Ranking NFL careers that Heisman winners: 4. Charles Woodson, CB, Michigan
For the very first time, a protective player provides the list, and boy to be this a good defensive player. Charles Woodson was among the ideal defensive backs that his era. Prior to that, that was one of the ideal college protective players in a long, long time. In fact, he is the only primarily protective player ever before to victory the Heisman Trophy.
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Woodson to be awesome for the Wolverines in annually he played, leading the team with five interceptions as a freshman. He kept gaining better, and also even played a tiny bit that offense and also contributed as a punt returner. Woodson was an excellent at everything on the football field. During his Heisman-winning season, he beat out Tennessee’s Peyton Manning for the award.
He to be taken v the fourth-overall choose in the NFL draft to the Oakland Raiders. He automatically made an affect and won the protective Rookie of the Year. He finished with five interceptions in his rookie year, great for fifth in the league. The didn’t sluggish down native there and also became one of the ideal cornerbacks in the NFL. He ongoing his job in eco-friendly Bay wherein he came ago from some injury-riddled periods to finish his Oakland years.
Woodson could honestly be everywhere in this peak five. He to be so an excellent at his position. He is bound for fifth all time with 65 interceptions in his career, and also he finished his career fifth in tackles through a cornerback. Woodson was amazing, yet the top four is just so an excellent it’s tough to argue (although civilization likely will).
The Heisman Trophy is the most prestigious separation, personal, instance trophy in college football. Complete stop. Nobody talks around individual trophies choose they carry out the Heisman. Castle talk around MVP awards in various sports, yet the surname of the various trophies don’t really matter. The most popular by name space all team trophies like the Lombardi Trophy, the Stanley Cup, and the human being Cup, however there’s nothing choose the Heisman. (The just one precious considering is one Olympic yellow medal, however this is focusing on single-year trophies.)
Every year, over there is a season-long debate around who will certainly win the Heisman Trophy, and it consists of some that the finest names in the background of university football. Sometimes, those football player turn right into some that the greatest experienced football players in the history of the NFL. Several of the current NFL stars are previous Heisman Trophy winners. Derrick Henry is the best running back in the league, yet he to be once overcoming the football field for the Alabama Crimson Tide. Baker Mayfield was overcoming the field for Oklahoma prior to he was leading the comeback of the Cleveland Browns franchise. Kyler Murray is a man to clock in Arizona.
However, it doesn’t always work out that way. In fact, that seems much more often than not that Heisman winners don’t have tendency to become superstars in the NFL. Some come to be draft busts, when others room just lacking something that NFL teams space looking for. Heisman Trophy winners have actually come in every round of the NFL Draft, and also they can conquer the organization or never adjust to the structure and speed the the pros.
We take it a look at 30 year of Heisman Trophy winners to see just how they did. Starting with the 1975-76 season, we look in ~ the NFL careers that comes after ~ the most prestigious compensation for people when it concerns team sports.
Ranking NFL careers of Heisman winners: 30. Charlie Ward, QB, Florida State
Maybe that is unfair to put Charlie Ward last on this list. He to be so good at football and basketball, the was enabled to pick sports. However, that is tough to rank Ward anywhere but last ~ not also considering playing skilled football ~ winning the Heisman Trophy because that Florida State.
Ward had actually one of the greatest jumps indigenous his small year come his senior year once it comes to accuracy and overall effectiveness from the quarterback position. After a volatile season where he threw 22 touchdowns and also 17 interceptions in his an initial year together a starter, Ward threw because that north the 3,000 yards with 29 touchdowns and also just 4 interceptions. He completed close come 70% that his overcome after hitting on just 55% that his overcome the season before. It was an exceptional jump.
He led Florida State come its first-ever nationwide Championship beating the great Nebraska team 18 to 16. Ward said he deserved to be a first-round pick in the NFL Draft, yet no team was willing to commit that kind of choose on him and he in reality went undrafted entirely. So, he chose basketball.
The Knicks took Ward with their first-round pick, and also he went on to have a 10-year career in the large Apple. Ward made $34 million over his NBA career, so it’s difficult to to speak this to be the not correct decision. It is amazing to view what he could have excellent if the was offered a shooting in the NFL.
Ranking NFL careers that Heisman winners: 29. Jason White, QB, Oklahoma
Jason White is an additional player who never took a experienced NFL snap, yet it wasn’t for lack of desire. Injuries yes, really did a number on the two-time Heisman to win quarterback and the one-time winner. White was one of the ideal college quarterbacks the his generation. He tore both ACLs throughout his college career. Bob Stoops had actually to readjust the violation entirely and move it exclusively out the the shotgun formation, however White was established to it is in great. Oklahoma was a powerhouse, and White wasn’t around to avoid the momentum.
After acquisition his team to back-to-back championship games, shedding both come LSU and also USC, White about theory should have been a an excellent NFL prospect. Unfortunately, no team to be willing to take it a opportunity on his after ~ the significant issues v his medicals. He was among two Heisman Trophy winners to walk undrafted. Ward was among them, and also the various other was Pete Dawkins who determined the military instead of football.
White was provided an NFL tryout about a month after ~ the NFL Draft, however he chose it just wasn’t the appropriate future for him. Honestly, the organization probably determined that for him. His future was most likely going through exercise squads and also spending many of his time as a backup. Honestly, it’s not a negative life. Just ask Chad Henne. However, that is no the life everyone desires to live. White ended up beginning businesses earlier in Oklahoma, and now he have the right to go and also see his Oklahoma statue whenever the wants.
