There is no better measurement of how great a player is than their election into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Similarly, a franchise’s front office and coaching staff can also be judged by how many players they have had or how many players they have drafted that got into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
What team has drafted the most members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame? Here is a list of the top five NFL franchises ranked by how many Hall of Famers they have drafted.
***Remember, this is a look at who drafted these players, not who they gained their fame with. Some players may have been traded or cut before ending up with the team they are most famous for. Also, some of the players listed didn’t make it to the Hall of Fame because of their playing ability, but instead got in because of their coaching/administrative accomplishments.
First Place – The Pittsburgh Steelers
During their history which dates back to the earliest days of the NFL, the Pittsburgh Steelers have drafted an amazing 17 players who would eventually end up in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Many of those players were part of the Steelers dynasty of the 1970’s.
Pittsburgh Steelers draft picks in the Hall of Fame: Bill Dudley, George Connor, Jim Finks, Ernie Stautner, John Henry Johnson, Johnny Unitas, Len Dawson, Joe Greene, Mel Blount, Terry Bradshaw, Jack Ham, Franco Harris, Mike Webster, John Stallworth, Jack Lambert, Lynn Swann, and Rod Woodson.
Second Place – The Chicago Bears
The Chicago Bears have had a long and storied history with many great players. During their time in the league they have drafted 13 players who ended up making it to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Chicago Bears draft picks in the Hall of Fame: Joe Stydahar, Sid Luckman, Clyde “Bulldog” Turner, Bobby Layne, George Blanda, Bill George, Stan Jones, Mike Ditka, Gale Sayers, Dick Butkus, Walter Payton, Dan Hampton, and Mike Singletary.
Third Place (Tie) – The Cleveland Browns
The Cleveland Browns do not date back to the beginning of the NFL as they started as one of the original teams of the All American Football Conference of the late 1940’s. They still have managed to draft some great players during their time and 12 of those players have ended up in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Cleveland Browns draft picks in the Hall of Fame: Don Shula, Chuck Noll, Doug Atkins, Willie Davis, Gene Hickerson, Henry Jordan, Jim Brown, Bobby Mitchell, Dick LeBeau, Leroy Kelly, Paul Warfield, and Ozzie Newsome.
Third Place (Tie) – The Cleveland/Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams
The St. Louis Rams franchise has had an interesting history that has seen them compete in three different major cities. The have twice moved halfway across the country, and have had different levels of success along the way. During their history they have managed to draft 12 players who ended up making it into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Rams draft picks in the Hall of Fame: Bob Waterfield, Tom Fears, Elroy “Crazy Legs” Hirsch, Dante Lavelli, Norm Van Brocklin, Andy Robustelli, Deacon Jones, Merlin Olsen, Tom Mack, Jack Youngblood, Jackie Slater, and Eric Dickerson.
Third Place (Tie) – The New York Giants
The New York Giants are one of the class franchises of the National Football League and have had prominent roles in the league during almost every era of play. Through their history that dates back to the earliest days of the NFL, they have drafted 12 players who wound up in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
New York Giants draft picks in the Hall of Fame: Tuffy Leemans, George Connor, Art Donovan, Tom Landry, Frank Gifford, Rosey Brown, Sam Huff, Don Maynard, Buck Buchanan, Harry Carson, Lawrence Taylor, and Gary Zimmerman.