The NFL is continuing their 100th anniversary season and naming top players in history at every position, Larry Csonka isn’t one of them.
To be fair, we don’t know if the NFL is going to run a “fullback” list and most assuredly Csonka would be on that one if they did. At running back however, he isn’t even in the top 24 which will be pared down to 12 on Friday night during a live special.
Yardage is not the only factor in determining the best so that makes me wonder why a former Super Bowl MVP and Hall of Fame player isn’t at least in the top 24. I don’t expect Csonka to be one of the top 12 all-time but 24? He should be compared to some on this list.
The top 24 consist of Marcus Allen, Jerome Bettis, Jim Brown, Earl Campbell, Earl “Dutch” Clark, Eric Dickerson, Tony Dorsett, Marshall Falk, Harold “Red” Grange, Franco Harris, Hugh McElhenny, Lenny Moore, Marion Motley, Walter Payton, Adrian Peterson, Barry Sanders, Gale Sayers, O.J. Simpson, Emmitt Smith, Jim Taylor, Thurman Thomas, LaDainian Tomlinson, and Steven Van Buren.
Of those, I think an argument can be made that Csonka should be listed ahead of Thurman Thomas, Van Buren, McElhenny, Moore, Peterson, and if you really want to argue, Franco Harris. You could probably make a case for a few others if you wanted to sit and debate the merits of those selected.
Predicting the top 12 from that list is not going to be easy. My predictions for an All-Time 100 year group of running backs would start with Jim Brown, Walter Payton, and Barry Sanders. Dickerson would have to be on that list as would Gale Sayers and Marcus Allen. That is only half of the 12 that the league will announce on Friday.
We will reserve the right to take all this back if the NFL opts to do an All-Time fullback list, which they should considering that the league doesn’t consider fullbacks running backs. While the top All Time players is interesting I would love to see them pare it all down to one at each position and call it a day.