Ranking NFL careers of Heisman winners: 28. Danny Wuerffel, QB, Florida
Danny Wuerffel was among the ideal quarterbacks in the background of Florida Gators football. He was a two-time first-team All-American. He won a ton that trophies, including the Sammy Baugh Trophy in 1995, the Davey O’Brien award in both 1995 and 1996, Johnny Unitas’ golden Arm award in 1996, and of course he is a Heisman Trophy winner. The once hosted a ton of university records and also beat competitor Florida State in the nationwide Championship Game.
Despite his harrowing success, he no really thought about a optimal prospect going into the NFL. The brand-new Orleans Saints take it him through the 99th-overall choose in the 1997 NFL Draft. The went on to play because that the Saints, before he was forced to pat in NFL Europe. He succeeded in Europe, and also it resulted in a backup job with the Chicago Bears. He then went to environment-friendly Bay before he to be taken in the Houston Texans expansion Draft. The Texans traded him come the Washington football Team, that was climate coached by former Florida Gators coach Steve Spurrier. Spurrier wanted his former star come work, so he made the the starter for component of the season. The dream no last, and also Spurrier couldn’t also save Wuerffel from getting cut.
After nobody signed Wuerffel in 2004, he retirement from the game of football. He’s to be working v faith-based charities ever since, and he appears to be functioning on making good on his previous stardom. However, in the greatest football league, that was never able to make a name for himself. He started simply 10 gamings in his career, but he threw 22 interceptions. It to be clear he was not worthy of an NFL job, and also the former Heisman winner to be just absent that extra piece to success in the pros.
Eric Crouch (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Ranking NFL careers the Heisman winners: 27. Eric Crouch, QB, Nebraska
Eric Crouch’s career in the NFL just seemed come explode in the worst-possible method basically the 2nd it started. He’s most likely the test case for Lamar Jackson to outright refuse to relocate positions when he concerned the NFL. Crouch won multiple awards in college, and also he left institution with end a dozen Nebraska and NCAA documents to his name. The dual threat was nearly impossible to avoid in college, and also it directly led to wins because that the Nebraska Cornhuskers.
Once he gained to the NFL, teams weren’t ready to take it a opportunity on a quarterback who’s main asset to be speed as soon as he wasn’t standing end 6’0 tall. Crouch was moved to wide receiver by the then-St. Luigi Rams. To be fair, it would be incredibly challenging to go from the triple alternative to a timeless NFL offense, but Crouch appeared committed to trying. Unfortunately, Rams head coach Mike Martz no so to crawl on “trying that out”.
So, Crouch go the unthinkable. He quit. Well, technically he retired. He to be 23 year old, he suffered a couple of offseason injuries, and also he left the video game of football that didn’t desire him come play quarterback anymore. He apparently said he would play vast receiver in pre-draft meetings. The enthusiasm was never ever there for Crouch at the position, and also he no willing to learn under Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce. Crouch simply wanted come play quarterback, and also when his very first offseason became a frustrating one, that walked far from the game entirely.
Crouch was ultimately able to play quarterback at a professional level. That signed through the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football organization in 2006. He had actually a opportunity to fight for the beginning job the following season, yet injuries to be his downfall. He has actually done analyst work, a little coaching, and also he even owns a sales agency in Nebraska, but he’ll always be considered the male who can never make it job-related in the NFL without even trying.
Ranking NFL careers that Heisman winners: 26. Andre Ware, QB, Houston
Andre Ware is the very first player top top this list who had actually real expectation coming into the NFL. ~ winning the Heisman Trophy in 1989, and also breaking 26 NCAA documents in the process, the Detroit Lions to be hoping they ultimately got their quarterback the the future. He was selected v the number-seven in its entirety pick in the 1990 NFL Draft. He was paired with an additional player ~ above this list, Barry Sanders.
Ware was a controversial pick from the start. That wasn’t because of off-the-field worries or anything prefer that, yet there was a lot of of arguments of who the Lions need to take at the optimal of the draft. The Lions scouting director resigned after ~ the Lions choose Ware. Head coach Wayne Fontes make the pick, but it seemed like he never ever really gave Ware a chance to display himself at a time when the Lions had something come play for. He eventually lost his chance entirely and tried to do it work-related with the Los Angeles Raiders.
Ware, the very first black quarterback to ever before win the Heisman, never ever showed much in the NFL. He had actually serious expectations, but he never lived as much as the hype. He’s currently doing his best work together an analyst and color commentator because that the Houston Texans and also college football.
Something simply didn’t click for Ware and the Lions. Over there is plainly blame ~ above both sides, however Ware never ever seemed to get a handle on an violation that no play come his specific strengths. His time in the NFL was short, and also he didn’t make much of one impact, but if he went to a franchise that was much more suited come him, that probably have a better chance that success.
Ranking NFL careers of Heisman winners: 25. Gino Torretta, QB, Miami
Gino Torretta was a massive star in ~ the college of Miami. He won two national Championships consisting of one together a starter wherein he to win rival and also then-number 1 Florida State in the title game. His last two seasons with Miami showed a good quarterback building a heavy career. The was, until it became clear that the QB wasn’t what the NFL was looking for. He didn’t obtain taken till the seventh ring of the breeze by the Minnesota Vikings.
Torretta threw for 41 yards in the NFL. The made 16 passes in spite of spending 5 seasons in the league. He simply never gained an opportunity, and also he eventually retired in 1997 ~ spending yet another season where he no play.
There are numerous who think others deserved the Heisman Trophy an ext than Torretta and that the truth he was on a stacked Miami team to be the only reason he winner the award. Many wanted Marshall Faulk to success the award, and also he would have been much greater on this list. However, Torretta to be still a very an excellent QB for his time. The actual reason most teams probably got scared far by Torretta is exactly how he played on the best stage. Alabama ate the for lunch in the 1992 nationwide Championship Game. The 11-man front threw the off some terribly that he was never the same.
