12 Best NFL Linemen Of All Time

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12 Best NFL Linemen Of All Time!! A lineman in the NFL is a player who specializes in the play at the line of scrimmage. Two types of linemen combat each other: offense and defense. 

The offensive lineman includes the quarterback as its coordinator, guards, centers, and tackles. The quarterback gets the ball and sends it to the receiver. These players advance the ball to the opponent’s end zone. 

The defensive lineman is tackles, guards, a center, and a pair of defensive ends. They are ineligible receivers who meet their opponents just after the line of scrimmage. These players are robust and block the competitor’s face. 

American Former Professional Football Player Willie Roaf
American Former Professional Football Player Willie Roaf (Source: NFL News)

Willie Roaf, considered one of the best NFL linemen of all time, was inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame on February 6, 2022. 

This article discusses the best NFL lineman of all time ever to grace the field with their defense. 

12 Best NFL Linemen 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 whose legacy lives and shall continue.

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

Name of the player Team
12. Willie Roaf Kansas City Chiefs
11. Dan Dierdorf St. Louis Cardinals
10. Dwight Stephenson Miami Dolphins 
9. Mike Webster Kansas City Chiefs
8. Randall McDaniel Tampa Bay Buccaneers
7. Orlando Pace Chicago Bears
6. Bruce Matthews Tennessee Titans
5. John Hannah New England Patriots
4. Forrest Gregg Dallas Cowboys
3. Jonathan Ogden Baltimore Ravens
2. Larry Allen Sam Francisco 49ers
1. Anthony Muñoz Tampa Bay Buccaneers

12. Willie Roaf

  • Games Played: 189
  • Games started: 189
  • NFL Draft: 1993
  • Position: Offensive Tackle
  • Team: New Orleans Saints (1993-2001) and Kansas City Chiefs (2002-2005)

Beginning our number 12 on the list of the best NFL linemen 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, eighth pick in the 1993 NFL Draft. 

Willie Roaf
Willie Roaf Posing With His Statue (Source: Willie Roaf Twitter)

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

Overall, he played 189 games and started in all of them. Willie retired in 2006 and worked as a coach at Santa Monica College, California.

The former Saints tackle was inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame on February 6, 2022. He thanked his aunt, uncle, and children at the program before thanking the Hall of Frame selection committee. 

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 St. Louis Cardinals. After being drafted in the 1971 NFL Draft, he played for them until his retirement in 1983.

Dan Dierdorf
Dan Dierdorf  In St.Louis cardinals Jersey (Source: Arizona Cardinals Twitter)

From 1976-1978 the National Football League Players Association selected Dierdoff as the Offensive Lineman of the Year for three consecutive years.

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

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 who dedicated his career to the Miami Dolphins after being picked in the NFL Draft in 1980.

He was selected four times for the First-team All-Pro and once for the Second-team All-pro. Similarly, Stephenson was nominated five times for the AFC-NFC Pro Bowl from 1983 to 1987. 

Miami Dolphins Player Stephenson
Miami Dolphins Player Stephenson (Source: Community Newspaper)

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, Stephenson was awarded the AFC Offensive Lineman of the Year eight times. 

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 a famous NFL player who played as a center for the Pittsburgh Steelers and Kansas City Chiefs. He officially retired from football in 1990. 

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

Pittsburgh Steelers And Kansas City Chiefs Center Mike Webster
Pittsburgh Steelers And Kansas City Chiefs Center Mike Webster (Source: The New York Times)

Unfortunately, he 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 symbolized the head injuries that NFL players faced throughout their careers. 

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 in NFL. 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 was selected for 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.

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, McDaniel holds the Minnesota Vikings Ring of Honor and is included in the 50 Greatest Vikings list. 

Randall signed a one-day contract with the Vikings to retire as one, which allowed him to dignify his name in 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.

The offensive tackle has been recognized as the best NFL lineman of all time.

 St. Louis Rams Left Tackle Orlando Pace
St. Louis Rams Offensive Tackle Orlando Pace (Source: NFL Talks)

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, Pace won the UPI Lineman of the Year and Heisman Trophy in 1996.

He was recognized as the Big Ten Most Valuable Player and Offensive Player of the Year the same year. Furthermore, Orlando 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: Guard, Center, Offensive tackle, and Long Snapper

Bruce Rankin Matthews is a former American football player drafted in the 1983 NFL Draft by the Houston Oilers.

He was known in the NFL for his versatile play as he efficiently handled the center, guard, offensive tackle, and long snapper positions. 

Bruce Matthews Started 292 Games Across Every Position On The Offensive Line
Bruce Matthews Started 292 Games Across Every Position On The Offensive Line (Source: Sports Illustrated)

Bruce was a 14 times Pro Bowl pick, nine times First-team All-Pro, and two times Second-team All-Pro. In 2001, Matthews also received the Bart Star Award for his performance.

Matthews played 296 games in his NFL career, where he started 293 with five forced fumbles and ten forced recoveries. 

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 the most outstanding lineman in NFL history, along with Anthony Munoz. 

The Pro Football Hall of Fame and New England Patriots Hall of Fame inducted him in 1991. 

New England Patriot Offensive Lineman John Hannah
New England Patriot Offensive Lineman John Hannah (Source: NFL Past Players)

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

4. Forrest Gregg

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

Forrest Gregg played in six NFL championships and 16 seasons 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)

Gregg won the first two Super Bowls as part of the Packers and also Super Bowl VI as a Cowboy.

He was selected for nine Pro Bowl over the course of his career and was inducted into the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame.

Finally, after retiring as a professional football player, Gregg 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 for the Baltimore Ravens. He spent his entire career with the Ravens and won Super Bowl XXXV.

In addition, he also held a Pro Football Hall of Fame nomination in 2013. Similarly, Ogden received a record eleven Pro Bowl selections consecutively from 1997 to 2007. 

Jonathan Ogden Playing For The Baltimore Ravens
Jonathan Ogden Playing For The Baltimore Ravens (Source: Pinterest)

The offensive tackle played 177 games in his NFL career and started 176 of them.

Moreover, his NFL career statistics include ten fumbles recovered and being 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 49ers

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

Allen 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.

Larry Allen Was Named To The NFL's All-Decade Team Of The 1990s
Larry Allen Was Named To The NFL’s All-Decade Team Of The 1990s (Source: Press Democrat)

Similarly, the Dallas Cowboys honored him with a Ring of Honor and nominated him for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He was selected an ALL-Pro seven times and Pro Bowl eleven times.

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 Award in 1991, Anthony Muñoz, is our best NFL lineman of all time. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1998 and won 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 in 1981 and 1988 remains intact.

Moreover, NFL Player Association 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. All these men have retired but have left a great legacy in football history.

Sanjib Sah
Sanjib Sah
Sanjib Sah is an engineer and content writer passionate about sports and athletics. With a background in engineering and a love for all things active, Sanjib brings a unique perspective to the world of sports writing. Whether he is covering the latest trends in sports technology or sharing tips on improving your game, Sanjib's words are always rooted in a deep appreciation for players' hard work and dedication everywhere. In his free time, you can find him hitting the courts or hitting the trails, always looking for new ways to challenge himself and improve his skills.

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