Top 30 NFL players not in the Pro Football Hall of Fame

Ranking the 30 best NFL players who have not made their way into Canton and the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Pittsburgh Steelers v Cincinnati Bengals
Pittsburgh Steelers v Cincinnati Bengals / George Gojkovich/GettyImages
30 of 30

1. DE L.C. Greenwood

Unlike a number of star performers on this impressive list, Pittsburgh Steelers’ defensive end L.C. Greenwood didn’t even make the initial 31 Semifinalists by the Pro Football Hall of Fame Seniors Committee in mid-July. That is somewhat mystifying considering what the four-time Super Bowl champion and big-play performer accomplished during his 13-year NFL career.

In 1969, the team hired Chuck Noll to be their head coach. With the fourth overall pick in the draft that year, the Steelers opted for defensive tackle Joe Greene. In the 10th round, Pittsburgh opted for 6’6”, 245-pound defensive end L.C. Greenwood from Arkansas-Pine Bluff. The duo would play together for all 13 seasons and were the cornerstones of the fabled “Steel Curtain” defensive front.

Of course, Greene was a first-ballot Hall of Famer in 1987. Meanwhile, Greenwood finished his career credited with 78.0 regular-season sacks. He earned six Pro Bowl invitations and was named All-Pro in 1974 and ’75. However, it was in the postseason that the man with the golden shoes really excelled.

In the club’s 16-6 victory over the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl IX, the lanky defender spent the day harassing quarterback Fran Tarkenton and batted down many of his throws. A year later against the Dallas Cowboys, he was credited (unofficially) with four of the team’s seven sacks of quarterback Roger Staubach in a 21-17 win. All told, Greenwood played in 18 postseason games and is credited with 12.5 sacks.

The 1970s Steelers’ defense is well-represented in the Hall of Fame. There’s Greene, linebackers Jack Ham and Jack Lambert, cornerback Mel Blount and safety Donnie Shell. Will Greenwood’s day in the Canton sun ever come?

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