Torretta functions in finance and likewise helps v college football analysis for Sirius XM radio. He’s spending a nice life ~ football, and it’s likely he has no regrets. However, it is safe to say he’s one of the worst Heisman winners once it pertains to an NFL career.
Ranking NFL careers of Heisman winners: 24. Rashaan Salaam, RB, Colorado
Quarterbacks take up a huge majority the the worst of this list. Ripe of the ten worst Heisman winners NFL careers started under center. That has actually a lot of to do with how the college game translates come the pros. There aren’t a lot of NFL offenses functioning in college football. However, Rashaan Salaam to represent the one non-QB in the bottom ten.
Salaam is just one of the many surprising Heisman winners in the history of the sport. He come out of i do not have anything to literally carry the Colorado Buffaloes come an 11-1 record with a 2,000+ garden season. He was unstoppable on the field, and the team’s just loss concerned the undefeated Nebraska Cornhuskers. Salaam looked like a star in the making.
He go in the first round that the NFL breeze in the following offseason. Salaam had actually one of the strangest and also quickest careers for any first-round pick. He began his career yet rushing because that north of 1,000 yards in his rookie season. The Bears assumed they had the heir noticeable to Walter Payton ~ above the roster. Appropriate after that, his career fell off completely. The went from a 1,000-yard rusher to trying to find a new team in two years. Injuries affected the last years of his career, and he made one critical run in the direction of an NFL future through the san Francisco 49ers in 2003. He had actually a an excellent training camp, yet they cut him anyway.
Salaam’s story doesn’t have a happy ending. The was found dead in a Colorado park in 2016. His Heisman Trophy was offered to aid with CTE research, and also it got a document $399,608 at auction. Salaam’s career was sad. It had actually so lot potential, yet it simply never worked.
Ranking NFL careers the Heisman winners: 23. Chris Weinke, QB, Florida State
Chris Weinke to be the an initial quarterback top top this list that acquired a real shot to it is in a star and also failed. The Carolina Panthers had no an option because Weinke to be a full-fledged adult once he to be drafted. At 29 year old, he to be older than half the organization as a rookie. He started 15 gamings for the Carolina Panthers, and he did pass for much more than 2,900 yards. However, the team perfect 1-15 and also didn’t have actually much come fall back on.
After his rookie year, the avenues dried up. That’s what happens as soon as you lose 15 games in a row as a franchise. The Panthers went in one more direction, however Weinke stayed on as a backup.
This is after ~ an incredible college career. Weinke obtained a late start to his career because he make the efforts to do it as a major League Baseball player. He to be drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays the same year he signed a letter the intent with Florida State. This is why he to be so lot older than all his teammates in college.
In college, he won the Heisman, a national Championship, and also has the monster moniker of being the first-ever Heisman winner that wasn’t a first-team All-American. The actually saw Heisman runner up mockery Heupel.
Weinke could have had actually a totally different job if he just made the decision to play football year earlier. He would certainly have had time to construct as an NFL starter, however he was out of time by the moment he make the league. He had actually one that the strangest contracts because that a rookie 4th-round pick, which consisted of 13 pages worth of feasible incentives. The Panthers thought he could be something despite taking him so late. However, it just didn’t turn into what the Panthers and Weinke hoped.
Ranking NFL careers that Heisman winners: 22. Matt Leinart, QB, USC
Matt Leinart came right into the NFL in what many thought should be one of the most stacked draft classes in history. That didn’t specifically work out that way. Leinart joins fellow stars Reggie shrub (a future surname on this list), Vince Young, and Mario Williams at the peak of the draft. None of them really lived as much as the expectations.
Leinart took it to one more level. He was projected to be the number-one all at once pick that the 2005 NFL Draft. He would have replaced Alex blacksmith on the san Francisco 49ers, and it would have been a really interesting “what if” for the Niners, environment-friendly Bay Packers (would they still have taken Aaron Rodgers), and also whichever team finished up taking Smith. Leinart ended up coming back for one more season, he take it a dance class with his girlfriend in ~ USC, and also he played one final season of university football.
Leinart ultimately went to the Arizona Cardinals. Previous Super key winner kurt Warner was there, yet he was gaining older. Warner to be coming off a terrible stint v the brand-new York Giants, for this reason the Cardinals knew he couldn’t be their only option. Just four games into his rookie season, Leinart replaced Warner together the starter. He to be inconsistent, and also he threw too numerous interceptions, however he had some exceptional moments. Leinart to be the starter throughout the renowned Denny environment-friendly “the Bears space who we assumed they were” rant. He damaged some rookie happen records, including one whereby he threw for 400 yards in a game.
However, the remainder of his job was everywhere the place. Warner would certainly take his starter project back, and he ultimately led the Cardinals come a Super bowl loss come the Steelers. Leinart would have to wait until 2010 to gain a possibility to be starter again. He ended up losing the job to Derek Anderson and also he to be unceremoniously cut from the team prior to the begin of the season. He went on to play a backup function with the Raiders, Texans, and also a quick stint v the Bills. His career was a huge disappointment, although 2 injuries early in his career really placed him two steps back right in ~ the beginning.
Ranking NFL careers that Heisman winners: 21. Ty Detmer, QB, BYU
Ty Detmer had such a ridiculous climb to the top that it made heads spin. The took end starter duties for BYU, and he instantly became one of the ideal players in the nation. In that an initial season, that threw for 4,500 yards and 32 touchdowns. For anyone declare he just did it versus WAC competition, he ended up passing because that a bowl document 576 yards versus Penn State in the vacation Bowl.
