All-time University of Michigan NFL team


Tom Brady photo courtesy of the New England Patriots

You can argue that Tom Brady is the greatest player in NFL history.

He’s certainly in the debate — and the University of Michigan can claim him. But greatness isn’t restricted to the quarterback position at Michigan. The Wolverines have become a football factory that churns out blue-chip offensive linemen.

According to pro-football-reference.com, Michigan ranks sixth all-time among colleges with 370 NFL draft picks. The Wolverines also rank 10th all-time with 44 first-rounders. Eleven of those first-rounders have been offensive linemen and another 11 arrived in the NFL as second-rounders.

Michigan has produced two Hall-of-Fame blockers, guard Tom Mack and tackle Dan Dierdorf. Mack was a first-round pick of the Los Angeles Rams in 1966 and Dierdorf a second-round pick of the St. Louis Cardinals in 1971. Mack went to 11 Pro Bowls and Dierdorf six.

Guard Steve Hutchinson, a first-rounder in 2001, was named to the NFL’s all-decade team for the 2000s, and Al Wistert was named to the NFL’s all-decade team for the 1940s.

Mike Kenn, a first-round pick of Atlanta in 1978, went to five Pro Bowls with the Falcons, and fellow tackle Jake Long, the first overall pick of the 2008 draft, went to four Pro Bowls with the Dolphins. Tackle Bubba Paris, a second-round pick of the 49ers in 1982, started on three Super Bowl teams for San Francisco, and Jumbo Elliott, a second-rounder in 1988, started on a Super Bowl team for the New York Giants.

Reggie McKenzie and Paul Seymour were both members of Buffalo’s Electric Company that opened the holes for O.J. Simpson in his 2,000-yard season, and Jon Runyan was named to Philadelphia’s 75th anniversary team at tackle. Seymour was a first-rounder, McKenzie a second and Runyan a fourth.

Here’s the University of Michigan’s all-time NFL: team:

OFFENSE

QB – Tom Brady, 4-time Super Bowl MVP

RB –Ron Johnson, 2 Pro Bowls

RB – Anthony Thomas, 2 1,000-yard seasons

WR – Elroy Hirsch, Hall of Fame

WR – Bill Hewitt, Hall of Fame

TE – Ron Kramer, NFL’s 50th anniversary team

OT – Dan Dierdorf, Hall of Fame

OT – Al Wistert, 1940s NFL all-decade team

G – Tom Mack, Hall of Fame

G – Steve Hutchinson, 2000s NFL all-decade team

C – Steve Everitt, Started 98 NFL games

DEFENSE

DE – Len Ford, Hall of Fame

DE – Curtis Greer, 69 ½ career sacks

DT – Alan Branch, 2 Super Bowls

DT – Tom Keating, All-time All-AFL team

LB – LaMarr Woodley, Pro Bowl

MLB – David Harris, 1,088 career tackles

LB – Larry Foote, 2 Super Bowls

DB – Ty Law, 2000s 2000s NFL all-decade team

DB – Charles Woodson, 2000s NFL all-decade team

DB – Dave Brown, 62 career interceptions

DB – Dwight Hicks, 4 Pro Bowls

SPECIAL TEAMS

K – Ali Haji-Sheikh, 151 career points

P – Zolton Mesko, NFL rookie record for net punting (38.4 yards)

KR – Desmond Howard, Super Bowl MVP

ST ace – Ian Gold, Pro Bowl

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3 Comments

  1. Joseph Wright
    April 7, 2017
    Reply

    Bill Hewitt? No Anthony Carter?

    • Rick Gosselin
      April 8, 2017
      Reply

      One is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. One is not.

      • Joseph Wright
        April 10, 2017
        Reply

        If they had gone to Michigan, I could understand Anthony Carter taking a back seat to Don Hutson or Lance Alworth–Tom Fears, even–but Bill Hewitt? My counter to the Hall of Fame argument: Until AC left, Cris Carter wasn’t the top WR on the Vikings–he wasn’t even the top Carter!

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