Hannah, ‘best offensive’ lineman, is 73

Chris Mangan

Chris Mangan

70. Jim Marshall, Minnesota Vikings.

Marshall is mostly remembered for his embarrassing moment against the San Francisco 49ers where he recovered a fumble and proceeded to run the ball into his own end zone, which cost his team two points. What people seem to forget, though, are his 127 career sacks and his record of starting 282 straight games. Marshall, a graduate from Ohio State University, was a two-time national champion in college and a Rose Bowl winner. In a college game against Purdue, Marshall scored all of OSU’s points from his defensive tackle position, returning an interception and a fumble for touchdowns; he also kicked both extra points.

Honorable Mention: Sam Huff, New York Giants

71. Alex Karras, Detroit Lions.

Karras was a first-round draft pick and tenth overall selection for the Lions and was selected to four Pro Bowls as a defensive tackle. Karras could have had a better career if he did not get suspended for a year due to betting on football. During his suspension, Karras became a professional wrestler before returning to the NFL. He is also known for his acting on the TV show “Webster” after his playing days ended.

Honorable Mention: Tony Boselli, Jacksonville Jaguars

72. Dan Dierdorf, St. Louis Cardinals.

Dierdorf spent 12 years in the NFL as a guard and tackle for the Cardinals. He was selected to the Pro Bowl six times and was named an All-Pro for four consecutive seasons, beginning in 1975. He was also named the NFC Offensive Lineman of the Year three times and was enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1996. Dierdorf did not give up a sack for over two seasons, beginning in the 1975 NFC Divisional playoff game and ending in the first game of the 1978 season. Dierdorf became an announcer after his playing days had ended and is currently working for CBS.

Honorable Mention: Ed Jones, Dallas Cowboys

73. John Hannah, New England Patriots.

Hannah was proclaimed the “best offensive lineman of all time” by Sports Illustrated in 1981, and he lived up to the hype. In his 13 seasons as a pro, Hannah was selected to the Pro Bowl nine times and named an All-Pro 10 years in a row. Hannah was named to the All-Decade Team twice and was the number one guard on the NFL’s 75th Anniversary All-Time Team. He was enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1991.

Honorable Mention: Ron Yary, Minnesota Vikings

74. Merlin Olsen, Los Angeles Rams.

Olsen started as an offensive lineman before switching over to the defensive side, where he became part of the “Fearsome Foursome.” Olsen never missed a game in his 15-year career and was named to 14 Pro Bowls. He was voted as the Defensive Lineman of the Year in 1973, and in 1974, he received the Bert Bell Award as the NFL’s MVP, according to the Maxwell Club. In 1982, he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Honorable Mention: Bob Lilly, Dallas Cowboys

75. Deacon Jones, Los Angeles Rams.

Jones teamed up with Merlin Olsen to make up half of the “Fearsome Foursome” before ending his career with the San Diego Chargers and Washington Redskins. Jones specialized in sacks, and the term was actually attributed to him. Jones was selected to seven straight Pro Bowls, eight overall, and was selected as an All-Pro for five straight years. He unofficially recorded 26 sacks in 14 games, 173.5 for his career, in 1967. He was inducted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1980.

Honorable Mention: Mean Joe Greene, Pittsburg Steelers

76. Lou Groza, Cleveland Browns.

Groza played offensive tackle for the Browns but is known for his kicking ability. Groza led the league in field goals five times and was named to the Pro Bowl nine times; he was also named All-Pro tackle six times. The award given to the top place kicker in the Football Bowl Subdivision was named after Groza in 1999.

Honorable Mention: Marion Motley, Cleveland Browns

77. Red Grange, University of Illinois and Chicago Bears.

“The Galloping Ghost” is best known for his performance against the University of Michigan in 1924. Grange took back the opening kick 95 yards and scored on runs of 67, 56 and 45 yards-all in the first quarter. In 2008, Grange was named the Greatest College Football Player of All Time by ESPN.

Honorable Mention: Ray Bourque, Boston Bruins

78. Anthony Munoz, Cincinnati Bengals.

Munoz was the third overall pick in the 1980 draft and was considered a risk since he only played eight games in his last two years in college. Munoz made the selection a good one as he enjoyed a 13-year career and was selected to the Pro Bowl 11 consecutive times, the most ever by an offensive lineman when he retired. Munoz also played some at receiver, notching seven receptions as a lineman with four TDs.

Honorable Mention-Art Shell, Oakland Raiders

79. Harvey Martin, Dallas Cowboys.

Martin was part of the Cowboys’ Doomsday Defense and led the team in sacks seven times in his 10-year career. He was co-MVP of Super Bowl XII. He still holds the Cowboys record for sacks as a rookie, in a season and for a career.

Honorable Mention: Bob St. Claire, San Francisco 49ers