Detmer’s small season is taken into consideration one that the finest in the background of university football. He dominated everyone up till the critical two games of the season. The is where disaster struck. Detmer endured a dual shoulder injury in the vacation Bowl against Texas A&M. His next season began off terribly together he to be recovering from injury, yet he perfect the season scorchin hot and found himself with 59 NCAA records at the end of his career.
Once again, height obtained in the way of a good quarterback in the pros. He no taken until the ninth round that the draft. That would have gone undrafted if the was today. It’s hard for a ninth-round choose to do lot of noþeles in the NFL, however Detmer endured in the league for an ext than a decade. That was play in gamings all the way to 2003.
He started his career as Brett Favre’s backup, therefore he wasn’t obtaining much time there. He finished up play for six different franchises while mostly serving backup duties. Detmer played behind some large names consisting of Favre, Steve Young, Michael Vick, and he was also traded because that so he could mentor Tim Couch. It to be an exciting career, however it to be one that could have been far better if Detmer was just two inches taller.
Ranking NFL careers of Heisman winners: 20. Ron Dayne, RB, Wisconsin
Ron Dayne’s NCAA career is just one of the most impressive points we’ve seen on a football field. Because that the penn State Nittany Lions, he started all 4 years in college, never ever rushed for less than 1,400 yards, and also broke 2,000 yards in a season twice. He hit paydirt a man 71 time in college. 71 touchdowns in 4 years is unfathomable.
The new Jersey aboriginal was able to live out a dream and also play for the brand-new York Giants (who actually play in eastern Rutherford, N.J.). The Giants take it him through the 11th-overall pick in the 2000 draft. They had high hopes, yet they also currently had Tiki Barber on the roster. The 2 made a formidable duo the “Thunder and Lightning” because that a few seasons. Dayne to be a physical specimen who can run through anyone.
Unfortunately, Jim Fassel was no the biggest fan that the Dayne. That didn’t favor his pat style, and he really didn’t like the truth that he couldn’t lose weight. Fassel ultimately got fired, and Tom Coughlin come in to provide Dayne an additional chance. It cleared up worse, somehow. That only gained 52 carries that season and signed through the Denver Broncos in the offseason.
Dayne could have to be a lot more in a mechanism that just let him take it the reigns off. The wasn’t offered that oppotunity, but when he remained in a committee through Barber, lock were good together. Castle were together a matchup nightmare at their best.
Ranking NFL careers the Heisman winners: 19. Reggie Bush, RB, USC (vacated)
Say what you want around the presence of Reggie Bush’s Heisman Trophy win, his NFL job is undeniable. He to be a agreement number-one in its entirety pick the surprisingly went 2nd (so, consensus with everyone other than the Texans). Shrub was one of the greatest twin threats in the history of college football. The looked favor Marshall Faulk in his prime for USC. They had actually this aura around them thanks to Bush’s ability.
Bush had a kind rookie season through the Saints that included much more than 700 receiving yards, however it seemed prefer he gained worse yearly under Sean Payton. He had actually 29 touchdowns in five seasons follow me Bourbon St. Before he checked out play for the Miami Dolphins. There, he proved he had actually the capability to be the optimal guy. The ran for 1,086 yards and six touchdowns in that very first season in south Florida. He come close come 1,000 yards again in his 2nd year in Miami. Bush eventually visited Detroit and also broke 1,500 full yards for the first time in his career.
So, exactly how do we assess Reggie Bush’s career? Many think he to be a bust, yet was that really? He had an exciting career through the Saints, and also he certainly wasn’t precious the second-overall pick, however when comparing his job to other Heisman Trophy winners, it wasn’t terrible.
Ranking NFL careers of Heisman winners: 18. Charles White, RB, USC
Charles White to be a star in college football, putting together one of the best careers comes a decade after an additional Heisman Trophy winner in O.J. Simpson. He got far better every year, hitting his optimal in his an elderly season wherein he ran for 2,050 yards and also 19 touchdowns when the Trojans saw back-to-back rose Bowls and White was called the MVP both times.
He was taken in the first round of the NFL Draft, but it put him in Cleveland. The Browns gained most of nothing out of White, where he rushed for under 1,000 yards total in 4 years. He finally uncovered his stride once he was rejoined with his previous coach john Robsinson. In 1987, the led the NFL in rushing yards with 1,375. He finished up scoring 11 touchdowns and made the pro Bowl. That was given the Comeback Player that the Year Award for his efforts.
White struggled with drug use throughout his career, and that likely hampered his development. He started using it in college, and also he even had a stint in rehab throughout his NFL career. It is sad that it placed him behind, yet at the very least he ended his job on a high note. The one season it s okay him a little greater on this list, or that be way down.
Ranking NFL careers of Heisman winners: 17. Desmond Howard, WR, Michigan
It was all about “the pose”. Desmond Howard do the Heisman pose throughout a Michigan game, and also that snapshot lives ~ above in infamy. That came right after he took a punt for a touchdown. Howard had actually a habit of law that, making him among the many intriguing Heisman Trophy winners in history. The led the huge Ten in scoring throughout his junior year, help the Wolverines account for 138 points. He to be the very first receiver in background to command the conference in points. Howard to be so good, at the time it was the second-biggest margin of win of a Heisman winner. Howard had 640 first-place votes. Washington protective tackle Steve Emtman had the second-most first-place votes v 29.
Howard was taken through the fourth-overall choose in the NFL Draft. The Washington football Team to be looking to uncover an injection that talent to a team that was coming off a Super bowl win, and Howard looked choose the pick to do it. Washington didn’t need too much, but including someone together dynamic as Howard seemed favor a no brainer.
