The All-Time Oregon NFL Team
Norm Van Brocklin, Mel Renfro and more
You know the all-time NFL team at your school is stacked when quarterback Dan Fouts can’t crack your starting lineup.
That’s the case at the University of Oregon, where Fouts with his six Pro Bowls and Hall-of-Fame bust would be holding a clipboard on an NFL sideline for the Ducks. That’s because Oregon’s starting quarterback would be his fellow Hall of Famer, Norm Van Brocklin. The Dutchman went to nine Pro Bowls, quarterbacked two different franchises to NFL championships and was the 1960 league MVP.
Few schools have as rich a quarterback tradition as Oregon, which has 14 quarterbacks who started games in the NFL. The Ducks have had quarterbacks selected with the first- (George Shaw), second- (Marcus Mariota), third- (Akili Smith, Joey Harrington) and sixth- (Justin Herbert) overall picks of NFL drafts. Van Brocklin, Fouts, Chris Miller, Bob Berry and Herbert all went to Pro Bowls, and Herbert was the 2020 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.
Dennis Dixon and Bill Musgrave both won Super Bowl rings as backups and those 14 Oregon quarterbacks have combined to start 681 NFL games. Fouts, by the way, was a third-round NFL draft pick and Van Brocklin a fourth-rounder. In addition to quarterbacking the Rams and Eagles to NFL titles, Van Brocklin led the NFL in punting in 1955 with a 44.6-yard average.
Norv Turner is another Oregon quarterback who never took a snap in the NFL. But he won three Super Bowl rings as an offensive coordinator of the Dallas Cowboys in the 1990s and captured division titles as an NFL head coach with both Washington and San Diego.
Jack Patera also came out of Oregon to play linebacker in the NFL and became the first head coach of the expansion Seattle Seahawks in 1976. Van Brocklin was the first head coach of another expansion franchise, the 1961 Minnesota Vikings.
Fouts and Van Brocklin are two of the five Pro Football Hall of Famers that can be found on Oregon’s all-time NFL team. Here is that team:
QB—Norm Van Brocklin, Hall of Fame
HB—Tuffy Leemans, Hall of Fame
FB—Jonathan Stewart, Pro Bowl, 7,335 rushing yards, 51 TDs
WR—Ahmad Rashad, 4 Pro Bowls, 495 career receptions, 44 TDs
WR—J.J. Birden, 244 receptions, 17 TDs
TE—Russ Francis, 3 Pro Bowls, 393 catches, 40 TDs
OT—Gary Zimmerman, Hall of Fame
*-OT—Penei Sewell, 7th overall pick of 2021 NFL draft
G—Kyle Long, 3 Pro Bowls, 7 years, 76 starts
G—Adam Snyder, 10 years, 88 starts
C—Max Unger, 2 Pro Bowls, 10 years, 130 starts
*-DE—DeForest Buckner, 2 Pro Bowls, 6 years, 45 sacks
DE—George Martin, 13 years, 96 sacks
DT—Haloti Ngata, 5 Pro Bowls, 13 years, 32 ½ sacks
DT—Ron Snidow, 10 years, 40 sacks
OLB—Dave Wilcox, Hall of Fame
MLB—Kiko Alonso, 2013 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year
OLB—Michael Walter, 11 years, 3-time Super Bowl champion
CB—Jarius Byrd, 3 Pro Bowls, 10 years, 25 interceptions
CB—Mario Clark, 9 years, 26 interceptions
S—Mel Renfro, Hall of Fame
S—Patrick Chung, 11 years, 3-time Super Bowl champion
K—Tommy Thompson, handled SF KOs in 1997
P—Tom Blanchard, 11 years, 819 punts, 41.3-yard average
KR—Woodley Lewis, Pro Bowl, 275 KO & punt returns, 4 TDs
LS—Fred Quillan, 2 Pro Bowls, 2-time Super Bowl champion
ST—Bryan Hinkle, Coverage ace at Pittsburgh or both Chuck Noll (early) & Bill Cowher (late)