The 101 Greatest NFL Players by Uniform Number: 90-99
Welcome to the 10th and final installment of Sportscasting’s 10-part series, “The 101 Greatest NFL Players by Uniform Number.”
For those who haven’t followed along, what we’ve been doing here is just what the title suggests. As there have been 101 different jersey numbers (00, 0, 1-99) worn throughout NFL history, we’ve been naming the best players to wear each. Easy enough, right?
If you’re just joining us or need a refresher on our selections from Nos. 00-89, here you go.
And here’s a look at the best NFL players to wear Nos. 90-99.
No. 90: Julius Peppers
Kicking off our last edition of the list is our selection at No. 90, defensive end Julius Peppers. Taken with the second overall pick in the 2002 NFL Draft out of North Carolina, Peppers played 17 NFL seasons with the Carolina Panthers, Chicago Bears, and Green Bay Packers.
In those 17 seasons, he recorded 159.5 sacks, the fifth-most in NFL history, and was a nine-time Pro Bowler and a six-time All-Pro selection.
No. 91: Kevin Greene
Just ahead of Peppers on the NFL’s all-time sack list is our choice at No. 91, Kevin Greene, who played 15 seasons with the Los Angeles Rams, Pittsburgh Steelers, Carolina Panthers, and San Francisco 49ers.
Greene, who played both defensive end and outside linebacker, recorded 160 career sacks, good for fourth on the all-time list, and was a five-time Pro Bowler and a three-time All-Pro selection. He was also named 1996 NFL Defensive Player of the Year.
No. 92: Reggie White
Seen by many as the greatest defensive end in NFL history, Reggie White is our choice at No. 92. For those wondering, Michael Strahan was our second choice in this slot.
After starting his professional football career with the Memphis Showboats of the USFL, White began his NFL career in 1985 with the Philadelphia Eagles, for whom he played eight seasons before playing six years with the Green Bay Packers, with whom he won a Super Bowl. He retired in 1999 but returned for one final season with the Carolina Panthers in 2000.
In 15 seasons, White racked up 198 career sacks, just two behind Bruce Smith for the most in NFL history. He was a two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year, a two-time sack leader, a 13-time Pro Bowler, and a 13-time All-Pro selection.
No. 93: John Randle
Our choice at No. 93 is the only Hall of Famer to wear the number, legendary defensive tackle John Randle.
Undrafted in 1990 out of Texas A&M-Kingsville, Randle first tried out for his older brother Ervin’s team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but was thought to be too small to play defensive line in the NFL at 6-feet-1-inch and 244 pounds and wasn’t offered a contract.
Soon after, he signed with the Minnesota Vikings, with whom he played 11 seasons and was a six-time Pro Bowler and a six-time All-Pro selection. He was selected to a seventh Pro Bowl following the 2001 season as a member of the Seattle Seahawks, with whom he played the final three years of his career.
No. 94: DeMarcus Ware
The No. 94 slot was one of the most challenging choices we had to make on this portion of the list. On the one hand, we had two-time All-Pro Charles Haley, who won five Super Bowls with the San Francisco 49ers and Dallas Cowboys. But on the other, we had DeMarcus Ware, who may have just the one Super Bowl, but was the overall better player in our eyes.
Taken with the 11th overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft out of Troy, Lawrence spent the first nine years of his career with the Cowboys and the last three with the Denver Broncos. In a dozen NFL seasons, he recorded 138.5 sacks, good for 13th on the all-time list, and was a nine-time Pro Bowler and a seven-time All-Pro selection.
No. 95: Richard Dent
Just behind Ware on the all-time sack list is our choice at No. 95, Richard Dent, who played 12 of his 15 NFL seasons with the Chicago Bears, with whom he won Super Bowl 20 MVP as part of Buddy Ryan’s vaunted “46” defense.
Dent also won a Super Bowl in his lone season with the San Francisco 49ers. He also played one year each with the Indianapolis Colts and Philadelphia Eagles.
In 15 seasons, Dent recorded 137.5 sacks, tied with John Randle for the 14th-most in NFL history. He was a four-time Pro Bowler and a four-time All-Pro selection.
No. 96: Cortez Kennedy
One of just two players in the Hall of Fame to ever wear the number, Cortez Kennedy is our selection at No. 96. Kennedy, the third overall pick in the 1990 NFL Draft out of Miami, spent his entire 11-year career with the Seattle Seahawks and sadly only made the postseason one time.
In 1992, Seattle went just 2-14, but Kennedy had such a great season that he was still named NFL Defensive Player of the Year. Over the course of his career, he was an eight-time Pro Bowler and a five-time All-Pro selection.
No. 97: Bryant Young
We considered La’Roi Glover for the No. 97 slot but ultimately decided on defensive tackle/end Bryant Young, who played his entire 14-year career with the San Francisco 49ers, with whom he won a Super Bowl as a rookie following the 1994 NFL season. Young was a four-time Pro Bowler, a four-time All-Pro selection, and his 89.5 career sacks are the second-most in franchise history.
No. 98: Jessie Armstead
No. 98 was another tough call as we considered former Pittsburgh Steelers nose tackle Casey Hampton and longtime Indianapolis Colts defensive end/linebacker Robert Mathis.
In the end, however, we went with linebacker Jessie Armstead, who played nine of his 11 NFL seasons with the New York Giants. He played his final two years in Washington. Armstead, the 207th pick in the 1993 NFL Draft out of Miami, was a five-time Pro Bowler and a three-time All-Pro selection.
No. 99: Aaron Donald
Closing things out was an extremely challenging endeavor as there were valid arguments for both Warren Sapp and J.J. Watt for the coveted No. 99 slot.
In eight seasons with the St. Louis/Los Angeles Rams, the Pittsburgh product is a three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year and has only finished outside the top five in the voting on one occasion. That was his rookie campaign when he was named Defensive Rookie of the Year.
Donald, who helped the Rams to victory in Super Bowl 56, is an eight-time Pro Bowler, a seven-time All-Pro selection, and has missed just two games throughout his career.
Stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference