LSU Football: 10 Greatest Tigers' Players in NFL History

Sean MerrimanCorrespondent IFebruary 13, 2012

LSU Football: 10 Greatest Tigers' Players in NFL History

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    LSU has a rich football tradition and with that comes a number of successful players who have succeeded at the NFL level.

    From names like Tommy Casanova and Y.A. Tittle to current NFL studs such as Dwayne Bowe and Joseph Addai, the Tigers have filtered plenty of players into the NFL over the years.

    But of those players, which ones had the most success at the next level?

    Let's break down the 10 greatest LSU players in NFL history.


    Bleacher Report Style!

10. Joseph Addai

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    Joseph Addai may be on the tail end of his NFL career, but in his prime, he was one of the top running backs in the NFL with the Indianapolis Colts.

    Addai broke the 1,000-yard rushing mark in each of his first two NFL seasons—one of which resulted in his first Pro Bowl selection.

    In six NFL seasons, Addai has rushed for 4,453 and 39 touchdowns. 

    If Addai still has two or more years left as the Colts' starting tailback, then look for him to climb up this list quickly. 

9. Jim Cason

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    Given the fact that he was a late seventh-round draft pick, not many people in the NFL had faith in Jim Cason.

    But Cason, who was a stud defensive back at LSU during the mid-1940s, had a great NFL career with the San Francisco 49ers and Los Angeles Rams.

    In eight NFL seasons, Cason recorded 34 interceptions, including a career-high nine picks in the 1949 season.

    Like Joseph Addai, Cason had his best years early on in his career, but it was a solid NFL career non-the-less for this two-time Pro Bowl defensive back.

8. Josh Reed

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    Josh Reed was one of the top receivers in LSU history, and while his pro numbers weren't as impressive as his college stats, Reed still put up some great numbers at the NFL level.

    Reed spent eight seasons in the NFL, all with the Buffalo Bills. He had three seasons with 50-plus catches and four seasons with 500-plus receiving yards.

    While his numbers didn't set the world on fire, he was always looked at as a solid NFL receiver and had a full playing career at the top level.

7. Michael Brooks

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    When it comes to the top linebackers in LSU football history, Michael Brooks is certainly among the best.

    Brooks was named an All-American during his junior season and went on to be drafted in the third round of the 1987 NFL draft by the Denver Broncos.

    In nine NFL seasons, this standout linebacker recorded 962 total tackles, including four straight seasons of recording 100-or-more tackles. He also added nine fumble recoveries, seven sacks and four interceptions in his career.

    Brooks is a member of the LSU Football Hall of Fame. 

6. Dwayne Bowe

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    Dwayne Bowe is not only one of the best LSU wide receivers in school history, but he is currently one of the top wideouts in the NFL today.

    When Bowe left LSU for the NFL draft in 2007, he finished ranking fourth in school history in receptions and eighth in SEC history in career touchdowns.

    In his five NFL seasons, Bowe has already had three 1,000-yard seasons and has caught 36 touchdowns in 75 career games.  

    Bowe has already been to one Pro Bowl and should make several more as he in just entering the prime of his special NFL career.

5. LaRon Landry

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    When it comes to the top, hard-hitting safeties in the NFL, you can't start or finish the conversation without mentioning LaRon Landry.

    This standout safety hit the scene hard in his freshman season when he started for the 2003 national championship team. He went on to have a great college career and was named an All-American and a finalist for the Thorpe Award in his final season in Baton Rouge.

    Landry went on to be the No. 6 overall pick in the 2007 NFL draft to the Washington Redskins, and he is known across the league as being one of the most-feared defensive backs in the NFL today.

    Landry still has room to move up this list.

4. Tommy Casanova

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    Tommy Casanova was one of the most multi-dimensional players in both college football and NFL history.

    "Tommy Casanova of LSU, Best Player in the Nation."

    That is what was the headline on the 1971 cover of Sports Illustrated.

    After an outstanding college football career, Casanova went on to play six seasons in the NFL with the Cincinnati Bengals.

    Although his professional career was short, he certainly made the most of it, recording 17 career interceptions and being selected to four Pro Bowls in those six NFL seasons.

3. Kevin Mawae

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    Kevin Mawae is considered by many as the greatest center to ever play the game of football.

    Mawae was a four-year starter at LSU in the early 1990s and was drafted to the Seattle Seahawks in the second round of the 1994 NFL draft.

    Mawae went on to have a memorable 16-year NFL career spent with stops in Seattle, New York and Tennessee. He was a six-time Pro Bowl selection and a eight-time All-Pro selection.

    Mawae may not have played the prettiest or flashiest position in football, but he sure was darn good at it.

2. Y.A. Tittle

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    Y.A. Tittle was one of the few players on this list that was just as dominant in the NFL as he was in college.

    Tittle was argued by many to be the best quarterback in LSU's storied history, and he was a darn good pro as well.

    After staring for the Tigers in the early 1960s, Tittle went on to an enjoy a memorable 17-year NFL career, which included seven Pro Bowl selections.

    Tittle enjoyed his best years as a Pro right out of college with the New York Giants, but he also had successful stops in San Francisco and Baltimore.

    All-in-all, this standout quarterback passed for more than 28,000 yards and 212 touchdowns in his historic NFL career.

Alan Faneca

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    When it comes to the top offensive guards to ever play the game of football, Alan Faneca certainly belongs at the top of that list. And when it comes to the best players at LSU who went on to have the most success at the NFL level, Faneca tops that list as well.

    This former college All-American was selected in the first round of the 1998 NFL draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers, where he went on to have an unbelievable NFL career.

    Faneca played 13 seasons in the NFL—the majority spent with the Steelers and late stops with the Jets and Cardinals. He was selected to nine Pro Bowls in those 13 years, which is the most by any former LSU player in the programs history.

    This dominant offensive lineman is also a nine-time All Pro selection, a Super Bowl champion, a two-time NFL Offensive Lineman of the Year recipient and a member of the NFL 2000's All-Decade Team.

    That right there goes to show why Alan Faneca is the greatest LSU player in NFL history.