25. You can read our players 100-76 here. We will be featuring the top 50 in two subsequent posts.

In a sport that has seen great change and evolution over 100 years, creating any comprehensive all-time list is going to be subjective and open to interpretation. You can read more about the criteria we used to select our top 100 players.

This is the second of four posts announcing the ST&N Top 100. This one includes players 75-51 (the team listed is the one they were most associated with during their career).

Shannon Sharpe

75. Shannon Sharpe – Denver Broncos – 8 Pro Bowls; 4 time 1st Team All-Pro: The most dominant tight end of his era, Sharpe was a key weapon for John Elway during the 1990s. He caught 80 or more passes three times and also had three 1,000 yard seasons. He helped the Broncos win back-to-back Super Bowls in 1997 and 1998 and then caught 67 passes to help the Baltimore Ravens win the Super Bowl following the 2000 season.

74. Ernie Nevers – Chicago Cardinals –5 time 1st Team All-Pro: A four-sport college star at Stanford, Nevers played five seasons in the NFL (1926-27 with the Duluth Eskimos and 1929-31 with the Chicago Cardinals) and was a first team All-Pro as a fullback each season. In 1929 he established an NFL record that still stands when he scored all 40 points (six touchdowns and four extra points) in a 40-6 win over the Chicago Bears. He was an inaugural inductee of the College Football Hall of Fame in 1951 and the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1963.

73. Paul Warfield – Miami Dolphins – 8 Pro Bowls; 2 time 1st team All-Pro: One of the greatest deep-threat receivers in NFL history, Warfield averaged 20.1 yards per reception for his career. With 85 career touchdown catches out of 427 career receptions, he averaged a touchdown for every five receptions throughout his career. He helped the Cleveland Browns win the NFL Championship during his rookie season and then proved to be a key addition for the Miami Dolphins as they went to three straight Super Bowls and won consecutive titles in 1972 and 1973.

72. Randall McDaniel – Minnesota Vikings – 12 Pro Bowls; 7 time 1st team All-Pro: One of the top offensive linemen of the 1990s, McDaniel was a first-team All-Pro guard seven times and second-team twice between 1990 and 1998.

71. Randy Moss – Minnesota Vikings – 6 Pro Bowls; 4 time 1st team All-Pro: Few players have created the immediate buzz that Moss did as a rookie with the Minnesota Vikings in 1998. He caught 69 passes for 1,313 yards and a league-high 17 touchdowns as the Vikings went 15-1. He eclipsed 1,000 receiving yards 10 times during his career and had nine seasons with 10 or more touchdown receptions. In 2007 with the New England Patriots, he established an NFL record with 23 receiving touchdowns to help the Patriots finish 16-0 during the regular season.

70. Steve Largent – Seattle Seahawks – 7 Pro Bowls; 1 time 1st team All-Pro: The first Superstar of the Seattle Seahawks franchise, Largent was one of the most prolific receivers of his era.  He had 70 or more catches six times in his career and eclipsed 1,000 receiving yards eight times, including twice leading the league. He had double digit touchdown receptions three times and was the first player in NFL history with 100 touchdown receptions. At the time of his retirement he was the NFL career leader in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns.

69. Jonathan Ogden – Baltimore Ravens – 11 Pro Bowls; 4 time 1st team All-Pro: A dominant left tackle, Ogden was selected to the Pro Bowl in each of the final 11 seasons of his career. He was called for only 15 holding penalties in 12 seasons.

68. Ray Nitschke – Green Bay Packers – 1 Pro Bowl; 2 time 1st team All-Pro: A key member of the Green Bay Packers five championship teams in the 1960s, Nitschke was a two-time first team All-Pro and three time second team All-Pro at middle linebacker. He had 25 interceptions and recovered 23 fumbles during his career.

