Who's the best NFL player in Houston history?
Not the best player from the Houston area in NFL history, but the best player to suit up for the Oilers or Texans.
John Harris and I ranked the 10 best yesterday on our weekly "In the Lab" podcast. We set a parameter, though, to include only players from the late-1970's through the current day. So that excluded Pro Football Hall of Famers like quarterback George Blanda and safetey Ken Houston, to name a few.
From there, our ranking went down like this:
1. Earl Campbell, RB: NFL MVP in 1979 with 19 TD and 1,697 rushing yards. Rushed for 10 or more touchdowns in five of his first six seasons, led League in rushing yards three times. The driving force behind the Luv Ya Blue Oilers. Pro Football Hall of Famer.
2. J.J. Watt, DE: Three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year. Franchise's all-time sacks leader. Four 1st-Team All-Pro selections.
3. Bruce Matthews, OL: 14 Pro Bowls, nine 1st-Team All-Pro selections. Played all five positions on offensive line. Pro Football Hall of Famer.
4. Warren Moon, QB: Pro Football Hall of Famer, six Pro Bowls as an Oiler. Led Houston to playoffs from 1987-93.
5. Andre Johnson, WR: Franchise leader in TD catches, receiving yards. Seven Pro Bowls. Three seasons w/1,500 or more receiving yards. 14,185 career receiving yards.
6. Mike Munchak, OG: Nine Pro Bowl appearances and four 1st-Team All-Pro selections. Pro Football Hall of Famer.
7. Robert Brazile, OLB: Five 1st-Team All-Pro selections, 13 career INT, 48 career sacks. Pro Football Hall of Famer.
8. Curley Culp, NT: Pro Football Hall of Famer. Anchored Luv Ya Blue-era defense and went to four Pro Bowls in late 1970's.
9. Elvin Bethea, DE: Seven Pro Bowl appearances, Pro Football Hall of Famer.
T-10th. Arian Foster/DeAndre Hopkins: Foster is the team's all-time rushing yards leader, and scored 68 TD in his career. Hopkins has 5,865 receiving yards and 36 TD catches in just five seasons.
Check out some of the best photos of DeAndre Hopkins during his Pro Bowl season in 2017.