Howard never ever really settled as a receiver. Over 11 years, he had under 1,600 yards. It to be a huge disappointment native an attack standpoint, yet his ability as a returning kept him in the organization for over a decade. Washington lost Howard come the Jacksonville Jaguars in the growth draft. He ultimately went to the green Bay Packers where he do his biggest impact running a kickoff for touchdown against the brand-new England Patriots in the supervisor Bowl. He was named MVP the Super key XXXI.
Obviously, Howard didn’t live as much as the lofty expectation of a fourth-overall pick, but he did make a significant impact ~ above the NFL. No Super bowl MVP can loss out the the optimal 20.
Ranking NFL careers the Heisman winners: 16. Mike Rozier, RB, Nebraska
Mike Rozier was the motor that made the Nebraska Cornhuskers run throughout the early on 80s. His 1983 senior season to be awesome, as the Cornhuskers violation averaged much more than 50 points per game. Rozier led a rushing strike that averaged 400 yards every game. These are numbers you can not reach top top freshman mode on the NCAA video games. He scored 29 times and had close come 2,500 complete yards. This was insane how an excellent he remained in college. Nebraska when again came quick in the national Championship, but Rozier can leave college knowing he was the ideal player in college football, and one the the finest running backs ever.
Rozier showed just how strange football was in the 80s. He was a height draft choose of the USFL, and he played two periods with the Pittsburgh Maulers and also Jacksonville Bulls. That struggled in his very first season the end of college, however in his 2nd season, he post 1,361 yards and also 12 touchdowns. Then, he remained in the USFL supplemental draft to head come the NFL.
Rozier was taken 2nd overall by the Houston Oilers. That made two Pro Bowls with the Oilers prior to he was traded to the Atlanta Falcons in the center of the 1990 season. Rozier’s job in the NFL wasn’t negative necessarily, but this was someone who was so leading in university that just didn’t interpret to the pros. It to be a fine career for most, however it was slightly below expectations as soon as it concerns what the Heisman winner go in college.
Ranking NFL careers the Heisman winners: 15. George Rogers, RB, southern Carolina
Now that we space in the optimal 15, we are beginning to acquire to several of the really great NFL careers. While not everyone will hit expectations, they all provided a lot come their particular franchises. George Rogers is no different. He was a monster for the brand-new Orleans Saints, making 3 Pro Bowls, two All-Pro teams, and also sitting in the Saints hall of Fame.
Before that, Rogers to be a monster for the southern Carolina Gamecocks. He ran because that north of 1,000 yards in simply eight gamings his sophomore season. Throughout his small season, he ended up being a first-team All-American when he rushed because that close to 1,700 yards. His senior season somehow kept getting better. He ran because that 1,781 yards and also scored 14 times.
Rogers was selected an initial overall in the 1981 NFL Draft. The Saints would have actually loved this choose if Lawrence Taylor wasn’t the second-overall pick to the new York Giants.
Rogers was only able come play seven seasons in the NFL. His career was plagued with worries of cocaine use, which was a trouble throughout sporting activities at the time. His rookie season could be one of the best of every time, however. He rushed for 1,674 yards and 13 touchdowns in his an initial year in the league. The looked favor he to be going to it is in an all-time great, but his inconsistency took a toll. The had 4 seasons with much more than 1,000 yards rushing. The various other three he averaged just under 700 yards. Rogers was great when he was great. His star just melted a small too bright.
Ranking NFL careers the Heisman winners: 14. Earl Campbell, RB, Texas
Wait, no Earl Campbell walk to the southern Methodist Universit, and how is the existing holder of the NFL rushing document 14th top top this list? Nope, this isn’t that Earl Campbell. This is the one far better known together “The Tyler Rose”. Earl Campbell indigenous SMU was just a Heisman finalist.
Campbell played for the university of Texas indigenous 1974 come 1977. He was great in his an elderly season, rushing for 1,744 and 18 touchdowns. He to be the first Longhorns player to success the Heisman Trophy.
Campbell ended up being the first-overall pick to the Houston Oilers (okay, this is purposely confusing now). He had a fine NFL career. He rushed for an ext than 1,000 yards five times. That led the league in rushing in 1980 with 1,934 yards. He to be so an extremely close come the 2,000-yard club that the much more famous Campbell do popular.
Campbell was eventually traded come the new Orleans Saints, whereby he joined other Heisman Trophy winner George Rogers. It to be the very first time in NFL background that 2 Heisman winners would certainly play in the same backfield.
Ranking NFL careers the Heisman winners: 13. Doug Flutie, QB, Boston College
Doug Flutie had one that the most interesting NFL careers for a certified star we’ve ever seen. A vast reason for his stardom is what the did in college. The is responsible for one of the biggest plays in college football history. Flutie’s Hail Mary versus Miami v the game on the line to to win a major powerhouse will be played for as long as football exists. The Hurricanes’ defense let Gerard Phelan acquire behind them through Flutie was standing 65 yards away from the endzone. That chucked the up, and the remainder is history.
Flutie would go ~ above to success the Heisman Trophy, although somehow that game didn’t even account right into the voting. That was among the most fun athletes to root because that in university history. His little stature more than likely wouldn’t walk over well in the NFL. However, Flutie was breaking the mold.
Flutie didn’t go until the 11th ring of the breeze to the Los Angeles Rams. That’s due to the fact that he already signed to the new Jersey Generals of the USFL. Flutie’s career would acquire weird after ~ that. After ~ the USFL urgently one year right into his career, the Rams traded his legal rights to the Chicago Bears. That played much less than two seasons with the Bears prior to he was traded to Boston to play because that the Patriots, the very same Boston wherein he make a name for himself through Boston College.
He finished up safety a couple of seasons in new England before going to the Canadian soccer League. He figured out the pro game there and became a larger star. In his second season in the CFL, Flutie threw for an ext than 6,600 yards. The would continue to be in the CFL for eight seasons, win the Gray Cup (their version of the Lombardi Trophy) three times, and also was a three-time MVP.
