2. Larry Wilson
Wilson spent his entire career with the St. Louis Cardinals (1960-1972), earning eight Pro Bowl nods and five All-Pro selections over those 13 seasons. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1978. He would serve as Director of Pro Personnel for the Cardinals from 1980-1987, then vice president and general manager from 1988-1993 and finally a vice president from 1994-2002.
Based on Pro Football Reference’s Approximate Value, Wilson is the top defensive player in Cardinals’ franchise history (115). He is still the franchise leader in interceptions with 52, and starting with 1966, when he led the league with 10 interceptions, he earned both a Pro Bowl selection and an All-Pro nod in five straight seasons.
Wilson was on the NFL’s All-Decade Teams for the 1960s and 1970s, and he more recently was named to the league’s 75th and 100th-anniversary teams in 1994 and 2019. Yet his name hardly rolls off the tongue when considering all-time great players of his era, or all-time great defensive backs in NFL history. At least in the small corner of Cardinals’ franchise history, Wilson’s name (and bust) is now getting the worthy extra light on a Mount Rushmore.