Greatest Player: Reggie White
Of all the defensive players that Buddy Ryan turned into Hall of Fame offense-wreckers, Reggie White might have been his most lethal creation. The “Minister of Defense” was a soft-spoken Bible devotee six days a week, and a one-man Armageddon for offenses on that seventh day of the week.
White still has the second most career sacks in NFL history (198 sacks) and is often considered to be the greatest defensive end in NFL history. White was a two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year, a 13-time Pro Bowl selection, and a 13-time All-Pro selection. In his 15-year career, White recorded double-digit sacks in 12 of those seasons, and averaged almost one sack per game over the course of his 232 game career. The Minister of Defense dominated the line of scrimmage throughout his 15-¬year career, playing well into his late 30s.
Runner-Up: Chuck Bednarik
The first player drafted in the 1949 NFL Draft, the Philadelphia Eagles saw Bednarik become one of the most consistently durable players in NFL history, missing just three games in his 14 seasons. Now, consider the fact that Bednarik actually played on both sides of the field: he played center on offense, and linebacker on defense.
He is universally regarded as one of the 100 greatest players in NFL history, on top of his eight Pro Bowl selections and 10 selections as a First-Team All-Pro.
Challenger: Carson Wentz
There was a point in the 2017 season when Carson Wentz not only looked like a shoo-in for the league’s MVP award, but maybe even the title of “best quarterback in the game.” However, a series of injuries since then have robbed him of the meteoric ascent that he was previously on.
Still, Wentz is just 27 years old, meaning he still has the better part of a decade to lead the Eagles back to the Super Bowl promised land. While it would take a lot for him to usurp the “GOAT” title in Philadelphia from Reggie White, delivering a couple of additional Lombardi Trophies would start the conversation.