He went earlier to the NFL in 1998 as soon as he signed with the Buffalo Bills. He to be the starter there until they opted to shot out plunder Johnson. Then, he saw the san Diego Chargers and also finished his beginning career there until a guy named attracted Brees took over. Flutie had a fun experienced career, but examining it deserve to be hard. It to be rocky, come say the least, but he lasted till his beforehand 40s. That needs to count because that something.
Ranking NFL careers the Heisman winners: 12. Billy Sims, RB, Oklahoma
Seeing number 20 on the Detroit Lions has people thinking us ranked Barry Sanders exterior the top ten. Nothing worry, we’re talking around Billy Sims here, another college football player that tore up the areas in Oklahoma white acquisition the NFL by storm. Sims college career started with a few injuries that maintained him the end of the lineup, but once he finally got ago into the lineup, that was tough to prevent him.
Sims led the NCAA in rushing touchdowns for two straight periods in 1978 and also 1979. The Lions eventually took him v the first-overall pick. The made the agree Bowl in the an initial three year of his career. He even helped the Lions do it come the playoffs in 1982 and also 1983. The is very impressive in itself! However, his success to be short-lived.
In the center of the 1984 season, his 5th in the league, Sims suffered a destructive knee injury against the Minnesota Vikings. ~ above a sweep to the right on that terrible Metrodome turf, Sims was hit in the shoulders, but it to be his knee that collapsed. Sims attempted come rehab the injury for two years prior to he provided up and retired. The attempted a comeback year later, however it was also late.
Maybe this is too high because that Sims, however his career to be going for this reason well before it was ended in an instant. His knee buckled which ended a promising young career. We saw a glimpse that how great Sims can be. He to be able to revolve that greatness right into success when he was able to.
Ranking NFL careers that Heisman winners: 11. Herschel Walker, RB, Georgia
Herschel Walker might be known now because that his political aspirations, yet once ~ above a time, he was a phenomenal soccer player. Pedestrian was pure greatness at the college of Georgia. Pedestrian is the only player in the history of university football to complete all 3 of his periods as peak three in Heisman Trophy voting. His time in Athens to be unlike any kind of running earlier we’ve checked out before. Going into the NFL, that was meant to it is in the ideal player in ~ his position immediately.
Walker is one more player who left college to go play because that the USFL. He want to leave college a year early and also start obtaining paid. It’s hard to reference him since he didn’t have much to prove at the NCAA level.
He absolutely conquered the compete in the USFL. He had 5,562 yards end a three-year career v the brand-new Jersey Generals. His 54 touchdowns likewise feel choose a video game stat. He was just dominant for a organization that to be desperately trying to compete with the NFL.
After three years, Walker checked out the Cowboys wherein he ultimately hit his stride in year three. Walker ran for more than 1,500 yards in his 3rd season, and that driven the Minnesota Vikings to make among the most renowned trades in NFL history. The picks were offered by the Cowboys to take Emmitt Smith, Russell Maryland, and Darren Woodson amongst others. Walker never really fight the exact same stride in Minnesota. The still had actually a great professional career, especially considering the years he had actually in the USFL.
Ranking NFL careers the Heisman winners: 10. Ricky Williams, RB, Texas
It’s tough to really describe just how good Ricky Williams to be at the college of Texas. Several of the running backs top top this list had insane university careers, but Williams average basically 6 yards every single time he touched the sphere in college. Teams would stack the box, and Ricky Williams would gain his team halfway towards the sticks. Groups would try to confused Texas v funky sets, and Williams would obtain to the second level every time. His ability was 2nd to none.
After rushing because that 2,124 yards and also 27 touchdowns in his an elderly season, Williams to be awarded the Heisman Trophy. He included another 262 yards receiving. Mike Ditka want Ricky Williams top top the Saints, and also he do it clean at the year’s owners’ meetings the he was willing to trade all of his draft picks to take it Williams. That’s what he did and also then some. He traded the entire 1999 breeze plus two picks in 2000 to gain Williams.
Those room lofty expectations because that a to run back, but Williams was still an excellent in the NFL. The Saints got a pretty an excellent running back for 3 seasons. He broke 1,000 yards twice before he to be traded to the dolphins in 2002. He led the organization in rushing the year and also was named an every Pro. After touching the ball 442 times in 2003, Williams abruptly retired.
The rest of his career to be strange, which consisted of a full-year suspension and a career the still lasted until he was 34 year old. He ended his job with much more than 10,000 yards rushing. Williams was good for a time, and also he finished up having a nice operation after he changed from his retirement.
Ranking NFL careers the Heisman winners: 9. Beanie Testaverde, QB, Miami
Where carry out we start with the vinny Testaverde NFL tenure? It definitely didn’t look choose things would work-related out for him once he was drafted by the Tampa just Buccaneers. It every starts with those creamsicle jerseys and ends v a litany that interceptions.
Testaverde’s college career confirmed some other amazing developments. He played for the historic Miami Hurricanes team that was feather to overcome in the 80s. The Hurricanes to be trying to have a smooth transition from Bernie Kosar, and also it looked prefer Testaverde was the star. He ended up going turn off his senior season right up till the nationwide Championship.
Then, that was among the worst performances in the biggest games ever. After running away with the Heisman Trophy, Testaverde threw 5 interceptions in the Championship against Penn State. The was hurt in a scooter accident prior to the last regular-season game. So, it finished up putting a cake taste to end his college career.
In the pros, the looked like much more of the same disappointment. Through the Bucs, Testaverde was not great. The threw 77 touchdowns and 112 interceptions in six periods in Tampa. That led the organization in interceptions twice and had the second-most interceptions in one season with 35 in 1988.
