Centers are one of the most overlooked positions in the NFL, as they protect the quarterback, and have to block some of the best athletes on the field. This list will rank the top 10 offensive guards to ever play the game with respect to their eras.
5. Dermontti Dawson
Dermontti Dawson was selected as a first-team all-pro for six consecutive seasons from 1993-1998. Dawson played 13 seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers and also added seven pro bowl selections.
Dawson started 160 consecutive games for the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1989-1998 and played in Super Bowl XXX. Dawson was a tremendous pass blocker and made the transition from Terry Bradshaw to others that tried to fill his role much easier.
4. Mel Hein
Mel Hein is the only offensive lineman to ever win NFL MVP in 1938. He was a five-time first-team all pro and played linebacker on defense as well. Although it is hard to compare the position to centers today, Hein was a beast.
Hein also helped the New York Giants win two NFL Championships and was known for the accuracy of his snaps, as the quarterback-center exchange was different than we know it as today.
3. Dwight Stephenson
If Dwight Stephenson’s career wasn’t cut short due to injuries, he could easily be ranked as the greatest center in the history of the NFL. But, even with a short career lasting eight seasons, he was the most dominant center of all time.
Stephenson was a four-time first-team all-pro and helped block for one of the greatest offenses of the 1980s in the Miami Dolphins. He helped protect Dan Marino as he went on to break numerous passing records.
2. Jim Otto
Jim Otto was a dominating and super athletic Center that helped the Oakland Raiders win AFL championship, and he was named a pro bowler 12 times during his career.
Otto partnered up with Art Shell and Gene Upshaw to form one of the greatest offensive lines of all time during the 1970s, and he was named a first-team all-pro nine times during his career. Otto was known for being one of the toughest players to ever play the game.
Overall, Otto used his size and athleticism to match his great awareness to become superior to almost every Center to ever play the game.
1. Mike Webster
Mike Webster was named a first-team all-pro five times during his career and centered the Pittsburgh Steelers for 15 seasons and the Kansas City Chiefs for two. The longevity is why Webster ranks as the greatest center to ever play the game.
Webster was a dominating run blocker and helped the Pittsburgh Steelers win four Super Bowls in the span of six seasons. Webster helped Franco Harris reach as high as third on the all-time rushing list at the time of Harris’s retirement.
Webster was a member of the 1970s and 1980s all-decade team, which is simply remarkable. Webster also added nine pro bowl selections during his NFL career.