Best NFL Players to Ever Come Out of Alabama
By Zach Brunner
The college football powerhouse that is the Alabama Crimson Tide continues to be one of the most dominating teams in sports. They do everything well, from coaching to recruiting to getting as many players as possible to the NFL. There have been a number of fantastic NFL players to come out of this school, but let's take a look at some of the best NFL players ever to come from the Alabama program.
6. John Hannah, 1973-85
John Hannah may be the least talked about NFL legend from Alabama, but also might be the best offensive lineman to ever play the game. Playing his entire career with the New England Patriots, Hannah was a 10-time First-Team All-Pro and nine-time Pro Bowler. While offensive linemen rarely get the glory, Hannah has been recognized for his accomplishments, being voted to both the 1970s and 1980s All-Decade Teams, the NFL 100th Anniversary All-Time Teams, and, of course, the NFL Hall of Fame.
5. Derrick Thomas, 1989-99
Spending his entire career with the Kansas City Chiefs, Derrick Thomas could be the greatest defensive player to come out of Alabama. He was voted to the First-Team All-Pro three times and the second team three more times. Thomas was also a nine-time Pro Bowler, 1990 league sack leader (20) and he was later voted to the 1990s All-Decade Team. With 126.5 career sacks and 41 forced fumbles, DT was one of the most feared defensive players ever.
4. Ken Stabler, 1970-84
Beginning his professional career with the Spokane Shockers, Ken Stabler would go on to be a four-time Pro Bowler, the 1974 league MVP and a Super Bowl champion. He was the passing touchdown leader twice and he was voted to the NFL 1970s All-Decade Team. When mentioning some of the greatest quarterbacks back in the day, Stabler absolutely needs to be mentioned in the same breath.
3. Julio Jones, 2011-Present
Alabama has recently earned the reputation of putting great wide receiver talent into the NFL, and the player to truly establish this reputation was Julio Jones. He has totaled 12,125 receiving yards across his nine seasons with the Atlanta Falcons, while he's also found the end zone 57 times. Julio has put together a Hall of Fame-worthy career, with a Super Bowl ring being the only missing piece in his portfolio of accolades.
2. Joe Namath, 1965-77
"Broadway Joe" was one of the first huge stars and personalities in the league, but he backed it up with his play. Joe Namath was Super Bowl III MVP, a Pro Bowler in 1972, passing yards leader in three different seasons and the passing touchdown leader in 1972. Namath also became the first player to pass for 4,000 yards in a season, which is still a feat some struggle to accomplish.
1. Bart Starr, 1956-71
Bart Starr is an absolute legend of the sport and one of the first stars in the NFL. Helping to establish Green Bay, WI as "Title Town," Starr is the winningest Alabama quarterback in NFL history, at 94 wins. He won the first two Super Bowls, being named MVP of both games. Starr was also a five-time NFL champion, four-time Pro Bowler and the league MVP in 1966. Not only has he had an influence on the Alabama football program, he has influenced the sport of football as a whole.
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