After leaving the Bucs, things began to acquire better. He was decent through the Cleveland Browns, yet it is when the team became the Baltimore Ravens that he really started to shine. Testaverde threw for 33 touchdowns in the an initial season in Baltimore. That made the agree Bowl because that the very first of 2 times. He finished up playing the game for much more than two decades.
Ranking NFL careers that Heisman winners: 8. Bo Jackson, RB, Auburn
Bo Jackson was one of the many dynamic athletes of the century. Jackson had actually the skill to it is in the best running ago ever. That’s no happenstance. Jackson had actually the perfect combination of skill and also size to dominate the position. He might outrun anyone on the field, and also if he necessary to, he can just run with people.
Jackson was dynamic in college, yet he endured a couple of injuries that took him the end of the national discussion. That missed many of his junior year, however when he did beat he was dominant. His an elderly year was amazing. Jackson ran for 1,786 yards and also 17 touchdowns. The Heisman poll came down to him and also Iowa quarterback chuck Long. The was among the closest votes of all time. Jackson winner by 45 points.
Jackson’s NFL career began with drama as soon as the Tampa just Buccaneers caused him to shed his NCAA baseball eligibility, but they still take it him through the number-one as whole pick. He refuse to beat there and also instead visited play baseball. Eventually, the Raiders take it him in the next draft and let him play both baseball and football. That was significant in his quick time in the league, and he at some point supplanted Marcus Allen at the position.
Jackson would certainly have been among the greats if the wasn’t because that a i know well injury that ended his career. It to be his 4th season, but it appeared playing two sports was finally capturing up to him. The i know well popped out of place, and also eventually he lost all the cartilage in his hip. It basically took the finest two sport athlete of all time (sorry Deion) and also made him inept in ~ both. The a sad end, yet his top was so good he needs to be put in the optimal ten.
Ranking NFL careers the Heisman winners: 7. Eddie George, RB, Ohio State
Now us are beginning to obtain into the “franchise player” category. Eddie George to be awesome in college and also he was arguably even far better in the NFL. He had actually the usual college suffer for a star running ago for Ohio State. He started off as a back-up learning the ropes. Then, he gained the beginning job and had a really an excellent season. His senior season is when he exploded, to run for 1,927 yards and also 24 touchdowns.
He to be taken in the an initial round by the Houston Oilers, and also he would certainly go on come be among the franchise stars for the team’s relocate to Tennessee. He made one immediate affect winning the Rookie of the Year award.
George’s accolades go on because that a while. He made 4 consecutive pro Bowls in a yes, really stacked era for running backs. He rushed for more than 10,000 yards in his job while never absent a start, a stat only matched by the great Jim Brown. Just Walter Payton had more consecutive starts in ~ the running ago position (George ended up with 130). In eight periods with the Titans franchise, the missed out on a 1,000-yard season once.
George’s 2000 season to be by much his best. It to be the one season that he saw himself v the ideal in the league. That ran because that north that 1,500 yards and included 14 touchdowns. He also caught 50 passes for another 453 yards and two touchdowns. George was among the ideal during his tenure, however some that the names ahead of him have the right to be taken into consideration all-time greats.
Ranking NFL careers of Heisman winners: 6. Marcus Allen, RB, USC
Marcus Allen appears to it is in the forgotten all-time great. Allen to be insane in college playing for the college of southerly California. He started his college career there in 1978, yet it was his an elderly season in 1981 wherein he had the look at of one of the finest to hit the gridiron. 2,342 yards broke the record for many yards in a university football season at the time (it’s still fourth all time). Allen was the winner of the Heisman, just destroying names like Dan Marino and also Herschel walker in the final voting.
Allen was immediately an excellent on the field. His very first season was shortened by a player strike, yet he still won the attack Rookie the the Year. Allen would victory the NFL MVP just two years later, running for 1,759 and also 11 touchdowns. In his an initial Super key in 1984, Allen damaged 200 total yards against the Washington soccer Team. In that game, he had actually a 74-yard touchdown run, which at the moment was the longest in championship history. The was broken until Willie Parker in Super key XL.
After an incredible start to his career with the Los Angeles Raiders, Allen’s career dropped off the rails in the last couple of seasons under the Raiders’ regime. Allen was pushed to backup duty and forced to clock as various other players acquired to play ahead of him despite still being effective when that was provided the ball. He had actually a strained partnership with owner Al Davis, and also he even referred to as him a “cancer” on the record.
Allen do the hall of Fame regardless of coming short of 1,000 yards in his last 12 seasons. His height was unstoppable. It’s a wonder where he would finish up if the Raiders didn’t store him under seemingly top top purpose.
Ranking NFL careers that Heisman winners: 5. Carson Palmer, QB, USC
Carson Palmer is an additional player who had a good career that was greatly forgettable. Does the make sense? Palmer to be really, really great when he was playing, yet if friend asked someone “who are several of the ideal quarterbacks of the 2000s”, his name most likely doesn’t come increase a lot. The shouldn’t take away from his accomplishments on the field.
At USC, Palmer took seemingly forever to display his true talent. He was there for 5 years, endured multiple injuries, but once the really required to the Pete Carroll offense, the was difficult to stop. His an elderly year was a smoke show. He doubled his career high in touchdowns with 33 and also broke 3,900 pass yards. The earned the the Heisman Trophy and also the number-one overall pick come the Cincinnati Bengals.
Palmer invested a year discovering the violation under Marvin Lewis and starting quarterback Jon Kitna. That was given the beginning job in his second year, and he was looking to turn approximately a historically disastrous franchise in the Bengals. Palmer assisted lead the Bengals come an 8-8 season his first year together the starter. That led the Bengals come their first winning season in 15 years as soon as he went 11-5 in 2005. He suffered a brutal knee injury ~ above the first play the the playoffs, and also he was earlier to rehab.