Read the rest of this entry →

Who Would Have Thought? Pro Football Hall of Fame Voters Get It Right 2

Posted on February 05, 2011 by Dean Hybl

After being eligible for nine years, Richard Dent finally was voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

For the last two years I have been a very vocal critic of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee. I have articulated in numerous articles that I think for much of the last decade they have been inconsistent in their selections often picking small classes when there were plenty of deserving candidates and then when they do select players for the Hall of Fame often choosing borderline candidates when more deserving people were waiting in the wings.

We will see in the coming years if it is a seed change or a one-time blind squirrel kind of thing, but I must give the voters credit for doing a tremendous job in selecting the Hall of Fame class of 2011.

In an article I wrote last night, I outlined the six people I thought deserved to be inducted in 2011. Shockingly, all six were inducted with veteran’s committee choice Les Richter making the seventh member of the class.

With the exception of Deion Sanders and Shannon Sharpe, the class of 2011 doesn’t include any players on the short list for best ever at their position, but all seven were solid NFL veterans who are deserving selections for the Hall of Fame.

While there are still a number of tremendous candidates who have been waiting for far too long like Jerry Kramer, Ray Guy, Roger Craig, Chuck Howley and Cliff Branch, at least the class of 2011 doesn’t include some of the head scratching choices of recent years. Read the rest of this entry →

What Blunder Will The Pro Football Hall of Fame Voters Make This Time? 2

Posted on February 04, 2011 by Dean Hybl

"Prime Time" should be an easy pick for the Hall of Fame voters.

Predicting which team will win the Super Bowl on Sunday is an iffy proposition, but one sure bet this weekend is that the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee will do something surprising when making their picks for the 2011 Hall of Fame Class.

There are many wonderful things about the NFL, but the selection process for the Pro Football Hall of Fame is not one of them.

Over the last two years I have written several articles outlining how I think the voters have missed the boat in many of their choices, or non-choices, and now have created a back-log of qualified candidates who are not in the Hall of Fame and probably will not gain entry for years to come, if ever.

You can read my list from last summer of the 25 players I think are most deserving of Hall of Fame selection. This list does not include first-year eligible players, but seven of the 17 Hall of Fame finalists for this year are included on my top 25.

When the committee meets tomorrow, if they do nothing else I hope they select at least six members to the 2011 Hall of Fame class and I’m okay if they make it seven.

Last year marked the first time since 2001 that the Hall of Fame voters selected the maximum number of seven inductees. Part of the reason for the glut of deserving players is that the voters selected only four players in both 2004 and 2005. Considering that 13 players and coaches who have entered the Hall of Fame in subsequent years were eligible during those years, it doesn’t make any sense to me why those classes were so small. Read the rest of this entry →

10 Players That Deserve Induction Into The Pro Football Hall of Fame 11

Posted on August 06, 2010 by Dean Hybl

The running backs he blocked for are in the Hall of Fame, but 10-time finalist Jerry Kramer is not.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio is where NFL greats take the next step and become immortal legends.  Since opening its doors in 1963, 260 former players, coaches and administrators have received football’s greatest honor, but there is a growing list of seemingly deserving players who for one reason or another have been unable to earn a bust in Canton.

Being recognized as a Hall of Famer is certainly an honor that should be reserved for those few players, administrators and coaches that were truly the best of the best. It should be hard and there should be a thin line between being a great player and earning Hall of Fame immortality.

However, after reviewing all members of the Hall of Fame as well as more than 250 former NFL greats who have not yet earned a spot in Canton, it is clear that the Hall of Fame selection committee has been inconsistent in their choices and not done a good job in ensuring that all deserving players are inducted in a timely manner.

The 2010 Hall of Fame class marks the first time since 2001 that the maximum allowed number of inductees, seven, will receive Hall of Fame busts. In back-to-back years of 2004 and 2005 the committee chose only the minimum of four players despite the fact that 12 players who later were chosen for the Hall of Fame were eligible for induction during those years.

In a previous article I outlined my disappointment that the Hall of Fame committee has often made players wait more than 30 years after retirement before being inducted though they didn’t throw a pass, score a touchdown or make a tackle during that time.

While I generally believe that the Hall of Fame committee has done a pretty good job of making selections of players who are deserving of induction, I did also create a list of the 10 players who maybe shouldn’t be in the Hall.

