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Who are the 5 greatest Free Safeties of all-time?


Jetsfan80
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Who is the # 1 greatest FS of all-time?  

16 members have voted

  1. 1. Who is the # 1 greatest FS of all-time?

    • Ronnie Lott, SF/RAI/NYJ (1981-1994)
    • Rod Woodson, PIT/SF/BAL/OAK (1987-2003)
    • Paul Krause, WAS/MIN (1964-1979)
      0
    • Brian Dawkins, PHI/DEN (1996-2011)
      0
    • Ed Reed, BAL/HOU/NYJ (2002-2013)
    • Willie Wood, GB (1960-1971)
      0
    • Larry Wilson, STL (1960-1972)
      0
    • Johnny Robinson, DTX/KC (1960-1971)
      0
    • Jake Scott, MIA/WAS (1970-1978)
      0
    • Mel Renfro, DAL (1964-1977)
      0
    • Deron Cherry, KC (1981-1991)
      0
    • Darren Sharper, GB/MIN/NO (1997-2010)
      0
    • Earl Thomas, SEA/BAL (2010-2019)
      0
    • Eric Weddle, SD/BAL/LAR (2007-2021)
      0
    • Eugene Robinson, SEA/GB/ATL/CAR (1985-2000)
      0
    • Carnell Lake, PIT/JAX/BAL (1989-2001)
      0
    • Steve Atwater, DEN/NYJ (1989-1999)
      0
    • Cliff Harris, DAL (1970-1979)
      0
    • Rick Volk, BAL/NYG/MIA (1967-1978)
      0
    • OTHER (Specify in thread)
      0
  2. 2. Who is the # 2 greatest FS of all-time?

    • Ronnie Lott, SF/RAI/NYJ (1981-1994)
    • Rod Woodson, PIT/SF/BAL/OAK (1987-2003)
    • Paul Krause, WAS/MIN (1964-1979)
      0
    • Brian Dawkins, PHI/DEN (1996-2011)
      0
    • Ed Reed, BAL/HOU/NYJ (2002-2013)
    • Willie Wood, GB (1960-1971)
    • Larry Wilson, STL (1960-1972)
    • Johnny Robinson, DTX/KC (1960-1971)
      0
    • Jake Scott, MIA/WAS (1970-1978)
      0
    • Mel Renfro, DAL (1964-1977)
      0
    • Deron Cherry, KC (1981-1991)
      0
    • Darren Sharper, GB/MIN/NO (1997-2010)
      0
    • Earl Thomas, SEA/BAL (2010-2019)
      0
    • Eric Weddle, SD/BAL/LAR (2007-2021)
      0
    • Eugene Robinson, SEA/GB/ATL/CAR (1985-2000)
      0
    • Carnell Lake, PIT/JAX/BAL (1989-2001)
      0
    • Steve Atwater, DEN/NYJ (1989-1999)
      0
    • Cliff Harris, DAL (1970-1979)
      0
    • Rick Volk, BAL/NYG/MIA (1967-1978)
      0
    • OTHER (Specify in thread)
      0
  3. 3. Who is the # 3 greatest FS of all-time?

    • Ronnie Lott, SF/RAI/NYJ (1981-1994)
    • Rod Woodson, PIT/SF/BAL/OAK (1987-2003)
    • Paul Krause, WAS/MIN (1964-1979)
      0
    • Brian Dawkins, PHI/DEN (1996-2011)
    • Ed Reed, BAL/HOU/NYJ (2002-2013)
    • Willie Wood, GB (1960-1971)
      0
    • Larry Wilson, STL (1960-1972)
    • Johnny Robinson, DTX/KC (1960-1971)
      0
    • Jake Scott, MIA/WAS (1970-1978)
      0
    • Mel Renfro, DAL (1964-1977)
      0
    • Deron Cherry, KC (1981-1991)
      0
    • Darren Sharper, GB/MIN/NO (1997-2010)
      0
    • Earl Thomas, SEA/BAL (2010-2019)
      0
    • Eric Weddle, SD/BAL/LAR (2007-2021)
      0
    • Eugene Robinson, SEA/GB/ATL/CAR (1985-2000)
      0
    • Carnell Lake, PIT/JAX/BAL (1989-2001)
    • Steve Atwater, DEN/NYJ (1989-1999)
      0
    • Cliff Harris, DAL (1970-1979)
      0
    • Rick Volk, BAL/NYG/MIA (1967-1978)
      0
    • OTHER (Specify in thread)
      0
  4. 4. Who is the # 4 greatest FS of all-time?

