As the NFL draft quickly approaches and fans sit back anxiously awaiting to see who the future stars of their teams will be, it got me thinking. Who are the all-time best Rams at every position? We all know that the Rams have had great players in the past. Their 15 Hall of Fame players drafted is second only to the Steelers, who have drafted 16. The only rule I had for this exercise was that I was only doing starters for each position. Going through the list, some we’re easy decisions, and some were very hard. Some positions like running back and quarterback are deep, producing multiple Hall of Famers. Some positions, like tight end, haven’t had anyone even close. Here’s a look at the top Rams players at every position.
The Rams have two options here because they have two quarterbacks who have made the Hall of Fame. Norm Van Brocklin and Kurt Warner. “The Dutchman” as he was known, Van Brocklin played longer with the Rams than Warner did. The difference between the two came down to Super Bowls. Warner went to two of them and won the Rams their only Super Bowl in franchise history. As a part of Mike Martz’s high-flying offense, known as “The greatest show on turf,” Warner was also a two-time NFL MVP and a Super Bowl MVP.
Few running backs have the stats and accolades to compete with Eric Dickerson, one of them happens to be Marshall Faulk. As the only player ever with 12,000 rushing yards and 6,000 receiving yards, Faulk is in a class all by himself. During the 2000 season, Faulk established himself as one of the best all-around backs in NFL history. He became the first running back to lead his team in catches for five straight years, and he also picked up the league MVP. As of today, he’s still the only running back with 70 rushing touchdowns and 30 receiving touchdowns in their career.
As the owner of over 15,000 receiving yards and a newly minted Hall of Famer, Isaac Bruce was an easy choice for this list. Known for being one of the best route runners ever, Bruce was a mainstay for the Rams as a full-time starter from 1995-2007. Along the way, he went to two Super Bowl’s and caught the go-ahead 73-yard touchdown in Super Bowl XXXIV. At the time of his retirement, Bruce was second all-time in receiving yards and fifth in touchdowns.
Despite being unable to play as many years as Bruce, Torry Holt may have made as much of an impact on the franchise. Drafted with the sixth overall pick in the 1999 draft, Holt had it all. He had physicality, he had speed, and he had a chance to learn route running from Bruce. The potential turned to production and lots of it. Holt had the most catches (868), and the most yards, (12,594) of the 2000’s decade, and still holds the record with six straight 1,300 yard seasons.
Henry Ellard might not be remembered as much by the younger generation, but that doesn’t take away from his contributions to the Rams. As part of the team from 1983-1993. Ellard was a 3-time Pro-bowler and finished his career with over 13,000 receiving yards. When he retired, he was the Rams leader in catches (593), receiving yards (9,761), punt return average (11.3), and total offense (11,663). After his playing career, Ellard was also the Rams receivers coach from 2001-2008.
This might come as a surprise to many, but the Rams all-time leader in receiving yards by a tight end is Lance Kendricks. With just over 2,000 yards in his career with the Rams, Kendricks was known more for his potential than play. He has to be given some degree of leeway here, as he suffered through Steve Spagnuolo and Jeff Fisher as his coaches. Not to mention the cavalcade of clowns the Rams threw out there as QB every time Sam Bradford got hurt.
Another easy choice, Pace dominated the game as one of the best left tackles of all-time. One day before the 1997 draft, the Rams made a huge move to get the first pick to get Pace, and the rest is history. A transcendent talent with the body of Zeus and the feet of a dancer, Pace didn’t seem human. He played 165 of a possible 169 games in his career, going to seven straight pro bowls and being named to the 2000s all-decade team.
The Rams have arguably the best right tackle of all-time as well. A seven-time pro bowler, Jackie Slater, is the definition of an “Iron Man.” Slater played for the Rams for an incredible 20 seasons. A true grinder, Slater was known for imposing his will and putting defenders on their backs. Former Rams quarterback Jim Everett once said: “Jackie Slater is proof they were playing football in the prehistoric days.”
As of the most accomplished offensive lineman to ever play for the Rams, Tom Mack was the logical choice at one of the guard spots. Mack was a four-time All-Pro, four-time second-team All-Pro, and 11-time Pro Bowler. The most impressive thing about him, however, might be his impact on winning. Mack never missed a game in his whole career, and the team had a .720 winning percentage during his time there. His career never peaked with a Super Bowl, but he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2009.
Saul was initially considered to be a first-round pick but fell to the Rams in the eighth because of a leg injury. The injury never ended up being an issue as he was a six-time Pro Bowler who played for the Rams from 1970-1981. As a member of the Rams 40th-anniversary team, Saul was an integral part of the Rams making it to Super Bowl XIV. Known for his versatility, Saul played every position on the Rams offensive line but mainly was their starting center.
Nicknamed “Hercules” because of his massive upper body strength, Dennis Harrah indeed was a mountain of a man. Harrah was selected 11th overall in 1975 and would go on to play in six Pro Bowls and was named a team captain six times. A great athlete, Harrah, played right guard for the Rams. He reportedly ran the 40-yard dash in 4.8 seconds and could bench press 500 pounds. One of the biggest Hall of Fame snubs in Rams history, Harrah, was named first or second-team All-Conference every season he was in the NFL. He deserves to be in Canton.
Follow me on twitter @JbellSportsTalk for more Los Angeles Rams news and notes.
Come discuss this and much more at the Overtime Heroics forums!
Be sure to check out our partners at Repp Sports! They offer the first-ever crowd-sourced, no carb, no sugar, energy drink called RAZE and much more! Use the link above or add the promo code OTH1 at checkout to get 30% off your order!