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The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / Top 10 Undrafted Players in NFL History

Top 10 Undrafted Players in NFL History

The 10 best
Publish Date: 02/19/2022
Fact checked by: Simon Briffa
Ram halfback Jon Arnett is stopped by a head-lock thrown by Lion Dick 'Night Train' Lane (81) after he gathered in a pass from Zeke Bratkowski during the second quarter of the Detroit-Los Angeles game. Detroit won 14-13.

10) Marion Motley

Motley had 828 career carries for 4,720 yards and 5,827 total yards from scrimmage in his nine years in the league. He led the league in rushing in 1950. Not bad for a man who had to request a tryout to have an opportunity to play in the NFL. Motley was also named to the NFL’s 75th-anniversary team.

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9) Joe Perry

Perry was straight out of Compton, Compton Community College, that is. Perry had a spectacular career with the 49ers being named to the NFL’s All-Decade Team in the 1950s. Perry led the league in rushing yards, carries, and yards from scrimmage in 1953 and 1954; rushing yards in 1949; rushing yards per game in 1949, 1953, and 1954; and touchdowns in 1949, 1953, and 1954. He had 1,929 career rushes for 9,723 yards and 71 touchdowns. He also has 11,744 career yards from scrimmage and 83 combined scores.

8) Lou Groza

Groza joined the Browns after World War II and made an immediate impact. He was the NFL’s scoring leader in 1957, and he is the Browns’ all-time scoring leader with 1,608 points. In addition, he’s reached the Pro Bowl nine times, was a four-time first-team All-Pro, led the league in field goals made five times.

7) Willie Brown

The Houston Oilers initially signed Brown, was cut, and ended up with the Denver Broncos until finally settling with the Oakland Raiders in 1967. Brown had a career total of 54 interceptions for 472 yards and two touchdowns. He appeared in five AFC All-Star Games and four Pro Bowls, and he returned an interception for a 75-yard touchdown in Super Bowl XI, which the Raiders won.

6) Antonio Gates

Gates was an excellent basketball player in College, but he flourished in the NFL. Gates was selected to the NFL 2000s All-Decade Team, and he was also awarded the NFL Alumni’s Tight End of the Year Award in 2005.

5) Emlen Tunnell

Tunnell reached the Pro Bowl nine times in his career and was named an All-Pro eight times. He is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and was named the NFL 1950s All-Decade Team. Tunnell had an incredible 79 career interceptions—the second-most in NFL historytotaling 1,282 yards.

4) John Randall

Randall was one of the most outstanding interior defensive linemen in NFL history. Randle made the Pro Bowl seven times, was an All-Pro six times, is a member of the NFL’s 1990s All-Decade Team, and was selected for the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2010.

3) Warren Moon

Moon spent his first six years as a Professional in the CFL with the Edmonton Eskimos before signing in 1984 with the Houston Oilers. Moon completed 3,988 of his 6,823 NFL-career pass attempts for 49,325 yards, 291 touchdowns, and 233 interceptions. He also rushed for 1,736 yards and 22 touchdowns. Moon was named to nine Pro Bowl teams.

2) Kurt Warner

Warner was the ultimate Cinderella story; he went from bagging groceries to playing for Coach John Gregory’s Iowa Barnstormers in the Arena Football League and eventually became the Quarterback for the “Greatest Show on Turf” in St.Louis. He went to three Super Bowls, winning one.

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1) Dick “Night Train” Lane

After being undrafted, “Night Train” made an impact that would never be forgotten in his rookie season. He set an NFL record that still stands today with 14 interceptions; Lane totaled 68 interceptions 1,207 yards for his career. He reached the Pro Bowl seven times, was a six-time first-team All-Pro, a four-time second-team All-Pro, and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1968. Lane will be remembered as one of the greatest defensive backs ever to play the game.

 

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