12 Best NFL Lineman of all Time

The linemen are the protectors of the NFL who aren’t just large and robust but skillful and strategic. This article discusses the best NFL lineman of all time ever to grace the field with their defense. 

A lineman protects the quarterbacks from getting sacked and fumbled. 

Jonathan Ogden
Jonathan Ogden (Source: Press Box Online)

The lineman consists of the center, guards, and offensive tackler. Also, a tight end in an entire offensive line.

They are the king of defenses who need to hit and block the opponent team and keep a close eye above and around. 

12 Best NFL Lineman of all Time

Before we get to the player’s details, let’s look at the overview of the list. Here are the 12 best NFL linemen of all time whose legacy lives and shall continue.

The information provided down below has been gathered from NFL and Wikipedia.

Name of the playerTeam
12. Willie RoafKansas City Chiefs
11. Dan DierdorfSt. Louis Cardinals
10. Dwight StephensonMiami Dolphins 
9. Mike WebsterKansas City Chiefs
8. Randall McDanielTampa Bay Buccaneers
7. Orlando PaceChicago Bears
6. Bruce MatthewsTennessee Titans
5. John HannahNew England Patriots
4. Forrest GreggDallas Cowboys
3. Jonathan OgdenBaltimore Ravens
2. Larry AllenSam Francisco 49ers
1. Anthony MuñozTampa Bay Buccaneers

12. Willie Roaf

  • Games played: 189
  • Games started: 189
  • NFL Draft: 1993
  • Position: Offensive Tackle
  • Team: Kansas City Chiefs

Beginning with our no 12 on the list of the best NFL lineman of all time is the one and only Willie Roaf, an 11 times Pro Bowl selection from 1994-2000 and 2002-2005.

Roaf, the offensive tackler of the Kansas City Chiefs, played 13 seasons in the NFL. Previously, he also played for the New Orleans Saints, who picked Roaf as their round one pick eight in the 1993 NFL Draft. 

Willie Roaf
Willie Roaf (Source: Willie Roaf Twitter)

His dedication and enthusiasm have led his name in the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the College Football Hall of Fame. Similarly, he is also a six times First-team All-Pro selection and three times Second-team All-Pro. 

Overall, in his professional career has played 189 games and started all of them. He retired in 2006 and worked as a coach in Santa Monica College, California.

11. Dan Dierdorf

  • Games played: 160
  • Fumble recoveries: 7
  • NFL Draft: 1971
  • Position: Offensive Tackle
  • Team: St Louis Cardinals

Dan Dierdoff is the best NFL lineman who dedicated his professional career to the St Louis Cardinals. After being drafted in the 1971 NFL Draft, he played for them until his retirement in 1983.

From 1974 to 1978, Dan led the lineman game being the Offensive Lineman of the Year from 1976-1978. During those years, he didn’t even let any quarterback record a sack. 

Dierdoff was selected for the Pro Bowl from 1974-78 and first-team All-NFL in 1975. Moreover, he was named the Offensive Lineman of the Year by NFC, Seagram’s Seven Crowns of Sports, and the Forrest Gregg Award.

Also, read the 12 Most Expensive NFL Stadiums. 

10. Dwight Stephenson

  • Games played: 114
  • Games started: 87
  • NFL Draft: 1980
  • Position: Center
  • Team: Miami Dolphins

The NFL Man of the Year 1985, Dwight Stephenson was a former NFL center. He dedicated his professional career to the Miami Dolphins after being drafted in the NFL Draft 1980.

He was selected four times for the First-team All-Pro and once for the Second-team All-pro. Similarly, five times for the AFC-NFC Pro Bowl from 1983 to 1987. Dwight also has his name installed in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. 

Dwight was the two times National Champion and has been inducted into the Miami Dolphins Honor Roll. In 1999, he was placed in the 84th position of The Sporting News’ 100 Greatest Football Players. 

From 1983-87, he was awarded the AFC Offensive Lineman of the Year eight times during his peak years. 

9. Mike Webster

  • Games played: 245
  • Games started: 217
  • Fumble recoveries: 6
  • NFL Draft: 1974
  • Position: Center
  • Team: Kansas City Chiefs

The four-time Super Bowl champion, Mike Webster, was an infamous NFL player who played for the Pittsburgh Steelers and Kansas City Chiefs. He retired from football in 1990 with the Chiefs. 

Also, read the Top 10 Most Followed NFL Player on Twitter.

Mike was one of the Pro Football Hall of Fame members considered the superior NFL center in history. He has played 245 games in his career, where he started 217 with six successful fumble recoveries. 

Unfortunately, Mike passed away in 2002 due to a heart attack. In addition, he was suffering from chronic traumatic encephalopathy, which occurred because of continuous blows to his head.

However, his death is a symbol of the head injuries NFL players suffer from and the requirement of safety of the player. 

8. Randall McDaniel

  • Games played: 222
  • Games started: 220
  • NFL Draft: 1998
  • Position: Guard
  • Team: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Randall McDaniel is a former NFL guard who played for the Minnesota Vikings and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Before his NFL debut, he played college football for Arizona State University. 

During his debut year with the Vikings, he started every game he played with them. Moreover, he recorded 12 Pro Bowls and is known globally as the most versatile and skillful offensive lineman in NFL history and one of the best NFL guards of all time.

Randall McDaniel
Randall McDaniel (Source: Minnesota Vikings Twitter)

Furthermore, he was nine times First-team All-Pro selection and received a Morris Trophy in 1987. Also, he holds the Minnesota Vikings Ring of Honor and inducted his name in the 50 Greatest Vikings. 

During his retirement, he signed a one-day contract with the Vikings to retire with the team that allowed him to dignify his name in the NFL history. 

