The All-Time Jackson State NFL Team
Walter Payton, Robert Brazile and more
In compiling the all-time Jackson State NFL team, there was one glaring hole in the starting lineup – quarterback. The Tigers have produced four Pro Football Hall of Famers and a plethora of top-shelf pass rushers…but no quarterback.
But that doesn’t mean Jackson State’s all-time team could not throw the football. Not as long as Walter Payton is on the field.
Payton, of course, is in the Hall of Fame for his running ability. He rushed for 16,726 yards, second all-time to Emmitt Smith, and went to nine Pro Bowls. He posted 10 1,000-yard seasons and rushed for 110 touchdowns.
But a quiet element in Payton’s contribution to Chicago’s success was his right arm. No NFL team utilized the halfback pass like Mike Ditka’s Bears. Payton threw 36 career passes and completed 12 of them for 381 yards and nine touchdowns.
So I would line up the all-time Jackson State NFL team in a wildcat set with Payton the wildcat and running backs Wilbert Montgomery and Rickey Young an either side of him. Montgomery rushed for 6,789 yards and has been enshrined in the Philadelphia Eagles Hall of Fame. Young led the NFL in receptions in 1978 with 88.
Payton is joined on this all-time Jackson State team by fellow Hall of Famers Jackie Slater, Robert Brazile and Lem Barney. The Tigers also would line up two edge rushers with a combined 220 career sacks, Coy Bacon and Verlon Biggs.
Here is the all-time Jackson State NFL team:
Wildcat—Walter Payton, Hall of Fame
RB—Wilbert Montgomery, 2 Pro Bowls, 9 seasons, 57 touchdowns
RB—Rickey Young, 3,000 career yards both rushing and receiving, 39 TDs
WR—Jimmy Smith, 5 Pro Bowls, 25th all-time in receiving yards (12,287)
WR—Harold Jackson, 5 Pro Bowls, 44th all-time in receiving yards (10,372)
TE—Rich Caster, 3 Pro Bowls, 13 seasons, 372 receptions, 45 touchdowns
T—Jackie Slater, Hall of Fame
T—Tom Funchess, 7 seasons, 72 starts
G—Leon Gray, 4 Pro Bowls, 11 seasons, 123 starts
G—Lester Holmes, 8 seasons, 94 starts
OL—Emanuel Zanders, 8 seasons, 90 starts
DE—Coy Bacon, 3 Pro Bowls, 14 seasons, 130 ½ sacks
DE—Verlon Biggs, 3 Pro Bowls, 10 seasons, 90 ½ sacks
DT—Ben McGee, 2 Pro Bowls, 9 seasons, 34 ½ sacks
DT—Don Reese, 7 seasons, 30 ½ sacks
OLB—Robert Brazile, Hall of Fame
MLB—Marlo Perry, 6 seasons, 184 tackles
OLB—Darion Conner, 8 seasons, 519 tackles, 33 sacks
CB—Lem Barney, Hall of Fame
CB—John Outlaw, 10 seasons, 22 takeaways
S—Vernon Perry, 5 seasons, 14 takeaways
S—Al Coleman, 6 seasons, 4 takeaways
P—Paul McJulien, 3 seasons, 143 punts, 39.5-yard average
KR—Speedy Duncan, 4 Pro Bowls, 3-time NFL punt return champion, 4 TDs
ST—Eddie Payton, 3 kickoff and punt returns for touchdowns