Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Commentary: Top 25 all-time NFL offensive players to come out of the University of Utah (+photos) (35 items)

By Jay Yeomans, For the Deseret News

Jan. 14, 2014

The University of Utah has sent players to the NFL since long before the game was popular or even in the mainstream of American society. Even during the program's down times they have had plenty of talent move on to the NFL and the leagues that came before. This is a list of the best players in the history of American pro football to ever come out of the University of Utah on the offensive side of the ball.

Note: A list like this is completely subjective, but I try to leave all bias out when I do my rankings. Only what each player did in the NFL got taken into consideration.

All-pro selections, Pro Bowl selections, years as a starter, years in the league, stats and impact on the team were the factors used when doing these rankings.

Jay Yeomans is a courier by day and a freelance writer by night. He is the creator and lead writer of the website Contact him at Twitter: @jmoneysports

1 of 35.

Jolley was selected in the 17th round (436th overall) by the Detroit Lions in the 1971 draft. He spent six years playing in the NFL for the Lions and the Seattle Seahawks on the offensive line, appearing in 59 games (19 starts). His most productive season came in 1977, when Jolley made 11 starts for the Seahawks at left guard.

2 of 35.

Christensen played 42 games over four seasons for the Detroit Lions from 1934-37 as a fullback. His best season came in 1934 when Christensen carried the ball 96 times for 304 yards and two touchdowns. For his career, Christensen registered 109 carries for 308 yards and two touchdowns while also making eight receptions for 158 yards and two scores.

3 of 35.

Fuamatu-Ma'afala was selected in the sixth round (178th overall) by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1998 draft. He spent sevens seasons in the NFL with the Steelers and the Jacksonville Jaguars. For his career, Fuamatu-Ma'afala registered 227 carries for 964 yards and eight touchdowns while catching 43 passes for 351 yards and two more scores. His best season came in 2001 when as a Steeler, he carried the ball 120 times for 453 yards and three touchdowns as well as catching 16 passes for 127 yards and a score.

4 of 35.

McEwen made the Washington Redskins as an undrafted free agent. He spent five years in the NFL with the Redskins and the San Diego Chargers. During that time, McEwen appeared in 54 games and made 108 catches for 1,310 yards and six touchdowns. His best season came in 1991 when as a member of the Chargers, McEwen appeared in all 16 games (six starts) and registered 37 receptions for 399 yards and three touchdowns.

5 of 35.

Haley was selected in the second round (55th overall) by the New England Patriots in the 1982 draft. Haley split time in his six-year career with the Patriots, Green Bay Packers and Cleveland Browns and played in 79 games. The most impressive stretch of his career came with New England, where Haley made 24 of his 25 NFL starts.

1. defibman
Syracuse, UT,
Jan. 14, 2014

Just look at the number of Super Bowl MPV's, Hall of Fame guy's, truely record setting!
The u is the plac to go! I have just got to go to their trophy cases in their hall of fame and read more on all these famous athletes.
I am truely, truely blown away!

2. Jambo Dave
Jan. 14, 2014

There is no way this list does not include Eric Weddle!

3. UteMiguel
Go Utes, CA,
Jan. 14, 2014

Pretty sure Weddle plays defense.

4. Samwise
Salt Lake City, UT,
Jan. 14, 2014

Pretty cool list, even though I am a BYU fan through and through I still enjoy seeing the success of everyone who has ties to this great state, even if it is the Utes. Just to tie into previous comments, Weddle not only plays defense but also happens my favorite ex-Ute NFL player. He seems like an awesome guy from what I have heard and could be my favorite current NFL player if he only went to BYU (I had to throw some lame rivalry talk in somewhere).

5. Wasatch Al
South Jordan, UT,
Jan. 14, 2014

Marv Fleming should be much higher on the list. Four super bowl rings!! Tight ends are not only receivers but blockers. Must have been doing something right.