NFL All-Time Team

NFL All-Time First Team

QB – Joe Montana, San Francisco 49ers (1979-1992), Kansas City Chiefs (1993-1994)

A few would disagree with me on this one because of Tom Brady, but Joe Montana was something else when he was healthy. Never a record-breaker, but he was a winner, and that counts for something right? Tom Brady will probably be the QB goat in a few seasons.

RB – Walter Payton, Chicago Bears (1975-1987)

Walter Payton was the anchor of the Bears offense in the 70s and 80s, and his offensive production in 1985 is often forgot about because of the Chicago defense. Sweetness was unfortunately taken from us way too soon, dying at 45 in 1999, but his legacy lives on and he is recognized as one of the best players off the field, as well as on the field.

WR – Jerry Rice, San Francisco 49ers (1985-2000), Oakland Raiders (2001-2004), Seattle Seahawks (2004)

He used stickum, but so did most receivers at this time. Besides, you can’t teach the speed Rice had. The all-time receiving leader was a little-known prospect out of Mississippi Valley State and shined in the 49ers offense, he also played for an astonishing 19 years, from 1985 to 2004.

WR – Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals (2004-)

Fitzgerald is an extremely underappreciated receiver, and hasn’t received a lot of attention as he has slowly creeped up the all time receiving yards list. A receiver with amazing speed and elite route running, he is the best player to ever wear a Cardinals uniform. His one negative? he hasn’t won a super bowl, and it doesn’t look like he will in his career.

TE – Tony Gonzalez, Kansas City Chiefs (1997-2008), Atlanta Falcons (2009-2013)

Tight ends haven’t been used as primarily receivers for that long, so our sample size is a lot smaller. However, there is no doubt Gonzalez gets this distinction. A 14-time pro bowler, with over 15,000 yards and 1,000 receptions, Tony was a nightmare for secondaries.

OL – Dan Dierdorf, St. Louis Cardinals (1971-1983)

Offensive lineman often go unrecognized, but Dierdorf deserves all the praise in the world. In his career, he received pro bowl honors 6 times, which is a lot for an offensive lineman. He was also able to recover 7 fumbles that the offense made, so he had a big impact on the game.

OL – Randall McDaniel, Minnesota Vikings (1988-1999), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2000-2001)

A 12 time pro bowler, McDaniel is widely considered the greatest offensive lineman of all time. Starting 220 of his 222 games in his 13 years in the league, McDaniel was the picture of good offensive lineman health, which is one of the more injury prone positions in the league.

OL – Joe Thomas, Cleveland Browns (2007-2017)

Throughout all the struggles the Browns have encountered, Thomas was always someone they could count on. This Brookfield Wisconsin native earned 10 pro bowls, appearing in every year except 2017. He also started all 167 of his games, rarely missing time on the field.

DL – Reggie White, Philadelphia Eagles (1985-1992), Green Bay Packers (1993-1998), Carolina Panthers (2000)

A fearless pass rusher, Reggie White’s impact on the Eagles and Packers isn’t forgotten by either team. He had a great ability to push awat offensive lineman, giving him a clear path to the quarterback. He finished with 198 sacks, 33 forced fumbles, and 2 interceptions. This is another sad story of a legend taken way too soon, passing away in 2004 from cardiac arythmia. He was 43.

DL – Alan Page, Minnesota Vikings (1967-1978), Chicago Bears (1978-1981)

With 148.5 sacks, Alan Page was another pass rush specialist for the Vikings and Bears. He was a 9 time pro bowler and the NFL MVP in 1971, a distinction that is rarely given out to defenders. After his football career, Alan Page was an associate justice on the Minnesota Supreme Court.

DL – Warren Sapp, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1995-2003), Oakland Raiders (2004-2007)

This Buccaneer Legend and 7 time pro bowler was easily the best defensive player of his time. He was an all around player, starting 188 of his 198 games, 573 tackles, 97.5 sacks, and 4 interceptions. He was a pro bowler 7 times, all when he was a Buccaneer.

LB – Lawrence Taylor, New York Giants (1981-1993)

LT had his off the field issues, but he is the best linebacker, and quite possibly the best defender, to play football. He finished with 132.5 sacks and 56 forced fumbles, along with the MVP in 1986. He was also a 10 time pro bowler and 2 time super bowl champion. He was an extremely intimidating presence on the Giants defense alongside another legendary linebacker in Harry Carson.

