The All-time Louisville NFL Team
Johnny Unitas, Elvis Dumervil and more
Jaire Alexander was a first-round draft pick of the Green Bay Packers in 2018 and a Pro Bowler by his third season.
But he has a long way to go if he hopes to become the best cornerback ever to come out of Louisville.
The Cardinals have produced NFL MVP quarterbacks in Johnny Unitas and Lamar Jackson, both for the city of Baltimore — Unitas with the Colts and Jackson the Ravens. .But the quantity at Louisville is at cornerback. Counting Alexander, the Cardinals have produced nine cornerbacks who have started 889 NFL games, intercepted 203 passes and gone to 11 Pro Bowls.
Ray Buchanan leads the pack with 47 interceptions, followed by Sam Madison with 38, Dwayne Woodruff with 37, Frank Minnifield with 20, Lee Calland with 19, Lenny Lyles with 16, William Gay with 13, Chris Johnson with 8 and Alexander with 5.
Lyles joined Alexander as first-round draft picks, Gay and Madison were seconds, Buchanan a third, Woodruff a sixth and Johnson a seventh. Calland and Minnifield were not drafted but Minnifield was named to the 1980s NFL all-decade team. Madison and Minnifield went to four Pro Bowls each while Alexander, Buchanan and Lyles went once apiece.
Louisville cornerbacks were able to hone their skills on the practice field over the years competing with the likes of Deion Branch, Mark Clayton, Ernest Givens and DeVante Parker.
Here is the all-time Louisville NFL team:
QB—Johnny Unitas, Hall of Fame
HB—Ernie Green, 2 Pro Bowls, 7 seasons, 3,204 rushing yards, 35 TDs
FB—Calwell Gardner, 8 seasons, 247 touches, 14 TDs
WR—Mark Clayton, 5 Pro Bowls, Led NFL in TD catches in 1984 & 1988
WR—Deion Branch, 2005 Super Bowl MVP
TE—Gary Barnidge, Pro Bowl, 8 seasons, 178 receptions, 14 TDs
T—Bruce Armstrong, 6 Pro Bowls, 14 seasons, 212 starts
T—Joe Jacoby, 4 Pro Bowls, 1980s NFL all-decade team
G—Bruno Giacomini, 8 seasons, 86 starts
G—John Miller, 7 seasons, 84 starts
C—Eric Wood, Pro Bowl, 9 seasons, 120 starts
DE—Elvis Dumervil, 5 Pro Bowls, 11 seasons, 106 sacks
DE—Joe Johnson, 2 Pro Bowls, 9 seasons, 53 sacks
DT—Ted Washington, 4 Pro Bowls, 17 seasons, 204 starts, 35 sacks
DT—Richard Bishop, 8 seasons, 50 starts, 33 sacks
LB—Tom Jackson, 3 Pro Bowls, 14 seasons, 30 sacks, 20 interceptions
LB—Otis Wilson, Pro Bowl, 9 seasons, 91 starts, 38 sacks
LB—Doug Buffone, 14 seasons, 156 starts, 24 interceptions
CB—Frank Minnifield, 4 Pro Bowls, 1980s NFL all-decade team
CB—Sam Madison, 4 Pro Bowls, 9 seasons, 20 interceptions
S—Kerry Rhodes, 8 seasons, 116 starts, 23 interceptions
S—Calvin Pryor, 4 seasons, 38 starts, 2 interceptions
*-K—David Akers, 6 Pro Bowls, NFL’s 17th all-time scorer (1,721 points)
P—Klaus Wilmsmeyer, 6 seasons, 398 punts, 41.0-yard averag
KR—Aaron Bailey, 5 seasons, 153 KR, 2 TDs, 22.9-yard average
ST—Senorise Perry, 17 ST tackles, 2 FF for Chicago in 2014
LS—Colin Holba, 4 seasons, 6th round draft pick