Top 10 NFL Offensive Tackles of All Time

Football, NCAAF, CFB, NFL article at Knup Sports

A breakdown and list of the greatest NFL offensive tackles of all time as a top 10 list.

Offensive tackles are one of the more important positions in the NFL, as they protect the quarterback, and have to block some of the best athletes on the field. This list will rank the top 10 offensive tackles to ever play the game with respect to their eras.

10. Ron Yary

Ron Yary played 15 seasons in the NFL, 14 of them with the Minnesota Vikings and helped them reach four Super Bowls. From 1971-1976 he was selected as a first team all pro every season as he dominated the tackle position in the early 1970s.

Yary also had to deal with some of the greatest defensives ever assembled during his era; like the Steel Curtain of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Fearsome Foursome of the Los Angeles Rams, and the Doomsday Defense of the Dallas Cowboys.

Yary stood 6 foot 5 inches tall and weighed 255 pounds, which even for that era was on the smaller side, however he had exceptional quickness and technique, which is why he finds himself on this list.

9. Joe Thomas

Joe Thomas played a ridiculous 10,363 consecutive snaps without ever missing a game, which might be the greatest stat in NFL history, when you consider the position he played.

Thomas played 11 seasons and was a first team all pro six times from 2009-2015, and twice as a second team all pro in his career as well. He played on the Cleveland Browns that did not succeed much when he was there.

However, Thomas still stood out as the greatest tackle of the 2010s decade and that is why he finds himself on this list. He would have been higher if he didn’t retire at the age of 33 as people ranked higher had longer careers.

8. Willie Roaf

Willie Roaf arguably had two hall of fame careers, one with the New Orleans Saints and the other with Kansas City Chiefs. Roaf was selected as first team all pro four times in his career, two with each team he played for.

Roaf added five more second team all pro selections as the late 1990s and early 2000s were a prime period for offensive tackles, but Roaf still found a way to stand out.

He teamed up with Will Shields and others in Kansas City and formed one of the greatest offensive lines of all time helping Priest Holmes set multiple NFL records.

7. Roosevelt Brown

Roosevelt “Rosey” Brown was considered one of the first powering offensive tackles ever, as in the 1950s he stood 6 foot 3 inches tall and weighed 255 pounds, which made him one of the biggest players in the league for that era.

Brown was selected as a first team all pro five times during his career, including four straight from 1956-1959. Brown helped the New York Giants win the 1956 NFL championship dominating the Chicago Bears 47-7.

Brown was also an outstanding athlete and was able to move down field in the rushing game and destroy linebackers and safeties. A pioneer for the position he must get he respect and that is why he ranks 7th on this list.

6. Walter Jones

Walter Jones played 12 seasons and was selected as first team all pro four times during his career. Jones came into the league with NFL hall of famers Willie Roaf, Orlando Pace, and Jonathan Ogden dominating the votes for offensive tackles.

However, by 2001 Jones had established himself as one of best to ever play. He would team up with Steve Hutchinson and others to create one of the greatest offensive lines to ever play.

He helped Shaun Alexander win NFL MVP in 2005 and break the total touchdowns in a season record at the time. Jones would end up being named first team all decade for the 2000s beating out Willie Roaf and Orlando Pace, which is why he ranks as the 6th best offensive tackle of all time.

5. Art Shell

Art Shell was a dominating and super athletic offensive tackle that helped the Oakland Raiders win two super bowls as he was named a pro bowler eight times during his career.

Shell partnered up with Gene Upshaw and Jim Otto to form one of the greatest offensive lines of all time during the 1970s and he was named a first team all pro twice in 1974 and 1977. Shell was one of the greatest tackles ever at downfield blocking using his athleticism.

Overall, Shell used his size and athleticism to match with his great awareness to earn his spot on this list at number five.

4. Forrest Gregg

Forrest Gregg was a dominating run blocker and a very skilled pass blocker as he couldn’t use his hands like tackles today are allowed to. With holding being called more often he had to mirror the defensive ends rushing the passer and he mastered that.

He helped one of the greatest dynasties ever in the 1960 Green Bay Packers win five NFL championships and two Super Bowls, he would also win one more with the Dallas Cowboys in the final year of his career.

Gregg was named a first team all pro six times during his career and was one the best tackle of the 1960s helping two different running backs win NFL MVP.

3. Jim Parker

Jim Parker was selected as a first team all pro eight consecutive seasons from 1958-1965 as he dominated defensive lines like no lineman had ever had at that time. He was a first team all pro at both guard and tackle, but he was the greatest tackle of his era and that’s why he’s on this list.

Parker was one of the greatest athletes the position has ever seen, being able to pull and get down field while also mirroring defensive ends in pass protection. Parker helped the Baltimore Colts win two NFL Championships during his career.

Parker was one of the key pieces of that team, helping hall of famers Johnny Unitas, Lenny Moore, Raymond Berry, and John Mackey shine by doing the dirty work in the trenches.

2. Jonathan Ogden

Jonathan Ogden was selected as a first team all pro four times during his career, and a second team all pro five other times. Ogden was also one of the biggest tackles to ever play standing 6 foot 9 inches tall weighing 345 pounds.

Ogden was a dominating force in the run game due to his size defenders could do very little against him as he pathed the way for Jamal Lewis to rush for over 2,000 yards in 2003.

Ogden also helped the Baltimore Ravens win the Super Bowl in 2000. His longevity is the reason he ranks this high as he was a first or second team all pro from the ages of 22-32.

1. Anthony Munoz

Anthony Munoz changed the tackle position in terms of technique and was truly one of the greatest athletes to ever play in the NFL regardless of position. Munoz was simply an erase to an opponent on defense as they would struggle to even make a tackle during the game.

Munoz was a nine time first team all pro, which is the most all time by an offensive tackle. Munoz was without a doubt the greatest tackle of the 1980s. His athleticism showed when he would be used as a jumbo tight end scoring four touchdowns during his career.

Munoz played 13 seasons in the NFL and was the best tackle for 10-11 of those years which is truly remarkable how long his prime lasted and that is why he is the greatest offensive tackle of all time.

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