Greatest Player: Steve Largent
Steve Largent is the subject of perhaps one of the most underrated rags to riches stories in NFL history. The Houston Oilers nearly cut him soon after taking him in the 4th round of the draft. Instead, they traded him to the Seahawks for an 8th-round pick. From there, Largent went on to make seven Pro Bowls in 14 seasons and be named to the 1980s All-Decade Team.
At 5’11’’ and 187 lbs., Largent wasn’t particularly big, nor was he particularly fast. However, he earned the nickname Yoda from his teammates for his ability to catch anything that was thrown in his direction. His hands were pure gold and the biggest reason for his Hall of Fame career. He was the first receiver to reach the 100-touchdown mark. When he retired after 14 seasons, Largent had an active streak of 177 straight games with at least one reception. At the time, he was also the all-time leader in receptions, receiving touchdowns, and receiving yards.
Runner-Up: Walter Jones
You want to talk about the human equivalent of a brick wall? Starting in 180 games with the Seattle Seahawks, tackle Walter Jones gave up only 23 quarterback sacks in the 5,500 passing attempts his team had with him on the field; that’s an average of only one sack every 240 passing attempts. On top of that, Jones was called for holding only nine times.
The six-time All-Pro and nine-time Pro Bowl selection is often overlooked in the conversation for the greatest offensive linemen in NFL history, but you shouldn’t make that mistake.
Challenger: Russell Wilson
Even in the weeks leading up to the 2012 NFL Draft, most people acknowledged the fact that if Russell Wilson was just a few inches taller, he would’ve challenged Robert Griffin III to be the second quarterback taken in said draft, behind Andrew Luck. But shortly after the Seattle Seahawks stole him with a 3rd round pick, it became apparent that they simply couldn’t justify Wilson not being the most capable player to start for his team, even as a rookie.
Wilson repaid the Seahawks decision with a playoff win in his rookie season, and a Super Bowl win in his second season. He owns a myriad of franchise records for passing, and has consistently been one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL through the latter part of the 2010’s.