7. Orlando Pace

  • Games played: 169
  • Games started: 165
  • Fumble recovered: 7
  • NFL Draft: 1997
  • Position: Offensive Tackle
  • Team: Chicago Bears

Orlando Pace played for the St. Louis Rams most of his career from 1997-2008 and with the Chicago Bears in 2009. The Rams selected Pace in the 1997 NFL Draft and instantly was recognized as the best NFL lineman of all time.

His NFL career was magnificent as he won his first Super Bowl in the Super Bowl XXXIV and also got selected seven times for the Pro Bowl. Moreover, he also won the UPI Lineman of the Year and Heisman Trophy in 1996.

Similarly, he was recognized as the Big Ten Most Valuable Player and Offensive Player of the Year the same year. Furthermore, he won the Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year twice in 1995 and 1996.

6. Bruce Matthews

  • Games played: 296
  • Games started: 293
  • Forced fumbles: 5
  • Team: Tennessee Titans
  • NFL Draft: 1983
  • Position: Offensive Lineman

Bruce Rankin Matthews was a former American football player drafted in the 1983 NFL Draft by the Houston/Tennessee Oilers/ Titans. He was known in the industry for his versatile play as he handles the center, guard, offensive tackle, and long snapper position with ease. 

He was a 14 times Pro Bowl pick, nine times First-team All-Pro, and two times Second-team All-Pro. In 2001, he also received the Bart Star Award for his performance and owned a Titans/Oilers Ring of Honor. 

Overall, he has played 296 games in his NFL career, where he started 293 with five forced fumbles and 10 forced recoveries. 

Also, read about the 12 Best NFL Punters in the World. 

5. John Hannah

  • Games played: 183
  • Games started: 183
  • Fumbles recovered: 10
  • NFL Draft: 1973
  • Position: Offensive Guard
  • Team: New England Patriots

John Allen Hannah, also known lovingly as Hog, is a fantastic lineman who dedicated his career to the New England Patriots. He is considered the most outstanding lineman in NFL history, along with Anthony Munoz. 

Hannah was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1991 and the New England Patriots Hall of Fame. He was selected seven times for the First-team All-Pro and three times for the Second-team All-pro.

He was the first player from the Patriots to ever have his name in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Moreover, he was also nominated for the Seagram’s Seven Crowns of Sports Offensive Lineman of the Year award.

4. Forrest Gregg

  • Games played: 193
  • Fumble recoveries: 8
  • NFL Draft: 1956
  • Position: Offensive Tackle
  • Team: Dallas Cowboys

Forrest Gregg has played for six NFL championships and 16 seasons as a Pro Football Hall of Fame offensive lineman. Gregg played with the Green Bay Packers for most of his career and transferred to Dallas Cowboys in 1971. 

Forrest Greg (Source: The Newyork Times)
Forrest Greg (Source: The New York Times)

With the Cowboys, he won his first Super Bowl VI. Overall, he has won three Super Bowls matches, I, II, and VI. Also, he had his selection in the Pro Bowl nine times and has his name in the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame.

Finally, after retiring from a professional football player, he became a head coach who led the 1981 Cincinnati Bengals to the Super Bowl.

3. Jonathan Ogden

  • Games played: 177
  • Games started: 176
  • NFL Draft: 1996
  • Position: Offensive Tackle
  • Team: Baltimore Ravens
  • Touchdowns: 2

Jonathan Phillip Ogden is a former offensive tackle of the Baltimore Ravens. He spent his entire career with the Ravens and won the Super Bowl XXXV with them.

In addition, he also held a Pro Football Hall of Fame nomination in 2013. Similarly, he holds the record for eleven times in the Pro Bowl consecutively from 1997 to 2007. 

Overall, he has played 177 games in his NFL career and has started 176 of them. Moreover, his NFL career statistics include 10 fumbles recovered and the NFL Alumni Offensive Lineman of the Year in 2002.

2. Larry Allen

  • Games played: 203
  • Games started: 197
  • Fumbles recovered: 4
  • NFL Draft: 1994
  • Position: Guard
  • Team: San Francisco 48ers

Larry Allen is mainly known for his large body size and record-breaking 705 lb bench press and 905lb squats. However, Allen is best known for being the most outstanding lineman in NFL history. 

He began his NFL career with the Dallas Cowboys and transferred to the San Francisco 49ers in 2006. Larry played 12 NFL seasons with the Cowboys and won a Super Bowl with them.

Similarly, he also owned a Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor and was nominated in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. 

Furthermore, he was inducted an ALL-Pro seven times and eleven times for Pro-Bowl.

1. Anthony Muñoz

  • Games played: 185
  • Games started: 182
  • NFL Draft: 1980
  • Position: Offensive Tackle
  • Team: Cincinnati Bengals

The player who earned the title of Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year 1991, Anthony Muñoz, is our best NFL lineman of all time. He has his name in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1998 and is the owner of the 1990 Bart Starr Award. 

Muñoz suffered several injuries during his career, but that didn’t stop him from playing. Regardless of his injuries, he only missed three games in 12 seasons. 

Best NFL lineman of all time Anthony Muñoz
Best NFL lineman of all time Anthony Muñoz (Source: Cincinnati Enquirer)

Anthony was infamous for his distinct ability to receive, block, notch, and score touchdowns tactfully. Unfortunately, he never received his Super Bowl win as he lost two Super Bowl games against the 49ers.

However, his legacy as the Offensive Lineman of the Year 1981 and 1988 remains intact. Moreover, NFL Player Association also named him the best lineman in 1981, 1985, 1988, and 1989.

To summarize

Finally, we conclude the list of the 12 most outstanding NFL linemen ever. All these men have retired but have left a great legacy in football history. In addition, their contribution towards making the NFL great will always be appreciated.

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