His career through the Bengals would certainly be volatile overall, and also he ultimately forced a trade to the Oakland Raiders. He ended up revitalizing his job in his second season in Oakland, and also he continued that once he went to Arizona. Palmer ended his job with more than 46,000 yards and 294 touchdowns.
Ranking NFL careers the Heisman winners: 4. Charles Woodson, CB, Michigan
For the very first time, a defensive player renders the list, and boy was this a great defensive player. Charles Woodson was among the ideal defensive backs of his era. Before that, he was one of the ideal college protective players in a long, long time. In fact, that is the just primarily defensive player ever to success the Heisman Trophy.
Woodson was awesome for the Wolverines in yearly he played, top the team with 5 interceptions together a freshman. The kept acquiring better, and also even played a tiny bit of offense and contributed as a punt returner. Woodson was great at everything on the football field. Throughout his Heisman-winning season, that beat the end Tennessee’s Peyton Manning for the award.
He was taken with the fourth-overall choose in the NFL draft to the Oakland Raiders. He instantly made an affect and winner the defensive Rookie that the Year. He perfect with five interceptions in his rookie year, great for 5th in the league. He didn’t sluggish down native there and also became among the best cornerbacks in the NFL. He continued his career in eco-friendly Bay wherein he came back from some injury-riddled seasons to end his Oakland years.
Woodson might honestly be everywhere in this optimal five. He to be so great at his position. That is bound for 5th all time v 65 interceptions in his career, and also he finished his career 5th in tackles by a cornerback. Woodson to be amazing, but the top four is simply so an excellent it’s tough to controversy (although world likely will).
Ranking NFL careers of Heisman winners: 3. Tim Brown, WR, Notre Dame
Tim Brown is one more Heisman winner native a weird position. Brown is among three receivers to success the award, involvement Desmond Howard and also this year winner DeVonta Smith. Brown to be the very first receiver to victory the award, and he necessary to have one helluva season to break the mold.
He was so much an ext than a “receiver”. Brown is one of the best returners we’ve seen. He one time reverted back-to-back punts for touchdown. His time in ~ Notre Dame was legendary. Then, he went to the NFL and put together one of the finest receiver careers ever.
Tim Brown visited the Raiders, whereby he played all yet one season the his 17-year career. He damaged the 1,000 yard mark for nine right seasons. He perfect his job with just under 15,000 yards receiving. His one touchdown through the Tampa just Buccaneers provided him 100 because that his career. In various years, that led the NFL in receptions, punt returns, and also kick returns. He to be dynamic, to say the least.
Brown is an all-time great and a deserved hall of Famer. He is seventh ~ above the career receptions and also receiving yards list. This while play with an ext quarterbacks 보다 we can count. Brown’s career is hard to top, and he offers a an excellent name to outside-the-box Heisman winners.
Ranking NFL careers the Heisman winners: 2. Tony Dorsett, RB, Pittsburgh
Another hall of Famer in both college and the NFL, Tony Dorsett had actually one an excellent NFL career. He damaged 1,000 yards eight time from 1977 to 1985. He was the top man on the greatest team in the NFL, playing many of his job (outside one season) v the Dallas Cowboys. Dorsett is a hall of Famer due to the fact that of his pure impact on the game.
Dorsett broke the mold due to the fact that he came to the NFL weighing less than 200 lbs, yet he was able to overcome on the field. His elusiveness in the backfield made the constantly tough to tackle, which enabled him to make it through his NFL career. That all began to display itself in college when he usually swept every one of the awards in 1976 help the Pitt Panthers victory the national Title. He was a four-time All-American who ran for more than 1,000 yards in every of his four seasons. His 6,082 was the most career yards because that a college running ago (since broken by Ricky Williams).
In Dallas, Dorsett ongoing his run of success. Prior to the Cowboys lugged Herschel walker to aid with carries, Dorsett was a workhorse. He was always one snap far from breaking a run 40 yards. The Cowboys would give him many of carries, and he continually went over 4.3 yards per carry.
Dorsett play in two Super Bowls with the Cowboys. In 17 postseason games, the had more than 1,300 yards rushing. He added around 400 yards receiving on optimal of that. Dorsett was someone who would it is in so great in any type of era, and also honestly he’d probably be much better now than he to be then.
Ranking NFL careers that Heisman winners: 1. Barry Sanders, RB, Oklahoma State
I mean, duh. Barry Sanders is by much the ideal running back in the history of college and he is most likely the best running back in the history of the NFL. We’ll begin with his time at Oklahoma State. Sanders ran because that 2,628 yards in one season. Again, the rushed because that 2,628 yards IN ONE SEASON. He average a ridiculous 7.6 yards per carry. He scored 37 touchdowns. There room college room of Famers who don’t have 37 rushing touchdowns in their career. He did it in one season.
Barry Sanders spent his entire NFL career through the Detroit Lions. Not just did Sanders sirloin for an ext than 1,000 yards in every of his 10 seasons, not just did he sirloin for much more than 1,500 yards five times, however he led the entire league in rushing four different times. This has one season once he had 2,053 yards and also 11 touchdowns.
Everyone knows about Sanders leaving the video game while he was still at his peak. He would have actually been good for as long as he wanted to be, but he retired since he no much longer wanted to play because that the Detroit Lions. He average 99.8 yards per video game for his career. That averaged 5 yards every attempt. Think about that. End the food of his career, every lug averaged half of the yards it took because that a an initial down. Every single one.
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This was a no brainer. Sanders is the ideal of all time. He might be the ideal player in the history of the sport.