LB – Mike Singletary, Chicago Bears (1981-1992)

Mike Singletary is best known for being one of the top defenders on the legendary 1985 Bears defense and of course, the super bowl shuffle. Singletary was an impressive specimen. An extremely intense man, Singletary finished his 11 year career with 1,488 tackles and 10 pro bowls. He also won the Man of the Year in 1990, which is a bonus.

CB – Deion Sanders, Atlanta Falcons (1989-1993), San Francisco 49ers (1994), Dallas Cowboys (1995-1999), Washington (2000), Baltimore Ravens (2004-2005)

Primetime is a legend. A 2-sport athlete playing both football and baseball, Sanders still had enough in his tank to play for 16 years in the NFL. 53 Interceptions, 10 pick sixes, and 9 return touchdowns to go with his two rings that he won in Dallas. What more could you ask for in a cornerback?

CB – Night Train Lane, Los Angeles Rams (1952-1953), Chicago Cardinals (1954-1959), Detroit Lions (1960-1965)

Night Train Lane is another underappreciated gem in the NFL. He had the ultimate rags to riches story when he was abandoned in a dumpster by his birth parents when he was an infant. After serving in the U.S. Army, he started a hall of fame career with 7 Pro Bowls and 68 interceptions.

S – Ronnie Lott, San Francisco 49ers (1981-1990), Los Angeles Raiders (1991-1992), New York Jets (1993-1994)

A 10 time pro bowler and 4 time super bowl champion, Ronnie Lott was the cornerstone of the 49ers defense in the 80s, and was a key part in their four super bowl victories. He had 63 interceptions and 16 forced fumbles, which is a lot for a cornerback.

K – Adam Vinatieri, New England Patriots (1996-2005), Indianapolis Colts (2006-2019)

He has made 2 super bowl winning field goals, won 4 super bowls, and he is the NFL’s all time scoring leader. 2019 was his first bad year, but Vinatieri is still playing well into his 40s (he is 47), which is extremely impressive, even for a kicker. He will be one of the few kickers inducted into the hall of fame once his career is done, which could be the case soon as he is currently not on the active roster of any team right now.

P – Ray Guy, Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders (1973-1986)

There usually isn’t a lot of punters that catch the eye, but if there was one, it would be Ray Guy. His impact is especially felt at the college football level, where the Ray Guy award is given to the nations best punter each season.

HC – Bill Walsh, San Francisco 49ers (1979-1988)

Walsh had an amazing eye for spotting under-the-radar talent, and that was how he was able to build a dynasty. He won three super bowls and set the 49ers up for two more. I could’ve said Belichick, but I’ve never heard cheating allegations about Walsh, so he gets the edge.

 

Honorable Mentions:

QB – Tom Brady, New England Patriots (2000-2019), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2020-)

RB – Barry Sanders, Detroit Lions (1989-1998)

WR – Randy Moss, Minnesota Vikings (1998-2004, 2010), Oakland Raiders (2005-2006), New England Patriots (2007-2010), Tennesse Titans (2010), San Francisco 49ers (2012)

WR – Michael Irvin, Dallas Cowboys (1988-1999)

TE – Mike Ditka, Chicago Bears (1961-1966), Philadelphia Eagles (1967-1968), Dallas Cowboys (1969-1972)

OL – Orlando Pace, St. Louis Rams (1997-2008), Chicago Bears (2009)

OL – Forrest Gregg, Green Bay Packers (1956, 1958-1970), Dallas Cowboys (1971)

OL – Anthony Munoz, Cincinnati Bengals (1980-1992)

DL – Jack Youngblood, Los Angeles Rams (1971-1984)

DL – Lee Roy Selmon, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1976-1984)

DL – Joe Greene, Pittsburgh Steelers (1969-1981)

LB – Harry Carson, New York Giants (1976-1988)

LB – Willie Lanier, Kansas City Chiefs (1967-1977)

CB – Mel Blount, Pittsburgh Steelers (1970-1983)

CB – Rod Woodson, Pittsburgh Steelers (1987-1996), San Francisco 49ers (1997), Baltimore Ravens (1998-2001), Oakland Raiders (2002-2003)

S – Ken Houston, Houston Oilers (1967-1972), Washington (1973-1980)

K – Lou Groza, Cleveland Browns (1946-1959, 1961-1967)

P – Shane Lechler, Oakland Raiders (2000-2012), Houston Texans (2013-2017)

HC – Bill Belichick, Cleveland Browns (1991-1995), New York Jets (January 4th, 2000)*, New England Patriots (2000-)

*- Belichick was formally introduced as the Jets head coach, resigned on a napkin before introductory press conference.

Stats from Pro Football Reference and Wikipedia