BRR's greatest NFL Huskers

Nebraska through the years has cranked out NFL caliber players and BRR has a list of our top ten.

#1 Will Shields (1993-2006) – Guard

Kansas City Chiefs

Shields never missed a game in his fourteen seasons and he failed to start in only one contest, which was his first regular-season outing as a rookie in 1993. Shields was a 12x Pro Bowl selection and in 2003 he was the recipient of the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award, for his work in The "Will to Succeed" Foundation, the charitable organization he started in 1993.

#2 Roger Craig (1983-1993) – Running Back

San Francisco 49ers, Los Angeles Raiders, Minnesota Vikings

Craig combined great running and pass catching ability that enabled him to become the first running back in NFL history to gain more than 1,000 yards rushing and 1,000 yards receiving in the same season (1985). A 4x Pro Bowler and 3x Super Bowl champion, Craig also on the 1988 NFL Offensive Player of the Year award. Craig remains the only running back to lead the NFL in receptions for a single season, and the only one ever to record over 100 receiving yards in a Super Bowl.

#3 Mick Tingelhoff (1962-1978) – Center

Minnesota Vikings

A free agent who signed with the Minnesota Vikings in 1962, Tingelhoff became the starting center during his rookie season and held that spot until he retired in 1978. He was a seven-time Pro Bowler and started 4 Super Bowls. At the time of his retirement, Tingelhoff had played in the 2nd most consecutive games (240 games) in NFL history.

#4 Ahman Green (1998 - 2009 – Running Back

Seattle Seahawks, Green Bay Packers, Houston Texans

In 2000, Green was traded along with a fifth round draft pick from Seattle to the Green Bay Packers. A fresh start with a new team was all Green needed to become one the best running backs in the NFL. In 2003, he set the Green Bay franchise record by running for 1,883 yards in the regular season. Green is also one of two players in NFL history to have two touchdown runs of 90 or more yards.

#5 Neil Smith (1988 - 2000) – Defensive End

Kansas City Chiefs, Denver Broncos, San Diego Chargers

Smith's physical prowess made him into one of the top defensive linemen in the ‘90's. He made the Pro Bowl 6 times during his career (1991 to 1995 and 1997), and led the NFL with 15 sacks in the 1993. Smith was able to win two Super Bowl rings with the Broncos.

#6 Bob Brown (1964-1973) – Offensive Tackle

Philadelphia Eagles, Los Angeles Rams, Oakland Raiders

A member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Brown was named All-Pro five of his ten seasons. Drafted in the first round (second overall) of the 1964 NFL Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles, Brown was named the NFL/NFC offensive lineman of the year three times, and was also chosen to play in six Pro Bowls.

#7 Irving Fryar (1984-2000) - Wide Receiver

New England Patriots, Miami Dolphins, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins

Fryar holds the NFL Record for having touchdowns reception from nineteen different passers and having at least two touchdown receptions in 16 consecutive seasons. He also became the first player to record a touchdown reception in 17 consecutive seasons. He played a total of 255 games in his career and made the Pro Bowl five times.

#8 Tom Rathman (1986-1994) - Fullback

San Francisco 49ers, Los Angeles Raiders

Rathman was the model fullback in the NFL in the late ‘80's to early ‘90's. He could run, catch and block making him one of the best in his nine years as a fullback. A back field teammate of Roger Craig, Rathman helped lead the 49ers to two Super Bowl wins. In 1989, he led all NFL running backs in receiving with 73 receptions for 616 yards. Rathman is currently the running backs coach for the Oakland Raiders.

#9 Pat Fischer (1961-1977) – Cornerback

St. Louis Cardinals, Washington Redskins

Fischer played his cornerback position better than anyone during his 17-year NFL career. He finished with 56 interceptions and ranks seventh all-time in Redskins career interceptions with 27 and fourth all-time with 412 career interception return yards. A three-time Pro Bowl selection, Fischer helped lead the Redskins to Super Bowl VII in 1972. When he retired, Fischer had played in 213 NFL games, which at that time was a record for a cornerback.

#10 Mike Minter (1997-2006) – Safety

Carolina Panthers

Knee problems ended what could have been a longer career for Minter. Even so, he still leaves the NFL with Carolina team records for game starts (141) and consecutive starts (94). Minter also holds the records for fumble recoveries and interceptions resulting in touchdowns.

*** Current NFL were not included on this list. ***

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Shane Gilster is the Editor of Big Red Report Magazine. His stories focus mainly on catching up with former Huskers and examining Nebraska athletic history.
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