In the dregs of the off-season and in the midst of NFL Draft, it's always a time when you think about Pac-12 players' post-college careers and a while back we took another look at who the best Pac-12 alumni in the NFL right now are - but who are the best Pac-12 alumni ever in the NFL?
1. Anthony Munoz T USC - Cincinnati Bengals
Munoz is widely considered one of the best offensive linemen in the history of the NFL, if not the best. He racked up so many honors as a pro that they are almost too many to list but they include 11 Pro Bowls and 11 All-Pro selections along with three Offensive Lineman of the Year awards. Munoz was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1998 and was also selected the 80s All-Decade team. He was recently ranked number 12 on an NFL.com list of the best players to ever play in the league.
2. Ronnie Lott S USC - San Francisco 49ers, Los Angeles Raiders and New York Jets
It's pretty amazing that the number one and two players actually played together a bit at USC. Lott is without a doubt one of the best defensive backs to ever play in the league and was a cornerstone at safety for the 49ers dynasty of the 80s as he won four Super Bowls. Lott made 10 Pro Bowls and 9 All-Pro teams during his career and has the very impressive distinction of being named to the All-Decade team for the 80s and 90s. He totaled an amazing 63 total interceptions during his career and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2000 and recently named the eleventh best NFL player of all-time by NFL.com.
3. O.J. Simpson RB USC - Buffalo Bills, San Francisco 49ers
Simpson's career has been tarnished for reasons that we all know and most of the marks that he set on the field have now been eclipsed, but O.J. was truly a player like none before him when he broke out in the league. Big, fast and strong, he was the first ever back to rush for more than 2,000 yards in a season, won four rushing titles and retired as the second-leading rusher in the history of the NFL. O.J. was elected to the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility and was named to the 70s All-Decade team but most of this has rightfully been overshadowed.
4. John Elway QB Stanford - Denver Broncos
The man who might be who your brain creates when someone asks you to think of what a quarterback looks like, Elway was one of the first quarterbacks who could truly beat you with his arms and legs. Elway won an MVP in 1987 and made nine Pro Bowls but his career highlight may have been winning Super Bowls in his final two years in the league in 1997 and 1998 while being award MVP in the second of the two. Elways was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2004 and named to the All-Decade team for the 90s and will forever be remembered as one of the best quarterbacks in the history of the league.
5. Mike Haynes CB Arizona State - New England Patriots, Los Angeles Raiders
Haynes isn't the household name that the other guys on this list are, but he was one of the best defensive players in the league in the 70s and 80s and one of the best cornerbacks in league history. Haynes finished his career with 46 interceptions, made nine Pro Bowls, the All-80s team and made the Hall of Fame. He also won the NFL Defensive Player of the Year award in 1984 and won a Super Bowl with the Raiders in 1983.
6. Jonathan Ogden T UCLA - Baltimore Ravens
The 6'9 345 Ogden is one of the most impressive physical specimens not just in the sport of football, but any sport ever as he was incredibly fast for a man of his stature. One of the best tackles to ever play, Ogden made 11 Pro Bowls and 9 All-Pro teams and was considered the best tackle in the league for much of his career. Ogden will be elected the Hall of Fame this year and was named to the All-2000s decade team and won a Super Bowl in 2000.
7. Tony Gonzalez TE Cal - Kansas City Chiefs, Atlanta Falcons
Gonzalez rewrote the record book for tight ends and is likely the best player to ever play the position. Elected to 13 Pro Bowls and 10 All-Pro teams, Gonzalez also made the NFL's 2000s All-Decade team and continues to be one of the best tight ends in the game even into his late-30s.
8. Bruce Matthews OL USC - Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans
Clay and Casey's Dad is one of the best linemen to ever play in the league and made an incredible 14 Pro Bowls during his nearly 20-year career, an astonishing feat for a lineman. Matthews played all over the line during his career with the Oilers/Titans. He also made 10 All-Pro Teams, the 90s All-Decade Team and was elected to the Hall of Fame.
9. Troy Aikman QB UCLA - Dallas Cowboy
One of the most memorable quarterbacks of all-time, Aikman led the Cowboys to three Super Bowl wins and was named All-Pro three-straight years in the mid-90s. Aikman wasn't the most statistically prolific passer ever but won all of the time and was a Super Bowl MVP. Aikman was enshrined in the Hall of Fame in 2006.
10. Norm Van Brocklin QB Oregon - Los Angeles Rams, Philadelphia Eagles
Van Brocklin won two NFL Championships and was the league MVP in 1960. Van Brocklin went to nine Pro Bowls and is enshrined in the Hall of Fame.
Mel Hein C Washington State - New York Giants
Marcus Allen RB USC - Los Angeles Raiders, Kansas City Chiefs
Ernie Nevers FB Stanford - Duluth Eskimos, Chicago Cardinals
Hugh McElhenny RB Washington - San Francisco 49ers, Minnesota Vikings, New York Giants, Detroit Lions
Warren Moon QB Washington - Houston Oilers, Minnesota Vikings, Seattle Seahawks, Kansas City Chiefs