Number 88 on the NFL Network’s “Top 100” is Ed Reed of the Baltimore Ravens. Reed is the first active player on the list. Ed Reed is a defensive back (free safety) who was drafted 24th in the first round in 2002 out of Miami. Of course, he plays with Ray Lewis, so he is just that much better.
Reed is an outstanding player, picked 46th by the fans; the idea that modern-day players get the fans votes is playing out. Ed Reed has played for eight years and participated in 118 games. His magic number must be 46, since besides being picked 46th by the fans, he has 46 career picks and has returned six of these for scores. Reed is also the first Raven picked. It’s amazing how many times the word “picked” was used in this paragraph. That is what you get when writing about a defensive back.
I’ve linked to Reed’s 108-yard interception return for score.
As an aside, I would say I think throughout the “Top 100,” we’re not going to see a ton of offensive linemen.
Number 87 on the “Top 100” is Elroy “Crazylegs” Hirsch. Hirsch was a first-round draft pick, number five, out of the University of Michigan. Hirsch was a four-sport letterman at Michigan, but football was his favorite sport.
“Crazylegs” Hirsch is one of my favorite players. He primarily played for the Los Angeles Rams. There is some “mechanics” impact in his playing in that as a halfback he became a wide receiver and was part of a modern-day “three-end” offense.
Hirsch played in 127 games over 13 seasons, and when we look at these records of players who played this long ago, we need to remember they played for the most part in 12-game seasons, not 14 or 16 games.
Crazylegs’ big season was 1951, when he was a part of the championship Rams team; he helped them by getting 66 catches for 17 touchdowns again, in a 12-game season. Think about that: Hirsch scored every 3.88 times he touched the ball. Many of these touchdowns were long-distance, and that is because he had “sprinter speed and the moves of a halfback.”
Over Hirsh’s career, he caught 387 passes and scored 60 touchdowns. Since he played in 127 games, that means he scored about two touchdowns a game.
Elroy “Crazylegs” Hirsch, for all of his accomplishments, was a humble man, something that is very rare in today’s players. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1968.
I think he should have been much further down the list.