Top 30 NFL Players of the 1900s

PHILADELPHIA – DECEMBER 10: Chuck Bednarik #60 of the Philadelphia Eagles lines up for a play against Charlie Conerly #42 of the New York Giants during the game at Franklin Field on December 10, 1961 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Robert Riger/Getty Images)

There were a number of great players who graced an NFL field in the first 80 years on the league’s existence, but who are the best of the best?

There were several fantastic players to grace an NFL gridiron in the previous millennia, but who were the absolute best of the best? Today, we look at the 30 best players of the 1900s.

Who were the best NFL players in the 1900s?

30. Chuck Bednarik

Kicking off the list with the throwback of all throwbacks. Bednarik was the last true two-way player in league history. The No. 1 overall pick in the 1949 draft played center on offense and linebacker on defense. He was a 10-time All-Pro in his thirteen seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles, and also an eight-time Pro Bowler. Bednarik was arguably the most vital piece of both championship teams in 1949 and 1960.

We can’t talk about Bedarik without mentioning two other players; Jim Taylor and Frank Gifford. In the final play of his professional career, Bednarik tackled Taylor with less than ten seconds left. He then refused to get off of the Packers’ star tailback, allowing the clock to hit triple zeroes and end the game.

The play that made Bednarik most infamous, though, came against the Giants and Frank Gifford. Bedarnik threw Gifford to the ground by his head, knocking him unconscious. What ensued after was the catalyst of one of the most iconic images in the history of football, with Bednarik standing over Gifford and pointing at his prone body.

The play caused Gifford to miss a year and a half of football, and cemented Bednarik as one of the toughest players in the history of professional football.

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