I’ve been enjoying this USA Today series and agree with it so far (today they revealed #19 – Marshall Faulk). My guess at their top 5 10:

  1. Joe Montana (ranked #1 by USA Today as well)
  2. Tom Brady (ranked #9 by USA Today)
  3. Barry Sanders (ranked #10 by USA Today)
  4. Brett Favre (ranked #14 by USA Today)
  5. Walter Payton (ranked #3 by USA Today)
  6. Emmitt Smith (ranked #7 by USA Today — close!)
  7. Dan Marino (ranked #11 by USA Today)
  8. Reggie White (ranked #5 by USA Today)
  9. John Elway (ranked #6 by USA Today)
  10. Jerry Rice (ranked #2 by USA Today)

Defensive players will most likely be under-represented. Reggie White, Lawrence Taylor, and Bruce Smith should all make appearances. Thurman Thomas should be in there, but probably won’t. Since this list is being created by journalists, I’m thinking Art Monk will probably be snubbed.

Update (6/27): I extended my guesses from the top 5 to the top 10. Defensive player representation got a boost today from the inclusion of #18, Ray Lewis.

Update (7/3): After Bruce Smith’s appearance (part of four straight defensive players), I thought the list had hope. Ranking Brett Favre #14? The man may become the most prolific passer in history this season as he is set to eclipse some of Marino’s and Elway’s records. He was a three-time league MVP. The list is now irrelevant.

Update (7/10): Still following the series. Can’t believe Barry Sanders isn’t ranked higher.

Update (7/16): The Top 5 remain. 4 out of my orginal top 10 remain: Montana, Payton, White, and Rice. I think they plus Lawrence Taylor will comprise the Top 5.

Update (7/17): Reggie White at #5. Assuming my top 4 are correct, the 25 break down into 8 defensive and 17 offensive players. More than I though would make it, but still less than a third of the list. One offensive lineman: Anthony Muñoz. The remaining 16 players consist of 9 QBs, 6 RBs, and 1 WR.