    • Ronnie Lott, SF/RAI/NYJ (1981-1994)
    • Rod Woodson, PIT/SF/BAL/OAK (1987-2003)
      0
    • Paul Krause, WAS/MIN (1964-1979)
    • Brian Dawkins, PHI/DEN (1996-2011)
    • Ed Reed, BAL/HOU/NYJ (2002-2013)
    • Willie Wood, GB (1960-1971)
      0
    • Larry Wilson, STL (1960-1972)
    • Johnny Robinson, DTX/KC (1960-1971)
      0
    • Jake Scott, MIA/WAS (1970-1978)
      0
    • Mel Renfro, DAL (1964-1977)
    • Deron Cherry, KC (1981-1991)
    • Darren Sharper, GB/MIN/NO (1997-2010)
    • Earl Thomas, SEA/BAL (2010-2019)
    • Eric Weddle, SD/BAL/LAR (2007-2021)
      0
    • Eugene Robinson, SEA/GB/ATL/CAR (1985-2000)
      0
    • Carnell Lake, PIT/JAX/BAL (1989-2001)
      0
    • Steve Atwater, DEN/NYJ (1989-1999)
    • Cliff Harris, DAL (1970-1979)
      0
    • Rick Volk, BAL/NYG/MIA (1967-1978)
      0
    • OTHER (Specify in thread)
      0
  5. 5. Who is the # 5 greatest FS of all-time?

    • Ronnie Lott, SF/RAI/NYJ (1981-1994)
      0
    • Rod Woodson, PIT/SF/BAL/OAK (1987-2003)
      0
    • Paul Krause, WAS/MIN (1964-1979)
    • Brian Dawkins, PHI/DEN (1996-2011)
    • Ed Reed, BAL/HOU/NYJ (2002-2013)
      0
    • Willie Wood, GB (1960-1971)
      0
    • Larry Wilson, STL (1960-1972)
    • Johnny Robinson, DTX/KC (1960-1971)
      0
    • Jake Scott, MIA/WAS (1970-1978)
      0
    • Mel Renfro, DAL (1964-1977)
    • Deron Cherry, KC (1981-1991)
    • Darren Sharper, GB/MIN/NO (1997-2010)
    • Earl Thomas, SEA/BAL (2010-2019)
    • Eric Weddle, SD/BAL/LAR (2007-2021)
      0
    • Eugene Robinson, SEA/GB/ATL/CAR (1985-2000)
      0
    • Carnell Lake, PIT/JAX/BAL (1989-2001)
      0
    • Steve Atwater, DEN/NYJ (1989-1999)
    • Cliff Harris, DAL (1970-1979)
      0
    • Rick Volk, BAL/NYG/MIA (1967-1978)
      0
    • OTHER (Specify in thread)
      0


Recommended Posts

Leading up to the start of the season, I'll be posting a thread once every day or so devoted to determine the top 5 all-time at each position, as voted on by JN.

I am using football-reference.com's AV (Approximate Value) metric to help compare across eras.  The "Peak AV Average" means the average "score" for each player's among their top 5 performing years in the league, to help establish which players had the high peaks and which players were more of the "compilers" over a long career.  Utilizing a "peak AV" also allows for players with careers shortened by injury to be included.

Also note that AV only goes back so far, so some players from the earliest days in NFL history (primarily the 30s, 40s and early 50s) are, unfortunately, excluded.

 

Earlier in the week, JN voted on Right Guards:

 

 

Today, we vote on Free Safeties!

Below are the candidates and their resumes, ranked in the order weighted by AV/Peak AV:

 

1.  Ronnie Lott, SF/RAI/NYJ (1981-1994)

  • Career AV:  168
  • Peak AV Average:  15
  • 1st Team All-Pro Selections:  6
  • Pro Bowl Selections:  9
  • Career Interceptions:  63

2.  Rod Woodson, PIT/SF/BAL/OAK (1987-2003)

  • Career AV:  192
  • Peak AV Average:  14
  • 1st Team All-Pro Selections:  6
  • Pro Bowl Selections:  11
  • Career Interceptions:  71

3.  Paul Krause, WAS/MIN (1964-1979)

  • Career AV:  162
  • Peak AV Average:  15
  • 1st Team All-Pro Selections:  3
  • Pro Bowl Selections:  8
  • Career Interceptions:  81

4.  Brian Dawkins, PHI/DEN (1996-2011)

  • Career AV:  142
  • Peak AV Average:  14
  • 1st Team All-Pro Selections:  4
  • Pro Bowl Selections:  9
  • Career Interceptions:  37

5.  Ed Reed, BAL/HOU/NYJ (2002-2013)

  • Career AV:  131
  • Peak AV Average:  14
  • 1st Team All-Pro Selections:  5
  • Pro Bowl Selections:  9
  • Career Interceptions:  64

6.  Willie Wood, GB (1960-1971)

  • Career AV:  122
  • Peak AV Average:  13
  • 1st Team All-Pro Selections:  4
  • Pro Bowl Selections:  8
  • Career Interceptions:  48

