#1 Greatest NFL Football Player of All Time: Jerry Rice
By every qualification, Jerry Rice is the greatest wide receiver of all time. Jerry Rice had the best hands, ran the most precise routes, and starred as the premier game changer after the catch. Rice, the San Francisco Treat, may even hail as the greatest blocking wide receiver of all time. Jerry Rice, as yet another NFL bootstrapper, is a monument to hard work.
Jerry Rice has rewritten the NFL record books for 1,549 receptions, 22,895 receiving yards, and 208 total touchdowns. Rice's career and statistical record are breathtaking, as the man proved to be a lock for 80 catches, 1,000 yards, 10 touchdowns, and one Pro Bowl ticket to Hawaii each season. A threat to score on every play, only Jerry Rice could make a one-hand grab on a five-yard out, shake a corner out of his square, and weave his way through the secondary for a 70-yard touchdown gallop.
To a man, Jerry Rice earned his position. In the offseason, Jerry Rice would jog the rugged hills of Northern California, lift weights twice a day, and run wind sprints until he had nothing left—for fun. Before he had even stepped on the field, Jerry Rice and his will to work had already destroyed many an opponent.
Jerry Rice is the greatest NFL football player of all time.
Jim Brown was rated #2
#2 Greatest NFL Football Player of All Time: Jim Brown
Jim Brown dominated everybody.
Over the course of nine seasons, Jim Brown ran over, through, and around people for 12,312 rushing yards and 106 touchdowns on the ground. At 29, Jim Brown shocked the world and retired from the game of football in his prime. Brown simply had nothing else left to prove, having already qualified as the record holder of every significant rushing mark in the books. Although Jim Brown has since been surpassed by Emmitt Smith and Walter Payton in the record books, neither back can touch his remarkable 5.2-yard per carry average.
As the perfect complement of size and speed, Jim Brown put up video game-like numbers in the era of the phonograph and turntable. With the exception of 1962, Jim Brown led the NFL in rushing every year between 1957 and 1965. In 1963, Jim Brown torched defenses for 1,863 rushing yards on only 291 carries, which translated into a 6.4 yards per carry average.
Jim Brown was poetry in motion
Jerry Rice was the epitome of Bear Bryant's "when you get in the end zone, act like you've been there before". Jerry's work ethic and professional behavior, even more than his remarkably supreme athletic skills are what really make him a superb role model for young players. He's a coach's not so secret weapon when it comes to building a youth (including college aged) team identity that all can be proud of. Thank you Mr. Rice.
He is also one of the most gentle of gentlemen you'll ever meet. Our daughter was a sign holder for his foursome when she was in high school, at the AT&T. It was a windy day (duh!) and she had trouble holding the foursome sign aloft. Jerry held it with her even though he was in the foursome. Glen Campbell was also in the group and took a photo of the two of them. Jerry, all smiles, our daughter looking a little tired after 18 holes with a sail-like sign and chapped hands. He could not have been nicer. If only other super stars had the sense and the sensibility that Jerry has and had. He deserves the number one ranking.