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1. Tom Brady

Position: QB

Years active: 2000 – Present

Teams: New England Patriots; Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Notable accolades: 7x Super Bowl Champion (1st All-Time); 5x Super Bowl MVP (1st All-Time); 3x MVP; 3x First Team All-Pro; 2x Second Team All-Pro; 2x OPoY; 14x Pro-Bowl; multiple Super Bowl, playoff & regular season records If you were wondering where Thomas Edward Patrick Brady, Jr. was on this list, wonder no longer.

He was already named to the NFL 100 in 2019, but after smashing the massively favored Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV on his first try with a brand new team, he has silenced all questions about his individual greatness. Belichick was great in New England as well and was vital to Brady’s growth, but all questions have been answered. Tom Brady can now rightfully claim his title as the Greatest of All Time.

2. Jerry Rice
Position: WR

Years active: 1985 – 2004

Teams: San Francisco 49ers, Oakland Raiders, Seattle Seahawks

Notable accolades: Hall of Fame (2010 Class); 3x Super Bowl Champion; 1x Super Bowl MVP; 1x MVP; 10x First Team All-Pro; 1x Second Team All-Pro; 2x OPoY; 13x Pro Bowl; All-Time Leader in touchdowns (208), receiving touchdowns (197), receptions (1,549), consecutive 1+ reception games (274)

You’ll find that wide receivers are rare on these types of lists. Up until recently, the game was predicated on defense, running backs, and if the air attack was good enough, quarterbacks. If you’re looking for the man who brought pass catchers into vogue, you found him. What makes Jerry Rice’s case unique is his longevity and extended excellence. Wide receivers are usually the lightest players in the NFL behind punters, kickers, and occasional quarterbacks, and most have had their careers but short by injury. Not Jerry. Until our number one-ranked player came along, he was the league’s iron man.

3. Lawrence Taylor
Position: LB

Years active: 1981-1993

Teams: New York Giants

Notable accolades: Hall of Fame (1999 Class); 2x Super Bowl Champion; 1x MVP; 8x First Team All-Pro; 2x Second Team All-Pro; 3x DPoY; DRoY

Naturally, as only one of two defensive players to earn MVP honors, and the only one to do so unanimously, Lawrence Taylor is popularly regarded as the greatest defensive player in the history of the NFL. As the saying goes, ‘defense wins championships’, so Taylor naturally can slide no lower than 3rd on this list. He continues the trend of definitive GOATs at their position, and only slides down to 3rd because of the insane longevity of the two players ahead of him. A 12-year NFL career as the hardest hitter in football is no joke, though, and he has accolades to back up that claim. He brought modern love to the less glamorous side of football, and for that alone, he belongs here.

4. Jim Brown
Position: RB

Years active: 1957-1965

Teams: Cleveland Browns

Notable accolades: Hall of Fame (1971 Class); 1x Super Bowl Champion; 3x MVP; 8x First Team All-Pro; 1x Second Team All-Pro; 9x Pro Bowl; RoY (1957)

Jim Brown marks the beginning of GOAT territory in this list: he and the three players ranked above him are the four greatest to ever play at their positions, all in a row. From here on out, we are dealing with absolutely undisputed top-of-the-mountain prestige. So it should speak to the talent above Brown that as the greatest to ever play arguably the second-most important role on an NFL team, he ranks at the bottom of this particular Mt. Rushmore.

5. Joe Montana
Position: QB

Years active: 1979-1994

Teams: San Francisco 49ers, Kansas City Chiefs

Notable accolades: Hall of Fame (2000 Class); 4x Super Bowl Champion; 3x Super Bowl MVP; 2x MVP; 3x First Team All-Pro; 2x Second Team All-Pro; 8x Pro Bowl

The original “Joe Cool”, Joe Montana Just exuded Hollywood-style quarterback energy. Synonymous with the peak of the San Francisco 49ers, Montana was the undisputed GOAT quarterback before a certain Patriot/Buccaneer leveled up in the 2010s (more on that later). From his name, to his looks, to his stats, to nearly everything else about him, Montana has been the modern prototype for every hopeful signal caller in the NFL, and for good reason.


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