How did Jerry Rice become No. 1 on the Top 100 Greatest NFL Players?
Because that’s how the voters voted. All of ‘em.
In the NFL Network series that ended last week, whatever general consensus that had Jim Brown standing alone at the top of any “best of” player lists was put to some rest when it was Rice who took the spot (linked here).
The former San Francisco 49ers receiver was voted in by the NFL Films pannel of experts as well as a fan vote on NFL.com.
Brown, voted No. 2 by the experts, was only No. 9 by the fans. They had Joe Montana in the second slot, appropriately. Montana was No. 4 in the experts’ poll, behind Lawrence Taylor.
If you’re looking for some Southern California angles, former USC stars Ronnie Lott and Anthony Munoz were Nos 11 and 12, former L.A. Rams teammates Deacon Jones and Merlin Olsen were Nos. 15 and 27, and former Granada High quarterback John Elway was No. 23 (but No. 8 in the fan vote).
The highest rated active players by the experts were Peyton Manning (No. 8), Ray Lewis (No. 18), Brett Favre (No. 20) and Tom Brady (No. 21).