Recently an Instagram account ranked the top five players for every NFL franchise. Their effort was decent, but there were several misses. I was going to post my own rankings, using players from the pro football hall of fame as a guide. My reasoning: while a current player may be great, they have yet to make the hall of fame. And in doing so many of young Mr. DMZ Football's picks come into question.
I decided to list all hall of famers who had played the majority of their career for one team, the team most fans would identify the player with. I left off players who jumped around from team to team, like Deion Sanders. Deion wouldn’t be ranked in the top five players for any one team (maybe the Falcons, but his short stay places him below other long term Falcons).
I’ve listed the players ranked best to worth. For teams without four hall of famers, I looked of players in their ring of honor.
Bears: Red Grange, Walter Payton, Dick Butkus, Bronko Nagurski, George Morris, Gale Sayers, Mike Ditka, Mike Singletary, Richard Dent, Bulldog Turner, Doug Atkins, Bill George, Dan Hampton, George McAfee, Dan Fortmann, George Musso, Brian Urlacher, George Connor, George Halas, Ed Healey, Stan Jones
Lions: Barry Sanders, Calvin Johnson, Night Train Lane, Lem Barney, Dutch Clark, Bobby Layne, Alex Karras, Doak Walker, Yale Lary, Joe Schmidt, Dick LeBeau, Charlie Sanders, Jack Christiansen, Lou Creekmur
Packers: Don Hutson, Brett Favre, Ray Nitschke, Paul Hornung, Willie Davis, Clarke Hinkle, Forrest Gregg, Curly Lambeau, Willie Wood, Jerry Kramer, Herb Adderley, Bart Starr, Henry Jordan, Johnny Blood McNally, Dave Robinson, Jim Ringo, Mike Michalske, Tony Canadeo
Vikings: Alan Page, Carl Eller, Fran Tarkenton, John Randle, Randy Moss, Paul Krause, Ron Yary, Mick Tingelhoff, Chris Carter, Randall McDaniel
Bucs: Derrick Brooks, Warren Sapp, Lee Roy Selmon, Ronde Barber, John Lynch
Falcons: Matt Ryan, Claude Humphrey, Tommy Nobis, Jessie Tuggle, Tony Gonzalez, Jeff Van Note, Julio Jones
Panthers: Reggie White, Sam Mills, Kevin Greene, Julius Peppers, Luke Kuechly
Saints: Drew Brees, Archie Manning, Willie Roaf, Rickey Jackson, Morten Andersen
Cowboys: Roger Staubach, Bob Lilly, Emmitt Smith, Randy White, Tony Dorsett, Mel Renfroe, Rayfield Wright, Troy Aikman, Larry Allen, Bob Hayes, Drew Pearson, Michael Irvin
Eagles: Chuck Bednarik, Steve Van Buren, Pete Pihos, Brian Dawkins, Greasy Neale
Giants: Lawrence Taylor, Emlen Tunnell, Harry Carson, Mel Hein, Michael Strahan, Ken Strong, Rosey Brown, Frank Gifford, Tuffy Leemans, Arnie Weinmeister, Red Badgro, Ray Flaherty
Redskins: Sammy Baugh, Charley Taylor, Darrell Green, Russ Grimm, John Riggins, Chris Hanburger, Cliff Battles, Sonny Jurgenson, Bobby Mitchell, Art Monk, Turk Edwards, Wayne Millner
Bills: OJ Simpson, Jim Kelly, Bruce Smith, Billy Shaw, Andre Reed, Joe DeLamielleure,
Dolphins: Larry Csonka, Larry Little, Jake Scott, Dan Marino, Dwight Stephenson, Nick Buoniconti, Bob Griese, Jim Langer, Jason Taylor
Jets: Don Maynard, Joe Namath, Curtis Martin, Joe Klecko
Patriots: Tom Brady, John Hannah, Andre Tippett, Gino Cappelletti
Cardinals: Larry Wilson, Ernie Nevers, Dan Dierdorf, Charlie Trippi, Jackie Smith, Roger Wehrli, Aeneas Williams. Larry Fitzgerald will be in the hall of fame.
49ers: Jerry Rice, Joe Montana, RC Owens, Leo Nomellini, Joe Perry, Ronnie Lott, Steve Young, Hugh McElhenny, Dave Wilcox, Charles Haley, Bob St. Clair, CB Jimmy Johnson
Rams: Deacon Jones, Merlin Olsen, Elroy Crazy Legs Hirsch, Norm Van Brocklin, Bob Waterfield, Tom Fears, Marshall Faulk, Jackie Slater, Orlando Pace, Jack Youngblood, Les Richter, Kurt Warner, Tom Mack
Seahawks: Steve Largent, Cortez Kennedy, Kenny Easley, Walter Jones
Broncos: Floyd Little, John Elway, Shannon Sharpe, Champ Bailey, Terrell Davis
Chargers: Lance Alworth, Kellen Winslow, Junior Seau, Dan Fouts, Ron Mix, LaDainian Tomlinson, Fred Dean
Chiefs: Willie Lanier, Buck Buchanan, Otis Taylor, Bobby Bell, Derrick Thomas, Len Dawson, Curley Culp, Johnny Robinson, Jan Stenerud, Will Shields
Raiders: Gene Upshaw, Art Shell, Jim Otto, Willie Brown, Fred Biletnikoff, Marcus Allen, Howie Long, Dave Casper, Ken Stabler, George Blanda, Tim Brown, Ray Guy
Bengals: Anthony Munoz, Bob Trumpy, Ken Anderson, James Brooks, Boomer Esiason
Browns: Jim Brown, Marion Motley, Otto Graham, Lou Groza, Frank Ryan, Ozzie Newsome, Leroy Kelly, Gene Hickerson, Dante Lavelli, Mike McCormack, Bill Willis
Ravens: Ray Lewis, Jonathan Ogden, Ed Reed, Joe Flacco. Note: The Ravens include many of the old Colts greats in their ring of honor, and have informally retired Johnny Unitas’ number 19 from use.
Steelers: Mean Joe Green, Franco Harris, Terry Bradshaw, Jack Lambert, Mel Blount, John Stallworth, Ron Woodson, Dermontti Dawson, Mike Webster, Lynn Swann, Jerome Bettis, Jack Butler, Jack Ham
Colts: Johnny Unitas, Gino Marchetti, Lenny Moore, Raymond Berry, John Mackey, Jim Parker, Art Donovan, Peyton Manning, Marvin Harrison
Jaguars: Tony Boselli, Fred Taylor, Mark Brunell, Jimmy Smith
Texans: JJ Watt, Andre Johnson, DeAndre Hopkins, Deshaun Watson
Titans/Oilers: Earl Campbell, Warren Moon, Elvin Bethea, Bruce Matthews, Ken Houston, Mike Munchak, Robert Brazile
Former USFL players in the Pro Football Hall of Fame include Jim Kelly, Steve Young, Reggie White, and Gary Zimmerman. Time to add Herschel Walker to this list.