7.  Larry Wilson, STL (1960-1972)

  • Career AV:  121
  • Peak AV Average:  13
  • 1st Team All-Pro Selections:  5
  • Pro Bowl Selections:  8
  • Career Interceptions:  52

8.  Johnny Robinson, DTX/KC (1960-1971)

  • Career AV:  120
  • Peak AV Average:  13
  • 1st Team All-Pro Selections:  5
  • Pro Bowl Selections:  7
  • Career Interceptions:  57

9.  Jake Scott, MIA/WAS (1970-1978)

  • Career AV:  105
  • Peak AV Average:  14
  • 1st Team All-Pro Selections:  2
  • Pro Bowl Selections:  5
  • Career Interceptions:  49

10.  Mel Renfro, DAL (1964-1977)

  • Career AV:  133
  • Peak AV Average:  12
  • 1st Team All-Pro Selections:  0
  • Pro Bowl Selections:  10
  • Career Interceptions:  52 

11.  Deron Cherry, KC (1981-1991)

  • Career AV:  92
  • Peak AV Average:  14
  • 1st Team All-Pro Selections:  3
  • Pro Bowl Selections:  6
  • Career Interceptions:  50

12.  Darren Sharper, GB/MIN/NO (1997-2010)

  • Career AV:  119
  • Peak AV Average:  12
  • 1st Team All-Pro Selections:  2
  • Pro Bowl Selections:  5
  • Career Interceptions:  63

13.  Earl Thomas, SEA/BAL (2010-2019)

  • Career AV:  98
  • Peak AV Average:  13
  • 1st Team All-Pro Selections:  3
  • Pro Bowl Selections:  7
  • Career Interceptions:  30

14.  Eric Weddle, SD/BAL/LAR (2007-2021)

  • Career AV:  115
  • Peak AV Average:  12
  • 1st Team All-Pro Selections:  2
  • Pro Bowl Selections:  6
  • Career Interceptions:  29

15.  Eugene Robinson, SEA/GB/ATL/CAR (1985-2000)

  • Career AV:  126
  • Peak AV Average:  11
  • 1st Team All-Pro Selections:  0
  • Pro Bowl Selections:  3
  • Career Interceptions:  57

16.  Carnell Lake, PIT/JAX/BAL (1989-2001)

  • Career AV:  104
  • Peak AV Average:  12
  • 1st Team All-Pro Selections:  1
  • Pro Bowl Selections:  5
  • Career Interceptions:  16

17.  Steve Atwater, DEN/NYJ (1989-1999)

  • Career AV:  101
  • Peak AV Average:  12
  • 1st Team All-Pro Selections:  2
  • Pro Bowl Selections:  8
  • Career Interceptions:  24

18.  Cliff Harris, DAL (1970-1979)

  • Career AV:  97
  • Peak AV Average:  12
  • 1st Team All-Pro Selections:  3
  • Pro Bowl Selections:  6
  • Career Interceptions:  29

19.  Rick Volk, BAL/NYG/MIA (1967-1978)

  • Career AV:  91
  • Peak AV Average:  12
  • 1st Team All-Pro Selections:  1
  • Pro Bowl Selections:  3
  • Career Interceptions:  38

 

Just missed the cut:  Merton Hanks, Dwight Hicks, Gary Fencik, Roy Williams, Bob Sanders, Harrison Smith

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3 hours ago, #27TheDominator said:

This is as false as it gets. 

He never reached a 1st team All-Pro and only got named to a 2nd team all-pro once.  This despite playing on some very good teams. 

So, no.  Not false.  He’s looked back on as an all-time great and he simply wasn’t.  

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1 hour ago, greenwichjetfan said:

Adding context to the AV, it’s Ed Reed. Accounting for my blind fandom and the fact that he’s my favorite defensive player ever, it’s not particularly close. 

Hard to dispute Reed at # 1, but I’ve got him # 2 behind Lott.

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6 hours ago, Sperm Edwards said:

@Jetsfan80 I think these guys all got paid. Some more than others, but none of them were free.

Terrible thread. 

Agreed. These 5 best of are a bore. How about 5 worst at every position. Would be way more interesting 🧐.  No offense @Jetsfan80. 🤷🏻

Or how about 5 Best Marvel characters!

Silver Surfer 

Spiderman

Thor

Mysterio

Cyclops

 

 

 

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13 hours ago, Untouchable said:

1. Lott

2. Woodson

3. Reed

4. Dawkins

5. Cherry

 

I accidentally glossed over Dawkins in the poll and voted Cherry #4 and Atwater #5.

Ahh, so you are the other Deron Cherry enthusiast. I always loved watching him during my early days as an NFL fan.

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