Below is my list of the 10 players who are not in the Hall of Fame who I believe are most deserving of induction. Several have been tantalizingly close to selection, while others have been annually by-passed in favor of players with similar or lesser accomplishments. Hopefully all of them will one day get the thrill of having their bust immortalized in Canton. Read the rest of this entry →

Pro Football Hall of Fame Committee Needs To Do Better Job 11

Posted on July 31, 2010 by Dean Hybl

If Floyd Little is deserving of Hall of Fame induction, then why did it take 35 years after his retirement for his name to be called?

This is the first of a series of articles we will post this week that will focus on the Pro Football Hall of Fame in preparation for the 2010 induction ceremony on August 7th.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame Inductions next weekend will again be a special event as seven names will be added to the list of all-time greats.

For some players, such as 2010 inductees Emmitt Smith and Jerry Rice, the wait for Hall of Fame selection is limited to only the mandatory five year waiting period. However, for others, including 2010 inductees Floyd Little and Dick LeBeau, the wait for the call from the Hall of Fame can sometimes take decades.

Later this week I will be posting my picks for the 10 players not in the Hall of Fame who are deserving of induction and the 10 players in the Hall that I think don’t really belong. However, in general I think the Hall of Fame committee has done a pretty good job of putting deserving players in the Hall of Fame.

Where I do think the Hall of Fame committee has been very weak is related to how long it often takes them to finally induct someone who we all know immediately is deserving of being in the Hall of Fame. There are far too many cases in NFL history of clearly Hall of Fame deserving players and coaches who have had to wait much longer than justified before being selected and thus not been able to fully enjoy the honor.

While I have long considered Little to be a borderline Hall of Fame candidate (I ranked him as the seventh most deserving running back last year when I picked the top 25 running backs not in the NFL) and I don’t think that LeBeau belongs simply based on his playing career (I ranked him as the 12th best defensive back not in the HOF), if they were going to get into the Hall I have a problem that it took more than 30 years after they became eligible for them to enter the Hall of Fame.

My personal “sniff test” for picking Hall of Famers has always been the following: At the time of their retirement were they considered someone whose Hall of Fame selection seemed inevitable? Read the rest of this entry →

Best Players Not in the Pro Football Hall of Fame: Tight Ends 3

Posted on July 10, 2009 by Dean Hybl

Shannon Sharpe

Shannon Sharpe

Our position-by-position look at the best eligible players not in the Pro Football Hall of Fame continues with a rundown of the best tight ends that have not earned a trip to Canton.

Choosing which tight ends deserve immortality in the Hall of Fame is a difficult challenge.

In general, you would expect the best tight ends to be exceptional receivers and powerful blockers. However, few tight ends can truly be called “great” in both areas.

Instead, most tight ends either are great blockers and adequate receivers or, as is the case more often in the last couple decades, great receivers and average blockers.

The Hal of Fame voters waited until 1988 to finally induct a tight end and it remains the least represented position with a total of seven players honored in the Hall.

Read the rest of this entry →

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Stan Jones – Weight Training Trailblazer
      October 11, 2020 | 1:48 pm
      Stan Jones

      The Sports Then and Now Athlete of the Month was one of the great linemen of his era and is considered a trailblazer for using weight training and conditioning to develop his skills.

      After a standout career at the University of Maryland, Stan Jones spent nine seasons as an offensive lineman for the Chicago Bears, making seven Pro Bowl appearances and earning first team All-Pro three times.

      In 1962, assistant coach George Allen suggested Jones move to defense to help solidify that unit for the Bears. He played both ways in 1962 and then in 1963 moved permanently to the defense.

      Read more »

    • RSSArchive for Vintage Athlete of the Month »
  • Follow Us Online

  • Check out the best free bets at freebets4all. Learn how to convert online bookmakers free bets into guaranteed cash using the matched betting technique.

  • Current Poll

    Who Will Win the College Football National Championship?

    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...
  • Post Categories



↑ Top