Michigan Football: Power Ranking the Wolverines's Best NFL Players of All Time
While coach Brady Hoke tries to return Michigan to the top of the Big 10, he could definitely use more players like these—guys who make their mark in the NFL are some of the best recruiting tools a major program can have.
With the NFL draft this week offensive tackle Taylor Lewan hopes to be a first round pick and while others hope to replicate the success of Tom Brady, a lowly sixth round pick on the way to the football hall of fame.
Jake Long was the first overall pick by the Miami Dolphins in the 2008 NFL draft. He is a four-time Pro Bowl selection at offensive tackle and selected first team All-Pro once. When Miami declined to extend his contract and he signed with St. Louis in 2013. To date, Long has signed NFL contracts worth over $90M.
Long was a co-captain of the 2007 Michigan team that began the season with a loss to Appalachian State but ended with small dose of redemption by defeating Florida in the Capital One Bowl in Lloyd Carr's final game.
Anthony Carter played wide receiver for the Minnesota Vikings and the Detroit Lions. A three-time Pro Bowl selection, Carter began his career starring in the USFL for the Michigan Panthers. He ended his NFL career with 486 reception, 7,733 yards and 55 touchdowns while being named one of the top 50 greatest players in Minnesota history.
Carter is best known to Michigan fans for his part in one of the greatest plays in the Michigan football history-- a 45-yard game-winning reception as time expired versus Indiana in 1979.
Jon Runyan played offensive tackle during his 13-year NFL career with the Houston Oilers, Tennessee Texans, Philadelphia Eagles and San Diego Chargers. He was an All-Pro selection in 1999, a Pro Bowl selection in 2002 and a member of the 75th Anniversary Philadelphia Eagle team. In a 2006 Sports Illustrated NFL players poll Runyan was named one of the dirtiest players in the NFL.
After his playing career ended, Runyan entered politics serving as congressman from New Jersey.
His son Jon Runyan Jr. is a 2015 offensive line commitment for Michigan.
Ty Law played defensive back for the New England Patriots, New York Jets, Kansas City Chiefs and Denver Broncos. He was selected by New England as the 23rd pick in the first round of the 1995 NFL draft.
Law was a two-time All-Pro and five-time Pro Bowl selection while being a member of three Super Bowl Championship teams. His honors include being named to the NFL 2000s All-Decade Team and the New England Patriots 50th Anniversary Team. His 53 career interceptions rank 22nd all-time in NFL history.
Steve Hutchinson played offensive guard for the Seattle Seahawks, Minnesota Vikings and Tennessee Titans. He was selected by Seattle with 17th pick of the first round in the 2001 NFL draft.
Hutchinson was a seven-time Pro Bowl Selection and seven-time All-Pro. He was twice named NFL offensive lineman of the year and selected for the NFL 2000s All-Decade Team, the Seattle Seahawks 35th Anniversary Team and named one of the 50 Greatest Vikings.
During his time at Michigan, Hutchinson was a member of the 1997 national championship team.
Dan Dierdorf was a second round pick of the St. Louis Cardinals in 1971. A six-time Pro Bowl selection and five-time All-Pro selection, he was named offensive lineman of the year three times. In 1996 he was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
After his playing career ended, Dierdorf entered broadcasting covering a variety of sports including being a part of the Monday Night Football team during its heyday.
Dierdorf played three seasons for coach Bo Schembechler while at Michigan.
Dierdorf is joining the Michigan football radio broadcast team for this season.
Charles Woodson was selected by the Oakland Raiders as the fourth pick of the 1998 NFL draft. In addition to Oakland, he also played with Green Bay winning a Super Bowl with the Packers in 2010. Woodson is the rare Heisman trophy winner who followed up the award with a stellar pro career being named to the Pro Bowl eight times and All-Pro seven times.
Woodson is currently tied for 17th place on the NFL all-time interceptions list.
A notorious trash talker Woodson called out President Barack Obama for wanting the Bears to beat the Packers in the 2010 NFC Championship Game.
Woodson was key a part of the 1997 Michigan National Championship team, playing defense, returning kicks and playing offense.
Tom Mack was selected by the Los Angeles Rams with the second pick of the first round in the 1966 NFL draft. Mack was named to the Pro Bowl eleven times and All-Pro first team four times. He was one the best offensive lineman of his era being named All-NFC eight times and never missed a game because of injury during his entire career, appearing in 184 consecutive games.
Mack was named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1999.
Jim Harbaugh was selected by Chicago with the 26th pick of the first round in the 1987 NFL draft. Playing primarily with Chicago and Indianapolis, Harbaugh was known a for being a tough competitor and despite being selected for only one Pro Bowl was named to the Indianapolis Colts Ring of Honor in 2005.
While Harbaugh didn't garner many awards during his pro playing career his impact as a coach makes him one of the most influential former Michigan players in the NFL.
Tom Brady, who battled Drew Henson for the starting job while at Michigan found himself behind another Drew Bledsoe after being drafted in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL draft.
By his second season in New England he was the starter and hasn't looked back since. Brady has won three Super Bowls while twice being named game MVP and has won two NFL MVP awards. He's also been named to the Pro Bowl nine times and was selected to the NFL 2000s All-Decade Team.
Brady's accomplishments earn him a place among the best quarterbacks to ever play the game.